Yo sup name’s H-Dog! My actual name is Hiten and I am 18. I am doing an apprenticeship. I am an admin assistant and dispenser in a pharmacy and I do a business and admin course.
I was interested in DJing, that’s why I found out about this place. My mum told me about Harrow Arts Centre. We found out about it from Herts Inclusive Theatre. I heard there was a course about DJing, which was my dream job.
The course was intriguing, exciting and fabulous. I learnt a lot about hip hop in general and experienced many genres of music. My role models are experts in many genres, so I wanted to experience what they did for a living. I learnt how to use the decks, how to scratch, how to mix, how to perform better and conquer my fear and stage fright, because I was kind of frightened of the stage at first. I remember hiding in the audience! By the end of the course I learnt a lot of stuff and had a deeper understanding of music. I was rapping too. I met other people. It was worth it definitely, because I got to meet a lot of other DJs, some people who had special needs and some people who didn’t.
Then we knew how to DJ so we needed a club, with heavy beats. We came up with a title for the club, The Night & Moon Midnight Club, and then we organised songs and raps and dance. We sold tickets and a lot of people came. We spent half a day clubbing until half 11 at night, like a standard night out. I was not expecting it to go well because it was my first time performing and a lot of people have their own opinion about performance, so they might not like it, but as the night went on, I chilled out and enjoyed the experience. Performing was breathtaking, because other people were into what I was doing, popping some dance moves. It went well, definitely. We have worked with other performers, like I Love Thunder who performed as well. They were immense, no kidding. The club’s important because if you’re older you’ve got more choices of places to go, but if you’re younger you still need somewhere to party and socialise!
My favourite moments were beatboxing, in the workshops and in the club nights. In one club night the public asked for me, they wanted the beat box guy, that was pretty awesome, because I never worked with the public before like that. That was partly scary for me because I didn’t know the people, I was kind of surprised that I was that good! One time me and another person improvised beats, it surprised people, I think it surprised everyone that we were improvising good music and we’d never met before. I enjoyed scratching because I actually did that as well. It was interesting to organise. We did the posters, DJ names and the guest list with all our names in. I learnt about a different role, being the manager as well the performer.
Since the club night, I’ve joined other things at HAC as well. This year I did song writing at Kids Can Achieve. In the summer we went to see three shows and I did some workshops. I did jamming, Photoshop, and stage lighting. It was different. I enjoyed all of it. I felt happy, because I had a great time and it was a one time experience, because I wouldn’t normally do that. I met a lot of people that I didn’t even know. We went out to eat and see a show, we stayed out late. It’s good to go out more.
I’ve seen 100% gigs at HAC and 100% Dance too. It was good to see more rappers and at the dance one you see a lot of dance moves you can pick up.
By coming to HAC, I’ve seen I can achieve my dream job and how I cannot give up. This is what I do in my free time after work. I’ve had loads of advice given and it helped me a lot actually, like ‘don’t give up’. I used to give up a lot when I was stressed when I didn’t think I could perform properly, but now I’ve got focus. Next I still want to do the clubs, keep the party vibe going! Carry on with my dream!
If you like doing new things, come to HAC and enjoy yourself, chill, enjoy your time, learn new things, experience trips to shows, meet new people, socialise with other people. You can get a lot of new things out of your life, instead of the same old routine.