Meet Our Talent 2014

1. Renato Paris – Vocalist/Songwriter

Age: 18
Graduation: 2014
Instruments: Vocals, Piano/Keyboards, Songwriting, Guitar, Bass, Drum Kit, Percussion.

Musical Heroes: Donny Hathaway, Nat King Cole, Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau, Bobby McFerrin, Julian Joseph and Chick Corea among others.

What I am doing musically:
I continue writing songs and composing in various styles, reaching outside of my comfort zone and experimenting with different timbres. I also enjoy using other languages within my music, performing hymns in Swahili and writing songs of my own in Italian. I have been introduced to the recording side of music and have learnt a lot by recording and mixing projects in the Sir George Martin Studio. Over the last year I have begun Co-writing some songs and have found it to be a rewarding experience.

I am constantly involved in rehearsals for performances, being in various groups within and outside of school including: Choirs, a Ska Band, an A capella group, a Guitar and Vocal duo and The Julian Joseph Jazz Academy. Alongside this I continue to perform solo when possible. I have spent time leading a band, for which I wrote all of the material and I am now concentrating my energies into developing a solo career. I am currently in my last year of studying Music at Britt School and will soon be beginning studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire where I have been awarded a scholarship on the Jazz course.

My main interests: Listening to, Creating and Playing Music, Eating, Keeping Fit, Reading and Relaxing

Where I have performed:
I have been selected to perform in many diverse settings: from intimate clubs and theatres to high profile events such as the London Jazz Festival – Both as a solo artist and with a band. I am honoured to have performed in Trafalgar Square and at the World Heart Beat Music Academy for the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, where I sung Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free”.

I have also provided musical entertainment services many times for Westfield Shopping centres in London. I feel that having performed with great respected UK Jazz musicians such as Julian Joseph and Soweto Kinch, at venues such as The 606 Club, The Albany and Wigmore Hall has added valuable experience and confidence to me as a young artist.

Awards:
I have recently been awarded a Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery Scholarship to The World Heartbeat Academy and am enjoying the wonderful atmosphere the academy has and playing with the great musicians that it attracts.

I am sincerely grateful to Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery for its support in helping to fund my musical education!


2. Sian Kelly – Vocalist/Songwriter

Age: 17
Graduation: 2014
Instruments: Voice, Guitar, Ukelele

Musical Heroes:
I enjoy a very wide variety of music, some of my musical heroes and influences include, Nirvana, Smashing pumpkins, Deftones, Beyonce, Emilie Sande, Dolly Parton, Tracey Chapman, The White Stripes, Bob Marley, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Kooks, Pearl Jam, Led Zepplin, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Moby, Incubus, Annie Lennox, Sound Garden, Damian Rice and many many more!!!

What I am doing musically:
I am currently part of The Stardust People Choir, which is a Jazz Improvisational choir, lead by vocalist Cleveland Watkiss at the World Heart Beat Music Academy. I also have singing lessons with Daisy Chute and teach guitar on occasion.

My main interests include playing both electric and acoustic guitar and singing. I have sung in a variety of different group choir practices of different vocal styles.

I have a passion for songwriting and am inspired by social issues, identity struggles, memories, experiences and life experiences-although I am only seventeen so I am waiting for more life experiences to be had -one of which is this very experience that the World Heart Beat Music Academy are giving me in choosing me as a Gucci watch and Jewellery scholar.

Although music is my life and singing is everything to me, I never had the opportunity to have any proper vocal training with one to one teaching on technique and this scholarship has given and will continue to give me this opportunity. I want to say thank you again to Gucci Watch and Jewellery for this music scholarship, you are making my dreams feel one step closer to reality.

In the last year, I won a Jack Petchey award for my commitment to music at the World Heart Beat Music Academy and I have performed at several concerts there including one to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech, with the 51st State Band at Putney Arts Theatre, the event at the Soho Hotel with Emile Sande and at the gorgeous Palazzo Corsini in Florence with the Gucci scholars. I’m really excited for the performance opportunities that I’m sure that the Gucci Timepieces and Jewelry will bring me this year and can’t express how grateful I am.


3. Lizzie Rochester – Vocalist

“Through Music I have built up a bigger self-confidence because I used to be quite shy and I didn’t really speak to people but through singing you find a different part of yourself and its helped me work with other people.

I have always loved singing. Currently, I am working with Daisy Chute, the vocal teacher at the World Heartbeat Academy to help me become the best musician I can be.

Before attending the World Heartbeat Academy I very rarely tried different genres out of my comfort zone but due to having such an amazing opportunity as the Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery Scholarship I am able to broaden my understanding of music and performance skills.


4. Quinn Oulton – Saxophone

Age: 18 years old
Graduation: 2014

I’m not entirely sure what path I want to follow after completing my jazz degree Royal Academy of Music, but I know for certain that music will be my main focus throughout my life. Without wanting to sound too predictable and clichéd, I honestly don’t know what I would do without music. It is my one true passion, and no matter what the future holds, I know it will always stay that way.

