SYDNEY, NS — A song inspired by a 10-year-old boy’s proposal to get a pump track in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is now available.
The song and video for Pump Track was uploaded on Tuesday and Kail Dutt said it sounded like he thought it would when he and a group of youngsters helped the multi-talented singer/songwriter award-winning Keith Mullins to write it.
“He didn’t play the same guitar during the (songwriting) workshop,” Dutt explained. “But we said AC/DC (for the style).”
Using an acoustic guitar for the workshop, held in October 2021 in Blacketts Lake, Mullins introduced the idea of the Pump Track to the young participants.
“When I started writing…and they told me what a pump track was, I immediately thought of a song that gets you excited,” said Mullins, who has run hundreds of similar workshops. with young people over the past 10 years.
“I would ask them questions…and then together we would all talk about it and write the song.”
- By: Keith Mullins and students
- Students: Charley Bourgeois-Best, Kynnedi Bourgeois-Best, Kail Dutt, Kiera Gould, Andre Herney, Antle’ Herney, Mika Herney, Arianna Phillips-Dean, Miriel Phillips-Dean, Travis Thorne, Alex Young, Grady Mullins, Finlay Mullins
- Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club
- Song mixing/mastering: Mike (Sheppy) Shepherd
- Videography: Matthew Ingraham
- Organized workshop: Coxheath Hills Community Center
- Funded by: Rising Youth Community Service Grant
- Watch: https://youtu.be/ZtWWnhx1_rQ
The youngsters helped Mullins write the verses and chorus while Mullins taught them the elements of a good melody.
Then he took the music back to his studio where he finished and produced it. The final track has electric guitar, bass, drums and harmonica.
“It’s good,” Dutt said. “I showed it to my class (at Etolie de l’Acadie) and they liked it.”
“I love working with the students. I have four kids myself. I love the kids. I love their energy,” Mullins said. When you speak with children, nothing but the truth comes out of their mouths because that is their nature. And saying what you think makes for good songwriting.”
Pump track Sydney
Pump tracks are skate park obstacle courses made of dirt or asphalt, ideal for skateboards, scooters, bicycles and wheelchairs.
After trying one in other cities, Dutt felt he needed one at CBRM where he lives with his mother, Dr. Monika Dutt.
With the support of his mother and other professionals in the community, he created a proposal and began pitching his idea, including a presentation to CBRM Mayor Amanda McDougall.
When presenting the plan in the summer and fall of 2021, Dutt was encouraged to submit a proposal for a Rising Youth grant. Although the grant could not be used for the pump track itself, Dutt decided using it to host a songwriting workshop with Mullins would be a good way to promote the project.
With the help of a friend, Dutt applied for the grant and received $1,500 which covered the cost of the workshop, song production and video production.
In December 2021, Dutt was informed by videoconference with McDougall and Congressman Jamie Battiste that the CBRM had received $75,000 from the federal government to build the pump track.
Through other donations, Dutt raised an additional $40,000 and is still waiting to hear if the Nova Scotia government will donate to the track.
Unsure of the final project amount until they move on to the next phase which is design, Dutt hopes to have the track at Open Hearth Park and open by fall 2022.
To make a donation, go to GoFundMe page.
Pump Track – Keith Mullins and the Students
Nicole Sullivan is a diversity, immigration and education reporter, who sometimes covers health, at the Cape Breton Post.