UNESCO IITE Youth Media Project Releases Playlist Recorded by Teens

In their own music tracks, teens share their experiences and concerns

To mark Children’s Day, the DVOR digital media project, created with support from UNESCO IITE, and VKontakte Music launched a contest for young artists. The contest has made it possible for school students in Russia and neighboring countries to release their own music tracks, officially and with the involvement of a record label, and to perform with famous musicians. The project aims to raise awareness of the main issues and challenges faced by young people today and to promote their music to a wide audience.

“There are different ways to approach care and protection for children and youth. We at DVOR are convinced that teens need to be heard, understood and recognized. This gives them a sense of security, confidence, and the understanding that their feelings are normal. So we decided to launch this music project to give young authors the opportunity to share their challenges and concerns through creative expression by performing their own songs. We also wanted to attract a wide audience, so we compiled their tracks into a playlist and made it available to millions of VKontakte users,” said the project producers at DVOR.

Teens across regions are passionate about music: in addition to enjoying music, they also compose it, solo or in bands. Just by looking at the number of talented and famous performers aged below 18 – such as Vanya Dmitrienko, Katya Adushkina, Timurka Bits and others – one can see how popular is music as a form of creative expression among teens.

This realization inspired the teams of DVOR and VKontakte Music to launch a musical contest. The idea was supported by popular musicians, including IOWARita Dakota, the First Musical Publishing label, as well as MEL and Takie Dela web-based media. Some two million VKontakte social network users learned about the contest.

During the summer months, the project’s organizers accepted applications from young performers who submitted their music compositions speaking about the challenges of life as a teen, relationships with adults and society, school, bullying, love and romantic relationships.

The organizers received a few hundred music tracks recorded by youth from across Russia and compiled the best of them into a playlist released by VKontakte Music and DVOR. The winner chosen from among the teen musicians is a young female performer using the stage name Social Mistake, with her song “Let’s make the music on the bones.” The First Musical label arranged for her to record her track at a professional studio together with the IOWA music band.