I have played the saxophone from the age of eight. I have always had a passion for jazz. Since I completed my grade 8 at the age of 11, I have been studying jazz in great depth, and learning the intricate details and techniques of how to improvise. I also enjoy mentoring and teaching the younger students of the 51st State Band and at the World Heart Beat Reggae School.

I am so grateful to have been awarded a scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Music in September, and I am so grateful for the Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery scholarship, for giving me the support I have needed to get to where I am today.
I have been writing music since I was 9 years old and with my own band, Jazz Code and have played at Lovewood Festival in May 2009.? Thank you Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery for putting so much work into our scholarship programme. It’s a brilliant opportunity, the step up I need and I really appreciate all you’ve done.


5. Mansur Brown – Guitarist

Graduation: 2015
Age: 17
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Piano

Musical Heroes
The musicians I currently look up to include: Wes Montgomery, Chick Corea, George Benson, Michel Camillo, Bach and Frederic Chopin.

I started playing the guitar in 2008 while I was in primary school. I was primarily influenced by the guitarist Jimi Hendrix, an innovator for rock music as well as blues music, and he was the very reason I started to play the guitar. As my music knowledge began to expand I started to seek musical knowledge from not only guitarists but also from pianists, saxophonists and other instrumentalists. This also encouraged me to learn other instruments including bass and piano.

I have performed in some beautiful venues such as Ronnie Scotts, World Heart Beat Music Academy, Jazz on hill, Putney Arts Theatre, Pallazo Corsini, Florece, St Regis Hotel in Florence. I was also involved in the Love abridged project where some young musicians using the theme of Love & Romance, performed some popular songs and gave them a Jazz flavour at some great interesting and unusual locations in London on Valentine’s Day February 14th 2013., including The Emirates Air Line (Cable Car/Terminal) – Greenwich Peninsula. The locations all had a connected underlying theme, which is linked together by water, bridges, and transport.

My dream is to do something to do with music, be it a solo artist, a recording artist, a session musician, a musician on the live scene and to have Gucci Watches and Jewellery sponsor and support me on my dream is phenomenal. I hope to be able return them the favour in the future.


6. Jordan Hadfield – Drums

Age: 16
Graduation: 2016
Instruments: Drums, piano, Guitar, Bass Guitar

Musical Heroes:
People who genuinely changed my playing are (In no particular order): Steely Dan, Miles Davis, Bill Bruford, Simon Phillips, Jaco Pastorious, Dennis Chambers, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Steve Gadd, Jesper Hoiby, Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock, Charles Mingus, Mark Guiliana, Amy Winehouse, Branford Marsalis, Dave Weckl, Mark Mondesir, Avishai Cohen, Esbjorn Svensson, Queen, Eric Harland, Zero 7, Vinnie Calaiuta, Sting, Larnell Lewis, Bernard Purdie, Dave Douglas, Ian Dury, Stan Getz, Gil Scott-Heron, Chris Dave, Mike League, Peter Erskine, Robert Searight, Larnell Lewis, Ronald Bruner jr, Aaron Spears, Phil Collins

My main interests: Composing tracks. For the last four years I’ve been playing a lot of steel pans. I have been teaching myself guitar and bass, which is a fun challenge, I want to learn a brass or woodwind instrument in the near future. I also like Sports: Motorsport (Moto GP, F1), Football and cricket mainly.

Awards: MDS award for Drums and piano

What I am doing musically:
My first proper gigs were playing drums for my school’s steel pan bands. I went on tour with them to Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy. My current school Chestunt Grove has a renowned steel pans setup. As a result, we were also invited to play at the Music For Youth festival in Birmingham three times and I have played at the Royal Festival Hall multiple times. I have performed at the Royal Festival Hall with a pop band that previously won ‘Young Performer’ at the I Gospel Festival and played for a big band with a choir of over 200 people behind us (in which i played a solo) at the Royal festival hall.

I have played in various venues including going out to Spain to play in a Folk Festival for a week. I have performed at Kings Place (HQ of the London sinfonietta) with the KX collective run by one of Europe’s leading composers, Fraiser Trainer.

I composed and performed the music for a new play with IYT (Islington Youth Theatre) after being commissioned by the writer, Ned Glasier.

I am extremely grateful for the Gucci Timepiece and Jewellery music scholarship because it will help me progress and grow as a player and as a person with the opportunities it opens up. But ultimately this scholarship will help me achieve my aims and goals and I could never ask for more than that.


7. Leah Wing – Flute

Graduation: 2017
Instruments: Flute, Piano, Guitar, Composition

What I am doing musically:
I started learning the flute when I was 10 because I thought that the sound was absolutely beautiful. I am also learning the Piano and I really enjoy this because I am starting to write my own music with it

I also regularly play with the 51st State Band, and with the Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra. I have performed with the Julian Joseph Jazz Trio in the 51st State Band at the Royal Festival Hall and with Stoneleigh at Cadogan Hall and at St. John’s Smith Square.

I am so grateful to the Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery Scholarship because it means that I am able to have composition lessons with a top composer at the World Heart Beat Music Academy. Writing music for a living is something that I would like to pursue and perhaps do in the future.


