Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
In a brand new three-part series, Goldie, the drum 'n' bass pioneer, DJ and former BBC Two Maestro finalist has scouted raw musical talent across the country and sees his specially chosen group perform at Buckingham Palace, in the presence of guest of honour, Prince Harry, as the grand finale of his mentoring programme.
The new series Goldie's Band: By Royal Appointment for BBC Two will follow Goldie on a mission to discover young people whose talent and passion for music is at the centre of their lives and who have strived to overcome difficult circumstances for the opportunity to flourish.
After a personal nationwide search, 12 young musicians have been mentored by a team of industry experts including composer Guy Chambers, singer and rapper Ms Dynamite, jazz artist Soweto Kinch, and singer/songwriter Cerys Matthews.
The series will showcase the exciting new talent of these young musicians as they are given the opportunity to learn and train with intensive masterclasses and workshops under the guidance of some of the best names in the business.
Talking about the series Goldie says: "This is one of the most inspiring projects I've ever been involved with. It's all about unearthing musical talent that's under the radar in Britain – finding young people who've faced huge challenges and have never had the opportunities that they deserve."
Speaking after the concert which took place at Buckingham Palace, Goldie commented: "It's been awesome watching the growth and development of these talented young musicians who have grabbed this opportunity to flourish. Seeing them perform on stage at Buckingham Palace has made me so proud and it's been brilliant mentoring them over the last few months."
From left to right in the picture above
Theone is a hugely charismatic and motivated performer/producer. After a fractured and sometimes violent childhood Theone was asked to leave home and at 16. In 2007, after a period of shoplifting and dealing drugs, Theone served a prison sentence. During this time, he was introduced to the guitar through 'Jail Guitar Doors' by drug and alcohol counsellor Malcolm Dudley (now deceased). He has gone on to work on several community projects and is passionate about providing opportunities to local young people. In 2009 he was a finalist in the Prince's Trust Young Achiever of the Year Award. Theone is 25 and from Bournemouth.
Shahid has been singing from a very early age and is largely self-taught. Music has a calming and meditative effect on Shahid and has helped him overcome many obstacles in his life. As a child, Shahid was physically abused from someone close to the family and at school he experienced problems of bullying and low self esteem. Today, Shahid is a confident, compassionate and hugely gifted young artist. He plays several Indian instruments including harmonium and tabla, although singing is his main musical activity. Shahid is 24 and from London.
Londoner Kwabena, 20, has been singing for as long as he can remember and sees music as the main constant in his life so far. After many difficult years, Kwabena was taken in to the care system at the age of 11. Since then he has built a hugely positive and loving relationship with his foster family who have actively encouraged his singing. With the help of Southwark Social Services, he took some time out after leaving school to focus solely on music and a year later joined the Royal Academy of Music. He admits to bursting into song on his commute to college and says that music is as much as part of him as the nose on his face. As well as singing, Kwabena plays the piano.
Jack, 20, grew up on a notorious estate in Lancaster and has experienced a number of disruptive influences from an early age. After a recent incident outside a local nightclub, Jack became determined to turn his life around. He has been into music for many years and after MCing on the local circuit moved into beat-boxing which has now become a huge part of his life and something which helps him focus his energies positively. For him, the experience has given him a totally different look on life and music and he has learned more about himself as well as become more confident as a performer.
An impressive natural talent, Will, 23, suffers from severe dyslexia and cannot read music. He was born with heart problems and had to have several operations at a young age. This meant that he was in a very fragile state as an infant and as he grew older was prevented from playing contact sports or taking part in any activities that might cause further heart problems. Will was encouraged by his Dad to take up the harmonica to help his breathing and his overall health and is now a professional musician. He really loved working with all the mentors and for him their support and encouragement made the project hugely enjoyable.
Afrika is a 20-year-old drummer from Bury St Edmunds. A survivor of abuse, Afrika discovered the drums at 13 almost accidentally at school and used to sneak into the music room during every lunch break to play until a teacher discovered her one day and arranged for her to take lessons. Afrika has recently completed a BA Honours degree in Popular Music at the Academy of Contemporary Music. She says that being in the band has been "the most amazing experience of my life".
After a series of psychological problems in his early teenage years, Lester started drinking. When he was 15 he had a drink spiked, resulting in an intense and negative mental experience. At the age of 17 a school friend was murdered, an incident which appeared to trigger a spiral of depression that culminated in Lester attempting to take his own life and subsequently spend some time in hospital. Lester is a hugely gifted multi-instrumentalist and song writer – often inspired by the things he has experienced. Lester has supportive friends and family and his music remains a profoundly important outlet for him.
An inspirational singer/songwriter, Natalie was diagnosed with depression six years ago. She is very open about mental health issues and recently worked for a mental health charity. She uses life experiences in her songs and strives to tackle unconventional themes in her compositions. Music is a hugely positive force in her life and allows her to focus her mind on the creative act of playing/writing/singing. She regards Aretha Franklin and Lauryn Hill among her vocal heroines and has a growing appetite for artists such as Bob Dylan and Tom Waits whom she regards as poets. Natalie is 21 and from Nottingham.
Jasdeep Singh Degun
Jasdeep pays for music lessons with grants and bursaries awarded to him for his natural musical talent as well as additional money from facilitating workshops, teaching and small gigs. He is striving to become a fully fledged professional Indian Classical sitar player and is hugely motivated – taking up every opportunity that presents itself. Because his family have no musical connections and because it is uncommon for classical sitar players to emerge from the Punjabi community, Jasdeep has been extremely isolated. The project has encouraged him to get involved in new styles of music and he is keen to showcase the sitar's versatility in different genres including dubstep and drum 'n' bass. Jasdeep is 19 and from Leeds.
A guitarist and bass player, 20-year-old Finn had a difficult childhood and has suffered from depression and anxiety in the past. For many years he has been geographically isolated, living on a small estate in the rural Highlands of Scotland. His stepfather has been a huge influence on him musically and Finn is a generous and positive artist with a powerful and distinctive musical voice. He says he could never have imagined himself playing heavy metal guitar solos at Buckingham Palace and hopes to be a music mentor himself one day.
Despite coming from a low income family, Vahan is determined to succeed in what is generally regarded as the 'wealthy and privileged' world of classical music. A relatively late starter on the flute (aged 14), North Yorkshire County Music Service provided Vahan with tuition whilst The Musician's Benevolent Fund have awarded him their highest bursary. As well as being a Grade 8 flautist, Vahan is also a gifted and almost entirely self-taught composer. He has written many orchestral pieces, a cello concerto, works for brass band and three musicals. During the training he was thrilled to have one-on-one tuition with his hero – flautist Sir James Galway. Vahan's ambition is to become a film composer in the spirit of his idol, Hans Zimmer.
Sean is 22 and plays the trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn euphonium and trombone. He contracted meningitis when he was three months old and was left severely deaf. At school, Sean lacked confidence and became increasingly isolated but was drawn to brass instruments because if he blew hard enough he could just about hear himself. He says he felt the concert at Buckingham Palace was a very rewarding experience and was well received. It made him more aware of what he was capable of. Sean lives in Liverpool.
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