Former Whanganui muso turns his talents to Covid 19 rap for children

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Former Whanganui musician Brodie White spent more than a decade touring and recording as the frontman of local band Sun and the Wolf (formerly The Have), but after the band broke up in 2017, he turned his attention to writing music for kids.

His latest release, a "late 80s rap", called Covid-Who?! is aimed at keeping kids aware of social distancing and hand washing when returning to school during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been viewed more than 2500 times on YouTube within a day of its official release.

"It took about two and a half weeks to do the whole thing," White said.

"It's fun to just focus on a particular style, and make sure everything about it, from the beat to the rap to the video, is spot on.

"The whole idea is to stimulate young minds, move young bodies, and not annoy the parents too much."

White, who now lives in Germany, said he was inspired to writes music for children from his job as a teacher at The Berlin Cosmopolitan School, and that it was part of his Musical Friends collaborative project with other teachers and musicians in the city.

"Working in an international school means I teach kids from all over the world, but no matter where they're from, the universal language of silliness brings them all together," he said.

"The video itself is really silly, but there are some important common messages in there, regardless of whether you go to Mosston School or the Berlin Cosmopolitan School.

"Being able to communicate ideas through songs is great, and its super fun to be able to indulge in something like a rap, which is different from anything I've done before."

Different rap names were being "mulled over", White said, but OG Brodiddley was the "front runner at the moment".

"I'm not sure what'll happen to this character I've created, but you never know, maybe he'll reappear at some point."

"This song is so specific to a truly bizarre blip in human history, and I've found that communicating through music is a great way to connect with kids.

"Hopefully it makes sure they know the do's and don'ts when they all come back through the school gates."

Brodie's former bandmate, Whanganui's Peter Mangan, also featured in Covid-who?!, along with the video's director Trevor Wood.

"Trevor was brilliant in putting it all together, and the principal of the Berlin Cosmopolitan School, Yvonne Wende, has been incredibly supportive as well.

"The school is a very nurturing environment, and has allowed me to explore different ways to communicate with children."

White said he had created another character for kids, called Skeleton Steve, which was also part of the Musical Friends project.

"Poor old Steve is a little different from OG Brodiddley, but again, a character like that is a great way to teach kids about all kinds of things, from outer space to things that go 'squish' under your feet."

White said he planned to performing a concert as OG Brodiddley, which would be live-streamed via Zoom to schools around the world.

"I'd love to get some Whanganui schools involved, and any primary teachers are welcome to get in touch to be a part of it."

To see the video search for Musical Friends - Covid Who!? on YouTube.

To get in touch with Brodie White and his Musical Friends, send a message to:

Mike Tweed
Whanganui Chronicle 23/5/20

(*) Last Reviewed: May 23, 2020

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