The 2015 GUCCI Timepieces & Jewellery Scholars…
1. Karen Shiraishi – Vocalist/Pianist
Age: 16 years old
Instruments: Vocals, Piano/Keyboards, (a little guitar).
Musicians who I admire: Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, Joe Henderson, Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock, Sarah Vaughan, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, George Benson, John Mayer, Julian Joseph, Trevor Watkis, Claude Debussy, and Frédéric Chopin among others.
What I am doing musically:
I started playing the piano when I was 3 years old and like many pianists, I began with learning classical piano. I was always drawn to composers from the Romantic era as pieces from this era are harmonically rich and have lyrical melodies. In recent years I’ve developed a love for jazz, and ever since taking my grade 8 a couple of years ago (and therefore having enough technique to explore and branch out to other genres relatively smoothly) I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz and trying to emulate the ways in which some of my favourite artists play. I would say that jazz is the reason why I really started to enjoy playing the piano.
I like to compose music across styles from different genres and eras. I feel that my appreciation for harmony and development of musical motifs allow me to do this well.
As well as World Heart Beat, I am also a student at the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy, and a member of my school’s jazz band. Playing with other people has improved my confidence, as well as my ability to listen more attentively to other musicians.
My goals, dreams and aspirations: My goals are to perform at more venues, as well as to improve my piano playing, particularly in terms of improvising. I am aiming to take my piano diploma within the next year, not only for the possibility of applying for any conservatoires or universities in the future, but also to keep my technique up to a good standard. Someday, I would like to learn a new instrument, perhaps the trumpet.
Music is the one thing in my life that I am passionate about, and I dream of becoming a performer and composer, or any career within the music industry. Regardless of the career path I choose to take, music will undoubtedly be a constant in my life as it is my only true passion.
I’m very thankful for the Gucci Timepiece and Jewellery scholarship and the World Heart Beat Music Academy as this is the exact boost that I need in my progress and will help me immensely in reaching my goals.
2. Yannis Hannachi- Electronic Music
Musicians I admire: My inspirations and the musicians I admire are Calvin Harris, Bob Sinclar, David Guetta, Muddy Waters, Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake, Usher and Michael Jackson
Background: I was born in France. My mother is Algerian and my father French. I spent much of my early childhood in Algeria, traveling with my mother, an Algerian singer. At the age of 14, I moved to the UK and started to experiment with DJing. I also started to produce original music too at that time. I have recently started to learn the piano as well. “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”
What I am doing musically:
What I am doing musically: I play the piano and I also play the drums in my college’s band. Music production is also a massive part of my musical career as I mainly compose different genres of music, but I love ‘Dance music’. I have produced jingles for Wandsworth Radio, where I regular host and present the show ‘The World Heart Beat Hour?. Our radio show still has the record for the highest viewers since this launch of the community radio station. I also DJ at different events, where I share my music with other people and be creative with the harmony of mixing different genres together.
My dreams and Aspirations: My goals, dreams and aspirations: My goal is to be able to share my music around the world and to be able to tour and perform in different countries.
I’m grateful for the Gucci Timepiece and Jewellery scholarship because it has given me the unique opportunity to study and develop my passion, music, and to improve as musicians to achieve our dreams.
3. Lizzie Rochester – Vocalist
Musicians who I admire: Idina Menzel, Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone, Anthony Kiedis, Robert Smith, Bob Dylan, Damien Rice, Hozier, Sigur Rós, Norah Jones, Ella Fitzgerald
I started taking singing classes at 8 but I have always loved singing from a very early age. When I began, I mainly focused on musical theatre songs. This genre helped me build up the basic skills to become a confident singer and performer, but as I got older I felt the need to learn more about other genres and become more versatile. After finding the academy through friends more than a year ago, I feel I have improved so much. Not only in my singing but also my confidence and ability to work with other musicians. I have had the opportunity to learn about many different styles of music, like jazz and folk. I was also lucky enough to be a part of the Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery Scholarship last year and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Performing in Rome will forever be one of the most surreal yet exciting moments of my life and I will cherish it forever.
What I am doing musically: Currently, I am working on broadening my repertoire with my singing teacher, Daisy Chute and exploring different genres. I am studying Music A Level at school and performing wherever I can in concerts at the World Heart Beat Music Academy and other gigs.
My goals, dreams and aspirations: My main goals are to become a confident performer in all aspects of the word. I would love to learn another instrument such as the piano or the guitar. I also definitely want to perform for a living and to combine my talents in singing and acting in my future profession. Music and drama have always been two of the most important things in my life, and even though I don’t know what I want to do in the future, I know it will be something to do with music or the performing Arts.
