This month thousands of young hopefuls have auditioned for Talent Rocks Live – the Biggest and Best Youth Talent Showcase and Expo. Talent Rocks LIVE auditions are being held in the cosmopolitan city of Oxford over the 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th of April to find The UK’s most promising talent in Fashion, Music, Art, Dance, and Theatre.

The new showcase was launched in January this year by L and M Marketing Group Ltd with media partners MUZU.TV, and Absolute Radio Group’s Glide and Jack FM. Other sponsors include Anne Veck Salons and Templars Square Shopping Centre. Founder Lydiah Igweh said “the concept of Talent Rocks LIVE was born out of the success of our regional showcase and awards Talent Oxford we felt there was a gap in the market for creative arts enthusiasts to showcase their talents and to network with like minded individuals and industry experts. We are keen to provide a rewarding platform and exposure for talented young people”.



We are expecting up to 5000 people to attend and have lots in store for all involved. We have a combination of different dance performances incorporating different styles such as tap, ballet, contemporary, jazz, street and belly dancing with a special performance from 2010 Sky 1’s got to dance semi finalists Trilogy. The theatre show will tickle the taste buds of musical lovers with snippets from famous musicals like West Side Story, Hairspray, Grease, and of course High School Musical and Wicked and even a Michael Jackson tribute is scheduled.

Amongst the theatre and dance highlights are the hair and fashion sections of the two day showcase. Anne Veck Salons who are sponsoring this year’s Talent Rocks Live and are set to wow the audience with a spectacular Avant Garde Hair Show. Anne Veck has worked with brands such as L’Oreal and Matrix and has recently been in a show alongside Gok Wan. Categories in the fashion show will include Couture, Vintage, High Street, Beachwear, Lingerie, and Evening Wear and Dance Wear as well as showcasing young designer’s collections. Anne Veck will also be styling the hair of all 40 models including Britain’s Next Top Model Jasmia Robinson who is co-hosting the weekend alongside Channel  4’s Shipwrecked contestant Marvyn Williams.

Other live performances include Mumzy Stranger – winner of this year’s Asian Music Awards best Urban Act presented by Alicia Dixon. Red lights One who supported  2010 X-factor boy band One Direction and Taz (aka) Tesmond Rowe known for making Dizzy rascal’s first single ‘jus a rascal’.

Talent Rocks Live is the biggest and best youth talent showcase and expo giving young people up to 25 years old a platform to showcase their talents, and network. The 2 day showcase will have over 400 performers and young people taking part in the Dance, Fashion, Music, Theatre and Art Show as well as top brands and key movers and shakers from the creative industries looking for the next big thing.

Successful applicants will be announced by the end of April on the Talent Rocks LIVE MUZU.TV channel details are available via the Talent Rocks Live website  www.talentrockslive.co.uk. This is a weekend of LIVE entertainment and jaw stopping shows that will tick the box for the whole family and those who truly appreciate the arts.

MUMZY STRANGER

April 12, 2011

Most nominated artist of the UK AMAS 2011. He will be performing at Talent Rocks LIVE 2011.

He is the first and only artist of Bengali descent to have entered the mainstream music industry and is one the latest prospect of British R&B artists in Britain.

When did you get interested in music? Were there any influences from your family to start singing?

I was always interested in music, well, according to my mother. She once told me that, as a very young child, I would try to sing along whenever the TV or the radio was playing music! And yes, I would say there were influences within my family to start singing and MC’ing, as my brothers used to DJ and mix all kinds of genres together. I would listen and begin to freestyle lyrics to whatever they played. This is when I realized music was truly for me and that it wasn’t just a hobby, but a direction. 

Tell us about your new video Fly With Me, you produced yourself, right?

Yes, I produced and wrote the lyrics to ‘Fly With Me’ and it’s something that I am really proud of. The video was simply about a guy who desires this girl of his dreams and while he is in a meeting at work he thinks about being with her and just taking her to fly away without having to think about anything else but them. In other words, it’s a feel-good track
J

You will be performing at the Talent Rocks LIVE in June 2011, how is it to be part of the event?

