Update from Sketchy Youth member, Dylan

Wed 25th January 2023

An update from Sketchy Youth, Dylan on what he’s been Up to over the past few months; taking part in Impact Arts virtual programmes and how he’s still managing to DJ!

“I participated in Creative Pathways with Impact Arts, from October 2019 – March 2020. During my time on Creative Pathways I had been doing a range of creative activities such as script-reading, drawing, and character/stage-design. The programme unfortunately ended prematurely in March due to covid-19. We were supposed to be having an exhibition on LGBT Histories at The Museum, but… lockdown happened.

Since then I’ve been doing some stuff with Impact Arts during lockdown via Zoom, namely: the Sketchy Youths and Make Space– I actually even DJ’d on Zoom for the last day for Make Space as well.

Before the pandemic, every Wednesday, I would go to Crew to do DJ-workshops: then the pandemic happened. Non-essential shop/outlets are starting to open again (Crew is technically an essential outlet anyway since they offer support for people‘s health and well-being), but they were having to arrange one-to-ones in different places with people at the start of the pandemic.

I usually DJ on the vinyl turntables at Crew, but that is difficult to do over Zoom as I’ve only got one turntable at home. Its been just over a whole year now that I’ve been a DJ at Crew – goodness only knows what I’d be doing there right now if it wasn’t for the pandemic – I mean, I was learning how to mix, and I’d have probably near enough mastered that now, so I wonder what else I would be doing!

I was also, every two months, DJ-ing at The Atik for events with an organization called Get2gether, and I do that off the laptop via an app called Virtual DJ. Of course, for now, get-togethers are not gonna be able to happen at The Atik until, at least Christmas either, – nightclubs also aren’t allowed to open right now, we are just doing it live on Zoom and having it every month instead, but, unfortunately, for the first three months of lockdown, I wasn’t actually able to DJ at any of the events as I didn’t really have any equipment of my own at home to do DJ-ing.

I had applied for a grant from the ILF to receive DJ-ing equipment during lockdown and the application was successful, and I received the equipment. To DJ on Zoom, I have a laptop, I play music via Virtual DJ, and share the computer sound. I’ve been practicing DJ-ing a lot at home now that I have this equipment.

Also before the pandemic, every Tuesday, I would go to a local community radio station called SAM Radio where I play music live: even though, the pandemic is dying down a bit, they still understandably don’t feel too safe about opening up, so we’re doing podcasts at the moment instead, which has certainly been a great experience all the same. I had never recorded a podcast before; on the plus side the pandemic has encouraged me to try a lot of new things.

At the moment, there are queues of people everywhere in Edinburgh, even though I have only been in town once since the pandemic (it was for the department of magic, a Harry Potter themed place with the escape rooms where you have to do puzzles and stuff, like making potions e.g. to escape, that was as a birthday celebration as I turned 22 a few weeks ago.) But, yeah it was a lot of fun; was a bit difficult but of course I managed to get there in the end and I guess I can officially say I’m now a wizard!”

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