8. Yannis Hanachi – Electronic Music

Age: 16
Graduation: 2016
Instruments: piano and composition

Musical Heroes: Trance, Blues and R & B music, Some of my influences include Muddy Waters, David Guetta, Calvin Harris and Will.i.am. I have a great appreciation for what these artists have done for modern music, including how David Guetta changed American radio by incorporating house music into modern pop and Calvin Harris’ unique influence in creating a new genre of pop.

What I am doing musically: I was born in France. My mother is Algerian and my father French. I spent much of my early childhood in Algeria, travelling with my mother, an Algerian singer.

At 14 I moved to the UK and started to experiment with DJing, introduced by my brother. I also started to produce original music too at that time. I have recently started to learn the piano and performed at a concert at the World Heart Beat Music Academy in tribute of Martin Luther King Jr., playing with Tony Kofi and Trevor Watkiss.

“I love the way music has the ability to reach so many different people, regardless of language or location, because it can be universally understood. The way music resonates on a universal scale is especially important to me”

I am extremely grateful to this Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery scholarship as it will give me the opportunity to learn production and composition and to extend my musical training even more by taking formal piano classes.

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9. Eluzai Ajie – Bass Guitar

Graduation: 2015
Age: 17
Instruments: Bass, trumpet, piano, vocals,

Coming from a very musical family I grew up listening to a lot of music. I started playing the guitar at the age of 7 but listening to bassists such as James Jameson inspired me to want to start learning the bass.

My main interests: are progressing at bass, improving my technique, playing and collaborating with other musicians my age.

Musical heroes: James Jameson, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooton, Ahmad Jamal, Fela Kuti, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Chick Corea, George Benson, Jimi Hendrix, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Bach, Miles Davis, Snarky Puppy, Bob Marley, J Dilla, Sharay Reed, James Brown, MonoNeon and my brother Ezekiel.

My Dreams and Aspirations:

My aims are to travel around the world playing music, and to start composing. I would also like to motivate young people and change people’s lives through music and giving them the opportunities that I have had and more that I haven’t had.

I am really grateful to this brilliant programme and Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery for sponsoring me. It has already been a great experience; I have learnt a lot and have enjoyed meeting new people and playing with them and look forward to learning much more.


10. Jonelle Dadson – Clarinet/Saxophone

Graduation: 2016
Age: 16
Instruments: Saxophone, clarinet

Musical Heroes:
Kirk Whalum, Tony Kofi, Jason Derulo, Chris Brown, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Aloe Blacc and Amerie

What I am doing musically:
I play Bass Clarinet in band at school. I also compose my own music

My Dreams and Aspirations:
I’m really grateful to Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery as this scholarship means that I will be able to have music lessons that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise afford and it means I can develop more as a musician. It also means that I can fulfil a dream of mine to learn the Saxophone and to learn how to improvise and play Jazz. I have just embarked on this journey and have been given the opportunity to study with Tony Kofi, a great musician and teachers at World Heart Beat Music Academy.

I hope to do music at university once I have left school and to work as a musician or in the music industry in the future.

Awards:
I’ve won a few music awards – best in my year at music at school for the past three years.

Played at:
I’ve played at Royal Festival Hall with my school and the Clapham Grand as part of a band.


11. Ava Joseph – Vocals


12. Wilf Cameron – Drums


13. Tom Spargo – Clarinet/Saxophone


Meet the 2013 GUCCI Timepieces & Jewellery Scholars

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Comments:

  1. David R. Sears August 6, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    Hi
    I just wanted to send you a note thanking you for all the work you do with those young people. It was an outstanding group of candidates you sent us. I wish we could have accepted more.

    Best

    David R. Sears
    Executive Education Director

    The GRAMMY Foundation

  2. Amelia August 6, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    all 10 of these are stunning! I am so impressed all over again! Thank you so much for all your hard work.

    KR

    Amelia

  3. Steve Holland August 6, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Thank you for sharing your student’s talent with us, have watched them all and am so pleased you have such a strong group again.
    We look forward to working with them all this year at different events and hope they really benefit from the tuition we can provide.
    I can’t wait to meet them.

    Best regards
    Steve Holland
    UK Managing Director & Worldwide Travel Retail Director
    Gucci Timepieces & Jewellery

  4. Veronica August 6, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    What those students were saying on the videos had me so near to tears! How could Gucci choose only two!?!
    A great set of videos for Gucci.
    Love Veronica

  5. Jordan August 6, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    Grammy camp was the best thing I’ve ever done in all of my existence and I will be forever grateful for you giving me the opportunity to go, so thank you so much 🙂

    Jordan

  6. Katia August 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    Thank you Sahana for sharing this, it motivates us more and more each day to pursue and continue to give plenty of energy in this project!

    Sunny regards,
    Katia

  7. Amelia Baker August 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    As you may already know, two of the students that we sponsor at the music academy went off to Grammy Camp last Saturday and last night one of our students, Renato volunteered with two other songwriting students to get up on stage with L.A songwriter Sam Salter to write the lyrics and melody of a song live in front of the rest of the camp. In just 90 mins this is what they came up with…

    http://www.grammycampradio.com/

    I don’t know about you but I am feeling immensely proud right now! 🙂

    Amelia Baker

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