I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to take part in the Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery Scholarship again. The World Heart Beat Music Academy has been a place of comfort and constant improvement for me and I couldn’t be happier to be a student there. Thank you!
4. Rachel Dyer – Vocals
Musicians I admire: Beyonce, Elaine Page, Lady Gaga, Banks, Raleigh Ritchie, Ben Howard, Tracy Chapman, Idina Menzel, Rodriguez, Tony Bennett, Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Barbra Streisand Labrinth, Beverly Knight, Justin Timberlake, Charli XCX, Gwen Stefani, Chet Faker, Lorde, Tove Lo… and MANY MANY MORE.
About Me: I’ve been singing ever since I can remember, I don’t recall a time in my life where music was not the main focus. I’ve loved musical theatre from a young age and I listen to Elaine Paige?s show on BBC Radio 2 every Sunday. I try to keep up to date on current number ones and I spend countless hours listening to the top 40.
What I am doing musically: My first memory of a musical performance is at the Scoop in Central London performing at the Thames Festival, I was only 8 and sung a solo. From then I have loved performing. I have been in partnership with The October Gallery composing pieces to go along side different exhibitions they have had. The October Galley pioneers the way for young artists from across the globe. Taking part in gamelan workshops had really sparked an interest in world music. In my degree I hope to further my understanding of different musical traditions and cultures.
I’m looking to continue with my song writing and hopefully start to record an EP. With the scholarship that Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery and the World Heart Beat Academy have gifted me, I be able to have one to one vocal training and also I hope to be able to further my piano skills and accompany myself at gigs and in the studio.
My goals, dreams and aspirations: In the short term my main goal is to secure a place at university for 2016 to study music. My future goal is to become a well rounded musician, with good knowledge of musical history as well as innovative musical ideas. I hope one day to inspire young musicians the same way my icons have influenced me. With great determination, self belief and motivation I think I could achieve my goals. I am thrilled by the idea of attending Grammy Camp and I feel being immersed in musical creation would help me reach my potential.
I will be forever grateful that the Gucci Timepiece and Jewellery scholarship and the World Heart Beat Music Academy are giving me the opportunity to further my musical skills and gain invaluable experience.
5. Mebrakh Johnson – Saxophone
Musicians who I admire: I am intrigued by Hans Zimmer’s Film music and find it very interesting, the way it fits so perfectly with the motion picture. I am also somewhat influenced by my teachers as they are amazing at what they do and push me to do the best I can, namely: Tony Kofi (Saxophone), Anna Ter Har (Flute) and Hawys Elis-Williams (Clarinet).
What I Am Doing Musically: Music is my passion. I spend most of my free time before school practising and feel a real satisfaction noticing the progress I make. I also really enjoy participating in the school’s Senior Jazz Band playing my Alto Saxophone, in Wind band playing Bass Clarinet, in String orchestra playing Double bass and in Flute ensemble. In Year 8 I played alto saxophone in the Yamaha Jazz Ensemble Improvisation Competition in the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. My school holds an annual Eistedfodd and last year I won the senior solo instrumentalist category so received the opportunity to perform with the Kensington Symphony Orchestra playing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto Mvt. 2 in front of an audience of 200. I also participate in a number of music ensembles namely the Youth Music Theatre Orchestra, under the direction of David White, and the World Heart Beat Music Academy, directed by Sahana Gero, where I play in the 51st State Band and enjoy performing to a packed-out audience at their concerts. From year 3, hearing my teacher play the clarinet, I was hooked; I had to learn it. As I have grown older and been involved in many different ensembles, my love and passion has grown to the point where I am now determined to develop my playing so that I have the opportunity to audition for music college.
Recently I performed alongside my teachers and professional musicians in the band for our school’s musical- ‘Oliver!’. Although each performing opportunity is very different, the memories that they bring are united in my mind because of the overwhelming feeling of pride, enjoyment and satisfaction that they gave me.
My Goals, Dreams, and Aspirations: My past experiences with music have made me realize I want to pursue this passion as my career. Particularly appealing to me is becoming a pit musician as it could allow me to have the versatility of being able to play clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone and flute.
6. Jordan Hadfield – Drums, Piano
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
Music hobbies: Composing tracks. For the last four years I have been playing a lot of steel pans. I have been teaching myself guitar and bass which is a fun challenge, want to learn a brass or woodwind instrument in the near future.
Sports: Motorsport (Moto GP, F1), Football and cricket mainly.
