It finally happened. This week I taught a two-day media class at the Yo Yo School of Hip Hop. Founded by veteran Los Angeles-based female rapper Yolanda “Yo Yo” Whitaker in 2011, the program celebrates its fifth anniversary this summer, offering youth hands-on training in songwriting, dance, rapping, singing, and performing.
On Tuesday, I focused on how to write your own artist biography and interview skills. Thursday’s class honed in on more interview prep and one-on-one instruction with about a dozen students.
For bio writing, I explained how the media used the background information to conduct research on artists before interviewing them. I walked the group through writing a paragraph about their artistic endeavors.
When discussing how to prepare for an interview, I reviewed best and worst practices and bought some students to the front of the class for on-the-spot mock interviews.
On Thursday, I showed them good and bad examples of televised interviews with Solange Knowles, Pharrell, and Mariah Carey, and we followed with more one-on-one critiques.
One on One Media training with the world famous @billyjohnsonjr He graciously gave 2 days of his experience and knowledge, teaching about Bio’s and media etiquette #itsnottoolate #yysohh #celebrating5Years #sow
A video posted by Yolanda Whitaker (@yoyofearless) on
The program that has been adopted into more than 30 other locations, has a good group of talented and eager students. They asked a lot of questions and many were quick to participate.
A video posted by Billy Johnson Jr. (@billyjohnsonjr) on
The three-week program runs through August 6 and will feature a performance at the commencement ceremony.
To enroll, visit the Yo Yo School of Hip Hop website.