Being part of an event like Talent Rocks LIVE is brilliant, as I am a great supporter of any show that provides a platform to showcase talent and Talent Rocks LIVE does exactly this and more. I look forward to performing at the event in June and hopefully will get to watch the rest of performers.

How do you cope with the pressures of performing in front of a huge crowd?

I believe confidence within yourself is the key. When I am on stage performing in front of huge crowds, I look around and feel amazed by the all the different faces watching me. So I let my music do the talking and the fans just make it easier by singing along and dancing away! It’s aphenomenal feeling and it’s exactly why I do my music.

What do you want to achieve from your music?

I’ve always wanted two things to be the outcome from my music. One is to be recognized by a unique sound whether it is by my voice or my production, and the other is to allow other talent out there to follow through without having to go through such a difficult journey like I did.

What advice would you give to young people wanting to get into the industry?

Keep working hard and be your own critic! When I create a song, I listen to it over and over again and improve on it until I know for certain that I have put in my full effort. The most important thing I would say is: don’t rush your music, take your time, don’t let anyone put you down and always be patient!

Your music and style have been compared with Sean Paul, how does that make you feel?

It is amazing that my music style has been compared with Sean Paul, as he is certainly an inspirational artist. I feel honored to have had this comparison made.

What can we expect from Mumzy Stranger in 2011?

This year is very exciting for me and my team, as I am not only working on my own music, but being a producer I have been developing a young artist of my own for the past 2 years. He is my first prodigy and I look forward to unleashing his first single in April 2011 which features myself. I will also be releasing three new singles and a new album with some amazing collaborations in the pipeline!

And finally, would you like to give a message to your Talent Life Magazine readers?

I would just like to thank all the Talent Life Magazine readers for supporting me over the years and, if you don’t know who I am, please do check out my stuff out as I really do need your support! Hope you all continue to enjoy my music as much I enjoy producing it for you all! Big shout out to Talent Life Magazine and see you all at the Talent Rocks LIVE event in June! Much Love – Mumzy Stranger




 

     Tell us a bit of yourself, give us a little intro. 

Well, I’m Jasmia Robinson, I’m a Model, Singer, Presenter and Dating Coach and I started my career in a Reality TV show called Britain’s Next Top Model

When and why did you decide to become a model?

When I was a small child my cousin and I used to play dress up and perform fashion shows for our parents, so I think it stemmed from there. But throughout the years I’ve always been interested in fashion and I was and still am a fan of American Next Top Model! I love Tyra and see her as a role model. I think she makes you believe you could do anything.

How did you decide to audition to become British Next Top Model?

I actually applied for the first year but I didn’t receive the application form, so when the second year came around I was determined to be on the show. Don’t get me wrong, I was running on adrenalin and sort of thought it would be a laugh doing the video. I didn’t think for one second that I would get on the show, let alone get to the final.

What was the best part of the British Next Top Model competition?

The best part of the show was actually meeting the other girls, it’s a shame I don’t really see them as much as I would like. Also, getting to work with major brands and going to events, and just the actual learning of what it takes to be a model.

My favorite shoot in the show was when we went to Morocco, that was amazing! I still can’t believe that happened.

You will be hosting all the shows with Marvyn Williams at the Talent Rocks LIVE in June 2011, how is it to be part of the event?

Oh, it’s such an honour I’m feeling very privileged. I told Marvyn to get ready to have some fun!!! I feel that this is an important event that will showcases raw talent and I just can’t wait.

When did you decide to become a singer?

This has been a very recent thing for me and I have only been carrying this title for the last year. Music has always been a passion of mine so I am just happy that I have the opportunity to explore it.

How would you describe your music style?

Ok, wait for it… “Kylie meets Wiley”! My aim is to take the best of both worlds (pop and underground) and create something fabulous. I have so many different influences from pop to reggae to electro to dub step. I just hope people like what they hear.

