Smith's Hill High School year 11 student Charlotte McKenzie releases rap, 'The COVID Jive'

Listen to this high school student's COVID-19 rap

Smith's Hill High School's Charlotte McKenzie has taken a creative approach to reminding fellow students to practice social distancing and hygiene during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 16-year-old has written and recorded a rap song, The COVID Jive.

"I was asked to do a rap, because I've been known around school to make raps before and perform," the Bulli teenager said.

"As soon as the opportunity came for the worlds of rap and school to merge, I took it.

"I like English, I like to rhyme, so I just came up with it off the top of my head."

The school recently enlisted SRC representatives and house captains to help record a video, as part of an instructional presentation for students as they prepare to start returning to school from next week.

Charlotte's song will complement the video.

"It's more a reminder of all the protocols in place, how to follow it, and what parents, staff and students need to do in these times," she said of the video and song.

The year 11 student has had a burgeoning interest in rapping since her primary school days.

When asked to write a speech for school captaincy elections, she decided to perform a rap instead.

She now records raps as a hobby under the moniker CM Rapper, having started a YouTube channel and performing at school showcases.

In this instance, she found some free beats on YouTube, and then wrote the lyrics.

MUSIC WITH A MESSAGE: Smith's Hill High School student Charlotte McKenzie has written and recorded a rap song, The COVID Jive. Pictures: Robert Peet

MUSIC WITH A MESSAGE: Smith's Hill High School student Charlotte McKenzie has written and recorded a rap song, The COVID Jive. Pictures: Robert Peet

"I only had a few hours to put together some lyrics, and then record it on music software," she said.

"I came up with some lyrics that I had been thinking about, spliced it up all together and then recorded the audio in the morning."

After doing some research online, Charlotte decided the best recording space to capture sufficient sound quality was in her own wardrobe.

"I just had a microphone, connected it to my computer, and then just started recording the song along with the instrumentals.

"I made this so not only could I entertain the students, but also in these unprecedented circumstances, it's really important for all communities to contribute to the cause.

"They all have a part to play in this."

Smith's Hill High principal David Deitz said he was always "astounded, amazed and extremely proud" of the school's students and their creativity, and this was no exception.

"I think whenever you can use students to convey and communicate an important message, it certainly makes it more meaningful for students," he said.

"At the end of the day, what we're wanting is for students to be mindful of the situation, to be safe, and we're going to be using multiple ways to communicate to our community.

"This is just one of the ways we're going to be communicating the need to stay safe in this new environment."


This story Listen to this high school student's COVID-19 rap first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.