Mark Ronson gives £1,000 to Hull Beats Bus project


Beats Bus in Hull, and Mark Ronson in New York

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Mark Ronson said he found out about Beats Bus on Twitter

Music producer Mark Ronson has given £1,000 to a project that gives hip-hop help to disadvantaged youngsters.

Beats Bus was founded in 2017 for Hull’s City of Culture year to give students access to music equipment.

Ronson started making his first beats on a drum machine and said he was a “great believer” in music helping kids.

Project founder Steve Arnott said the students were “overwhelmed” that the award-winning DJ liked their work.

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Beats Bus was launched to give children, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, access to music equipment.

Tutors help them write, record and produce their own songs.

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Sean McAllister/10Ft Films Ltd

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Steve Arnott founded the Beats Bus in 2017

Along with £1,300 from Hull comedian Lucy Beaumont, the donation means the bus can keep working with eight students on the project.

“I started making beats on a drum machine, so the name Beats Bus instantly grabbed me,” Ronson said.

“I saw a tweet about it and the minute I saw what they were doing, I thought that’s great.”

Mr Arnott said the bus had not been operating during lockdown, but added the donation will “keep us putting out music and videos until work starts again”.

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Getty Images

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Ronson wrote and produced the smash hit Uptown Funk, which was sung by fellow sunglasses wearer Bruno Mars

Ronson, who has produced songs on nearly 70 albums and 60 singles, with artists ranging from Amy Winehouse to Robbie Williams, said he had been one of the “lucky” ones with access to music at home (his stepfather was Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones).

He added: “People like me who grew up with opportunities to do this stuff take it for granted; there might be somebody out there whose dream it is to make music who doesn’t have the equipment without something like Beats Bus.”

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