Rich Mix Youth Take Over, a twentyone day arts festival covering music, media, film and theatre was hosted at Rich Mix in Shoreditch. As part of the festival series Capital XTRA’s Music Potential scheme sponsored the ‘True Skool Music Potential Special evening’ along with other sponsors such as Industry in the Streets and Big Creative Educations, the True Skool night was looming with a great deal of musical, cultural and educational support.

On Friday 12th August the 6th True Skool event took place. A community of young, talented and aspiring Londoners congregated to share their love for urban, hip-hop and smooth melodic vocals. Enthusiastically hosted by Fusion (Industry in the Streets MD) with surprise guests and Music Potential’s newest ambassadors, WSTRN, starting the show off. The group originates from West London and are a huge inspiration to those who attended and performed.

The True Skool scheme is a ten day ‘boot camp’ covering song writing, producing, performance, management and business skills. The students have the opportunity to work with some of the best professionals in the music industry, through 1-2-1 mentoring, talks, workshops and work experience. The end of the scheme provides the students with a recognised qualification to help them move into the music industry and pursue an exciting career.

It wasn’t long after WSTRN’s motivational appearance, when the eight selected students (selected by those in the business school group) appeared on stage to demonstrate their own talent and follow in their footsteps. In between performances MPX radio had the floor along with an Open Mic opportunity half way through. The True Skool organisation is not only based in London but in Birmingham too, providing the visiting Birmingham students an opportunity to jump on stage and show off their talent and passion too.

Those performing wrote their own songs, putting heart and soul into the lyrics and,  expressed their emotions meaningfully. They were supported by the Industry in the Streets Band, and incredible back-up singers to hand. Eeach performer excelled themselves with boundless enthusiasm, targeting one of the final four open positions to later perform at the iconic Camden Koko at Music Potential Live (Thursday 25th August 2016).

The performers offered a variety of different sounds and styles starting. First up was Habone a former BCE student, with smooth vocals and strong projection. Then on to Jo-Ash a with  hyperactive performance with a James Brown inspired style (outfit and all), and not to forget his red silk cape. Previous Brit School student Alia Aura was on third with a gospel backing to enhance her sound. To finish of the first half Roach TM arrived on stage with the crowd exploding. An interview was given after the performance with family and friends professing how proud they were and emphasising that the lyrics were ‘still clean’. The final four acts to appear during the show Aeo, Keedz, Paradox and Vulumn each representing their own individual lyrical style and stage presence. The community feel of the show was inspiring to see and be a part of. Each performer had an equal amount of support and encouragement from the crowed and each other.

Over all, the night and acts was an inspiring success.

By Katie Johnson – London Jam

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