What can we expect from Jasmia Robinson in 2011?

Oh my, so much is happening already this year, I’m releasing the first single ‘Diva Style’ so that involves so much: shooting the video, doing shows, doing promo. Also I have a few ad campaigns coming out later on in the year and I’m going to Jamaica for the first time ever to do Caribbean Fashion Week which should be great fun. 

 And finally… what’s your top style/beauty tip for Talent Life Magazine readers?

At the moment I would say frozen spoons! I’m super busy and get very bad bags under my eyes when I’m not fully rested. So I take two spoons and put them in the freezer over night and in the morning before I do my make up I place them on my eyes for five to ten minutes and it reduces the puffiness perfectly. I like to call it “my mini meditation” as I take this time to focus myself and plan my day.

    

J-SOL

April 12, 2011

For those who don’t know who you are, give us a little intro.

Hahahaha! Well, I don’t expect a lot of people to know who I am right now in my career, so here it goes: my name is J-SoL inspired by my maiden name. I’m 17 years old singer and songwriter from Essex and currently I go to The BRIT School. I work in a JLS tribute band as the lead singer (Aston) which is really cool. I grew up singing at the age of 7 in a gospel choir at my dad’s church.

Tell us a bit about your music.

I like to think my music has me written all over it. I try and start all my tracks saying either ‘J-SoL’ in the beginning or ‘U-Know’ to let listeners know for sure. My music ranges from pop, R&B, soul, funk, gospel etc. I don’t like to limit myself, but to keep testing the waters. My latest song ‘Season For Love’ is a feel good inspirational song inspired by the tragedy in Japan. Music is so strong and I want my music to make the world happy and to make them dance.

If you could only collaborate with one person, who would it be?

Can I pick three? Hahaha, only kidding! Okay, honestly it would be between Michael Jackson, Usher and Beyonce (but I’m going to say Destiny’s Child, why pick one when you can have three?). Overall it would be Usher. Everything I do has been inspired by him and he is one of the greatest artist of all time, plus I aspire to be as successful as him one day.

How was to perform with some of Talent Oxford artists on the Spotlight Sunday?

It was amazing! The talents I was watching on the night were phenomenal. It takes so much courage to walk onto a stage. A lot of people looked more confident than me, I was so nervous, I’m always nervous. But Oxford is always so welcoming and a lot of my first ever fans are from there, so it would always be my first place to go and perform. Plus the Chinese and Indian food here is BEAUTIFUL!

What was the funniest or strangest thing that ever happened in a concert?

Last Christmas I was in Dartford doing a JLS gig in front of 1,500 hardcore JLS fans and I forgot the lyrics for ‘Beat Again’ so I made it up. The whole crowd started singing the original lyrics, so I just held out my mic. It was so funny! I looked so silly, but they were loving the spotlight for 3mins.

What can we expect from J-SoL in 2011?

Expect the unexpected, because I will be surprising people with my latest songs. Expect more shows, hopefully even a music video. I’m really pushing to make that happen. Everything else is a secret so no gossiping.

What advice would you give to young people wanting to get into the industry?

The most important thing to do is work hard. Unless you are born in the Royal Family or the Jacksons, then it won’t come easy, but the end result would be worth it. Also invest in whatever it is you do, nothing in life is free, believe me. But always remember nothing is impossible, if you can dream it then you can achieve it, you just have to wake up and pursue it. The world is your oyster.



This month we had the opportunity to catch up with the very talented finalist of 2009 X-Factor, Graziella Affinita.

Give us a little intro of yourself.

My name is Graziella and I have been a professional singer and song writer for about 10 years. I grew up listening to jazz, motown, big band, rock and soul music. I started within hip hop music at 16 with a crew called Underground Alliance and then toured with the Foreign Beggars, who are a worldwide critically acclaimed UK hip hop/grime act. I am now one half of Scarlet Lowe.

