Local News

Wednesday, Jul 10 2013 06:08 PM

Hope-to-be hitmakers debut album at Boys & Girls Club

  1. 1 of 9

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Nine-year-old Kaiden Tanner raps along to the heavy beat of the Hot Tamale song inside the sound proof recording studio at the Boys and Girls Club while other kids watch from the outside. The club received a $4,600 grant from Children's Advocates Resource Endowment for purchasing for the equipment.

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  2. 2 of 9

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Nick Macumba, activity leader of the Boys and Girls Club, shows off the new recording equipment acquired through a grant from Children's Advocates Resource Endowment. At right is club member Austin Solmes, 14.

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  3. 3 of 9

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Inside the Boys and Girls Club recording studio, 9-year-old Calvin Black, left, sings along to a recording of "Hot Tamale" as Ronaldo Gonzalez, 10, and Frankie Nevarez, 8, prepare to follow his lead.

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  4. 4 of 9

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Nine-year-old Kaiden Tanner takes his turn at the mike.

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  5. 5 of 9

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    RJ Dickerson,10, makes good use of the headphones and mike at the Boys and Girls Club recording studio.

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  6. 6 of 9

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Nick Macumba, second from left, activity leader of the Boys and Girls Club, inside the recording studio with some of the members.

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  7. 7 of 9

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Nick Macumba, activity leader of the Boys and Girls Club, inside the recording studio.

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  8. 8 of 9

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Kaiden Tanner, 9, left, and RJ Dickerson,10, do a live version of "Hot Tamale" before the ribbon cutting of the new Boys and Girls Club recording studio.

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  9. 9 of 9

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    RJ Dickerson,10, makes good use of the headphones and mike at the Boys and Girls Club recording studio.

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BY LAURA LIERA Californian staff writer lliera@bakersfield.com

Hot tamale, I'm sweating, hot tamale, I'm sweating...School's out, time for fun, at the Boys & Girls Club under the sun.

And so goes the opening verse of "Hot tamale," the newest hit song (at least to them) written and performed by kids at the club -- and sung by more than 100 of them throughout its halls on Niles Street Wednesday.

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KEEP THE YOUTH ALIVE

Superstar.

Stay cool go to school

Learn the golden rule

Don't act like a fool

Be true to yourself, be yourself

And as you're going up, you'll have a future and a prize

If you wanna be a rapper, singer or a dancer

Go ahead and give it all you got

Don't let no one put you down, show them what you got

Don't put them on the spot

If you don't succeed then try again

If they talk about you then they really aren't your friends

Those are haters, but when you're on top they want to kick it with you now but you gotta catch them later

So remember what I said

Keep it in your head, if you want nice things and a fancy car, stay in school, stop the violence, watch what you do, believe in yourself

And know who you are, that will take you far in life, but now we just want to keep our youth alive

Chorus

Keep the youth alive, keep the, keep the youth alive. (6X)

-- Music and lyrics by BG (Boys and Girls) Records

That afternoon, six of the local young crooners debuted the first album they recorded inside the Armstrong Youth Center's new recording studio.

The 10-by-10 room is soundproof and equipped with $4,600 in recording equipment donated by the Children's Advocates Resource Endowment, which raises money for -- and awareness to challenges faced by -- Kern County children.

"It feels so good to see these kids excited to put on those headphones and just sing into the microphone and just let the music take over," said Jim Luff, president of C.A.R.E.

Eight-year-old Frankie Navarez sang along to "Keep the Youth Alive," an original song written by the kids and their mentor, Nick Macumba.

"I'm trying to be like a big star and make it big," Navarez said as he bobbed his head up and down in rhythm to the beat. "My heart was telling me that I wanted to rap, and Mr. Mac taught me everything so I know I will be an awesome rapper when I grow up."

The motivation and enthusiasm the kids bring to the recording studio is something Macumba, the activity leader, appreciates and sees every day.

Before each new artist can step foot in the studio, Macumba helps him or her write lyrics in the library and figure out the best beat for each song. They write and practice memorizing each piece.

In the past five weeks, the group has recorded six songs.

For Macumba, the studio is more than a room full of new equipment. Music was an outlet for him growing up. Instead of being out in the streets he was inside his room, writing lyrics and sheets of music.

"When they are in there, it reminds me of when I was a kid and how I felt the first time I heard myself on a record," Macumba said. "My goal was to become someone in the music industry, but being right here with these kids makes me feel that I already made it big."

As the music bounced off the walls of the recording studio Wednesday, Calvin Black, 9, moved his shoulders to the side, danced in his chair and sang along to the chorus of a song.

When Black heard about the recording studio a couple months ago, he didn't really know if he would like to try singing because he didn't know how to rap.

But that soon changed and now everyone calls him DJ Calvin.

"The first time I ever done it, it was so cool and I love to come in every day and write music and sing my lungs out," he said. "You can call me Rapper/DJ Calvin now," he said as he spun in a circle and winked.

By the end of the summer, Macumba hopes to have two albums out that the group can sell to local community members as a fundraiser for the club.

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