Awards: MDS award for Drums and piano
What I am doing musically:
First proper gigs were playing drums for my steel pan bands, who i went on tour with to Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy. My current school Chestunt Grove had renowned steel pans setup and we were invited to play at the Music For Youth festival in Birmingham three times and have played at the royal festival hall multiple times. I have played in various venues including Royal fest Hall with a little jazz group from the Centre For Young Musicians. Was asked 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. Performed at the Royal Festival Hall with a pop band that previously won ‘Young Performer’ at the iGospel Festival. 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 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
Instruments: Flute, Piccolo, Piano, Composition
Musicians I admire: My favourite flute composer so far is Ian Clarke because I love the contemporary style and it allows me to feel free. As well as playing music, I listen to music all the time. Some artists that have inspired me are: Ben Howard, The Kooks, Jack Johnson, Bajka, Ed Sheeran, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Corinne Bailey Rae, Coldplay, Bonobo, Arctic Monkeys, Lana Del Rey, Emeli Sande, London Grammar, Bob Marley, Birdy, Paloma Faith, Foster the People, Florence and the Machine, Quantic, Daughter, Rend Collective and more.
Background: I began playing the Flute at age 9 at my Primary School and I wanted to be the best that I could be, because I discovered I loved it so much. I practised lots and really liked the music I was able to create. At the end of that first school year of flute playing, I received the Year 5 Music Prize for outstanding achievement and progress, which really encouraged me and made me believe I could really do this! (I had started a year behind the other music pupils, as initially my school felt I was too shy to be successful in learning an instrument.)
From then I continued to try hard to achieve my potential and achieved Grade 8 in 2012. I am currently studying for my Performance Diploma.
What I am doing musically: When I started playing the flute I joined the 51st State Band which I really enjoyed being part of, right from the very first rehearsal. I was thrilled to receive a Jack Petchey Award for my dedication and contribution. I used the award to fund the purchase of a piccolo for the Band and I have loved being able to learn to play it since then.
I have played flute for some years as part of the Oasis Church Youth Band for emerging young worship leaders and composers/songwriters.
My dreams and aspirations: In the future as I would like to reach outside of my comfort zone with music by learning to play Jazz and performing it with others as we did in Rome. I would like to continue to progress with composition and create a variety of pieces. It would be wonderful if I could perform these pieces with a band. In addition I would like to learn how to play the guitar. I have taught myself so far, but I would like to become really good. Also I would really like to go to university to study music and become much more proficient and increasingly expressive in my flute playing. I am developing my piano playing skills and want to spend more and more time growing as a pianist and exploring different genres.
My Gucci Sponsorship: I am so thankful for being sponsored by Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery; it has opened up so many doors for me and I have been able to study composition at the World Heart Beat Music Academy which is something I really love. I have progressed so much since I started having the lessons and it is something I would like to pursue further and further. I love sitting at the piano and just playing whatever comes into my head. I often use these raw ideas for my compositions.
I was very fortunate to visit Rome to perform for Gucci Timepieces and Jewellery this year. We were privileged to be playing a number of pieces with the Oscar winner and renowned Italian composer Nicola Piovani! It was truly an incredible experience that I will never forget. I loved the people I went with and the venue was magnificent. I especially loved the jazz music that we played, it sounded great. Being in Rome, together with an ensemble of singers, guitarist, saxophonist and pianist on that stage was such a joy. It was definitely a step forward in my musical career. I would really love to do more performances like this playing similar music in the near future.
8. Carla Flores
Musicians who I admire: Gustavo Dudamel, Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, King Krule, The Carpenters, Ella Fitzgerald, Ludovico Einaudi, Ray Charles, Jerry Wexler, Gloria Estefan, Eva Cassidy.
Background: I started playing the violin at age 4/5 as I begged my mum for an instrument, stunned by the buskers I saw on the streets. Since then I’ve only really played classical music within violin flute and piano and its been at the World Heart Beat Academy where I’ve been able to learn and branch out to other genres. I’m starting to enjoy listening and feeling the music rather than just playing to pass a grade exam and that is what being a musician is all about. What I love and admire about the jazz musicians that I listen too at the academy is that they can play how they feel, not necessarily just what?s written. I?d love to someday be able to do that too.