How did you decide to audition to The X-Factor?

It’s funny, I never saw myself taking part in a TV show such as this. Every year it was on, my family would tell me to audition, but I didn’t think it was right for me. I thought maybe I was too raw or underground or I might just fail the first round, but my cousin had faith so entered me in without me even knowing.  And when I received the letter that I got a place in the preliminary audition, I thought “Ehhhh, why not?! If I’m crap… then I’m crap and I should maybe put the mic down and start knitting or quantum physics or something” hahahaha, so I went for it! And got through and kept on getting through… I was surprised myself!

What was the best part of The X-Factor?

I think my favourite part was learning how the wheel turned, watching how stars were made and meeting the gods who made the world spin. It’s such an interesting process to be a part of, a lot of hard work and a lot of drive was needed to continue. It’s a blessed opportunity for anyone who wants to try it. You know, thinking about it, the WHOLE process is the best part. I’m a vigilant animal so I definitely gained what I needed from the experience.

What are the plans for Miss Frank in 2011?

Sadly yet beautifully Miss Frank has moved on! And I have teamed up with Shar Alexandra of Miss Frank and created SCARLET LOWE. I’ve added the press release so you guys can check it out. But yeah, my plan is to keep on moving forward, even if some of those roads bring us back to the start. I intend to grow and nurture a project-album that is mine and Shar’s, take it on tour and provide some banging tunes! It’s all about the music for me, I’m not a money fiend. I could be broke with a guitar than rich with no voice.

Who are your music icons?

Wow! I hate this question, I get stuck like a Super Mario Brother in quick sand every time I’m asked it! Off the top of my head right now, I’m feeling Janelle Monae, Andre 3000, Erykah Badu, Frank Sinatra, Jamie Lidell, DJ Vadim, Dead Weather, Subharmonic Orchestra, Flux Pavillion and A LOT of Chase and Status.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be with?

EVERYONE ABOVE!!! OH MY GOD, if I ever got the chance…!

What was the funniest or strangest thing that ever happened in a concert?

Boy…. What could’ve been funny for me might have not been funny for someone else, hahahaha!  I take everything with a pinch of sizzalt. I remember one time we only had one mic and it wasn’t working properly so I threw it on the floor and started belting a capella and so did the other girls, haha! It was horrible… but now I look back and laugh.

Do you use your Italian-Filipino side to make your songs?

I don’t speak Filipino but do speak Italian and have written songs and choruses in Italian and have performed them in Italy and Spain. But also in Spain I sang in Spanish because I can now speak Spanish. I have also written a chorus that rhymes in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German, it’s crazy! I say the same thing in each language and it ALL rhymes in its own language. Also I toured in Cyprus with a Greek band for (on and off) 3 years so I can speak a bit of Greek and I can read all it though.

You will be performing at the Talent Rocks LIVE in June 2011, how is it to be part of the event?

It’s great, yes! I will be performing and judging, I think. It’s always good to take part in these events, I’m SO down with growing with communities and hearing and watching what the youth have to show.

And finally, would you like to give a message to your Talent Life Magazine fans?

I have fans?? WOW, COOOOOLLLL!!! Thanks for the support guys!! I hope Scarlet Lowe will keep you supporting to the end! Much RESPECT!

Aiming to Please

April 5, 2011

With the band on tour, we caught up with Bullet For My Valentine guitarist Padge about the band’s experiences during 2010, what floats their boat musically and how it feels to be one of the most established metal bands around.

Looking at your touring schedule for the past few months, you guys have had a pretty busy year! What would you pick out as your 2010 highlights?

We’ve done some really big performances, it was great touring with big bands like Metallica and seeing everyone backstage from fellow bands – playing Wembley Arena was an amazing experience, probably our highlight.

It must have been an incredible experience playing to that many people. Do you like playing to thousands of fans, or does the band still prefer the smaller more intimate gigs?

