From February 2-19, 2018, hip hop artists Yazid “Benu Da Soothsayah” Muhammed (Beatboxer), Chane “Big Piph” Morrow (MC), Ami Nicole “Tsunami” Ferreira (Dancer), Chris “Trife” Williams (DJ), and site manager Junious Brickhouse traveled to Myanmar as part of the Next Level program. The Next Level Academy, hosted by the American Center in Yangon, offered workshops in emceeing, DJing, dance, and beatboxing, as well as conflict transformation and entrepreneurship. The local partner for this residency was Turning Tables, a program that works to empower marginalized youth through the creative arts.
During the residency, artist-educators and student-collaborators formed strong bonds with one another, often meeting up outside of the daily workshops to enjoy Yangon’s rich nightlife together. Next Level’s Team Myanmar also had the opportunity to collaborate with local artists and engage in cross-cultural artistic exchange with master harpist War War, musicians from the Myanmar Music Association and the Gitameit Music Institute, and dancers from a traditional Karen dance group. Next Level’s Team Myanmar is part of a larger Next Level cohort of American MCs, DJs, beat makers, and hip hop dancers who seek to build global community through hip hop culture.