What I am doing musically: I am currently going to the World Heart Beat Music Academy for singing and composition/songwriting and production lessons with Daisy Chute on Mondays. I love that it?s something I haven’t really tried before and through singing I find my confidence is boosted in other areas too. I also attend the jazz class with Tony Kofi and violin lessons and I hope to get my grade 8 soon. Learning jazz is definitely a challenge for me as its very different to what I’m used too, but I think it’s a fundamental aspect of the music industry and I?m very determined to be able to play confidently and enjoy music’s company through jazz. Every time I hear the jazz players I get more and more inspired by what they can do on the spot and this is a skill I hope to gain by attending these lessons. I also enjoy composing, mostly classical pieces for piano and solo instrument, however, recently with Daisy I’ve started to compose songs and I look forward to being able to produce my own tracks.
My goals, dreams and aspirations: I hope to start performing at venues and gigs. I try to take everything I’m given to get the most experience. I look forward to more concerts where I can work with others at the academy and play more and more genres that may be out of my comfort zone a little. I also hope to study music at university and would love to become a music producer in the future. Till then my goals would be to become more proficient in my instruments and become a flexible young musician by listening to more genres and more historically renowned musicians. Having never had singing lessons before, I hope to learn more and more about technique so that I can become a strong performer whatever the task may be. In terms of production, I hope to continue composing songs so I can keep learning about making tracks and the sound engineering side to music: the people behind the mic are extremely talented, but in my opinion the people behind the mixing board are also artists.
Without the Gucci Timepiece Scholarship, I wouldn’t be able to better myself musically and take lessons with international musicians. I wouldn’t be able to learn about jazz or other genres or take production lessons. I am so grateful that this opportunity has been given to me and others so we can hopefully continue to inspire others. This is truly every young musician’s dream, to have everything at their fingertips, so thank you.
9. Eluzai Ajie– Bass Guitar
Musicians that I admire: 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.
What I Am Doing Musically: 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
My Goals, 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. Omar Ambass
Instruments: Cello, Music Production/Composer, Tenor Saxophone, Conductor (a little Piano/keyboard)
Musicians I admire: Pharrell Williams ,Charlie Parker, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Kendrick Lamar,, Tony Kofi, Kenny Garrett, Hans Zimmer, J Cole, Labrinth (and many…many more)
About Me: I’ve been playing the Cello for the best part of 4 years. I play my acoustic cello with the IHL (In Harmony Lambeth) Holst orchestra which I attend 3 times a week. The average age range is from 9 to 13 year olds but older children such as my self are also involved in the orchestra.
What I am doing musically: I’ve played at multiple venues ranging from small events such as dinner parties, church, school stage, even simply outside on the grass with people stopping to watch, all the way to massive events such as music concerts in places like Devon, the O2 Arena and the Royal Festival Hall in Waterloo (which is now like a home to me). I also play solo pieces as well as with massive orchestras performing to audiences ranging anywhere from 5 people up to 1,000. I played and met famous musicians, conductors and orchestras such as Julian Lloyd Webber, Gustavo Dudamel & his Terressa Correno Orchestra de Venezuela, The London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), The Bejing Symphony Orchestra, to mention a few . During my time with the IHL I’ve visited many places such as BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall (QEH) and so on. I use my electric cello for live band performances such as gigs and school shows. To my amusement, playing a classical instrument in todays society is deemed “uncool” but to think that I have all this experience just because I picked up a cello is incredible. As for saxophone and piano and keyboard I have played at many venues such as church services, school performances and gigs. I have previously arranged an orchestral version of the pop song „Rather Be? by Clean Bandit. I have conducted pieces for the IHL orchestra as well as composed music. I hope one day I’ll get the chance to conduct my own music (Hopefully something Grammy Camp could be the platform for).
I’ve also started to run a small music business based around music technology/ music production called „Class 101 Music?(trademark). I offer to teach the young people of all ages who don’t have the chance or facilities to give music technology a go. My aim is to further my skills in music production and to eventually offer more services such as recording sessions, selling tracks, funding programmes and so on (eventually becoming a semi-independent label).
My goals, dreams and aspirations: My short-term aspirations are to gain experience and further develop my musical skills, both theoretical and practical, for all aspects of my musical career. My future goal is to become a well respected musician, producer/composer, performer and business person who can also teach and inspire future generations to come. With enough passion, determination, hard work and confidence I believe this is possible. I am excited about the possibility of attending Grammy Camp and feel this would offer me the right environment to reach my potential.
I’m truly grateful that the Gucci Timepiece and Jewellery scholarship and the World Heart Beat Music Academy are giving me the opportunity to further increase my musical abilities and gain experience from other talented musicians.
11. Ava Joseph – Vocals
Age: 14 years old
12. Wilf Cameron – Drums
Age: 15 years old
13. Tom Spargo – Clarinet/Saxophone
Age: 15 years old