Southam teen’s rap helps dad kick the habit

Jack Woods
Jack Woods

A teenager’s emotive rap about smoking proved a hit – winning him a trip to a London studio to get it recorded.

Joe Woods not only wowed the competition judges, he went on to impress the studio staff by recording it in a single take.

The anti-smoking message from the 14-year-old was part of a Warwickshire -wide competition and initiative to deter youngsters from starting – and the fictional tale about the death of his parents has also helped inspire his dad to give up smoking. Joe, who attends Southam College, said: “It was a unique experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. Plus, I got to convey an important message.”

Sam Crowther, a creative director with Bauer Media, which helped co-ordinate and judge the competition with Warwickshire County Council, said: “The Be Smart, Don’t Smoke message is a very engaging approach, using modern rap/urban poetry to tell a very emotive story.

“It’s a young person’s plea to the adult generation in a language/tone/music they own and identify with.”

Southam College teacher Lyndsay Davies said: “The experience for the whole class, but especially Joe, was fantastic.

“They got to learn new skills and experience a real media environment.”

Cllr Bob Stevens, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for health, said: “This project really got the young people excited about sharing the stop-smoking message.

“Also, in the Alcester and Southam areas the school nurse and local pharmacy reported an uptake in the number of young people asking for help to stop smoking following workshops at their school.”