Well, both experiences are very different and have really different vibes. Big shows have the atmosphere of the audience and more production with a bigger stage, which is always a great experience. But I enjoy both, the main thing is obviously just performing with the band. I like going back to play the smaller clubs in certain territories.

You’ve been touring and appearing with an impressive line up of other artists in the past year. Do you like appearing as part of festival line up or do you guys prefer performing as the headline act?

Both have their advantages to be honest. As a band, your own shows are always great and you know you are going to get an amazing feeling from the fans. But at the shows with a bigger line up, you get to see all of your friends in other bands. I like both.

Do you think it is a better experience watching bands back stage or as part of an audience?

Unfortunately it has got to the point where we can’t just join the crowd anymore! Our best bet is to stay on stage to watch and hope no one sees us! But we still love watching other bands.

Did you all go to gigs frequently when you were growing up? Is that what inspired you to go into music and performing live?

Yeah, we definitely went to go and see a lot of live bands as teenagers. You remember seeing the big bands, like Motorhead, seeing them perform live. The big rock and metal bands have definitely influenced us.

Obviously you are hailed as one of the best bands ever to come out of Wales Does your home country influence how you sound?

Not really; I wouldn’t say our music sounds Welsh at all really. It sounds more American, as I say big US metal bands have always inspired us.

So even though you have a massive following in the rest of Europe, would you say the US metal scene has influenced you the most?

Definitely bands like Metallica and Guns and Roses, yes, bands that we have seen a lot of in the past and we still see a lot of on tour.

We know you are all passionate about performing live, what about being in the studio? Do you ever prefer recording material for the album to being on stage?

We definitely prefer performing live to an audience. I’d much rather be performing live than sitting about with a guitar! I like living in the moment.

What comes first when you are writing songs, the music or the lyrics?

The guitar nearly always comes first. One guitar rift, or maybe a couple of rifts, and the song rolls from there.

Despite being busy with touring and new music, it is clear that you all keep on track with what’s happening in the world of metal and thrash. Who are you impressed with at the moment? Is there anyone outside this genre you admire?

We do take a look at what’s out there and we are lucky to have been touring with some talented bands this year, like Rite to Remain. Outside of rock and metal, there are definitely people we like – Tom Neil is pretty good! (London based folk artist).

How does it feel having crossed over from one age group of fans to another? Are you seeing a new wave of fans coming through?

Definitely; we have been on tour now for seven years, so we are definitely one of the older bands on the circuit! We see our older fans still with us and then we see the new fans coming to our gigs as well, it is brilliant.

 

For more information about the band, their most recent album ‘Fever’ and up and coming tour dates, visit the official Bullet For My Valentine website: www.bulletformyvalentine.com


We were keen to catch up with local dance troupe Nemisis, Britain’s Got Talent Finalists in 2008. They’ve currently been touring schools and holding dance workshops across the country. We found out what it was like to make it to the Britain’s Got Talent finals and about the intensive training that Nemisis do.

 What inspired you to go into schools and do workshops with young children?

We wanted to help people enjoy dance more. We wanted to get children to be healthier.

How did all of Nemisis meet?

We were all in other dance groups and we all just came together.

What inspired all of you to get into street dancing?

Well, we all have different inspirations. Street dance is in. Dance is such a big phenomenon now. After we were on Britain’s Got Talent, it just took off.

You’re in a band called Portlan as well, is that right?

Yea, we were in a band but we thought we might as well stick to what we’re good at. We’re not saying we’re never going to do it. It’s another avenue. Definitely music and dance is a great idea, so we need to play with that.

How many hours a week do you have to train?                                                                         

We probably do about five hours of training a day! It’s very full on.

What was it like performing in front of Simon Cowell?

It was actually really good!

Nemisis reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent, what was that like?
It was a really good and awesome experience. We didn’t even expect to get to the semi-finals, so that was a shock for us. But yeah, we loved every minute of it. 

What are the highs and lows of being a dancer?

The highs would be that it’s very satisfying and the lows would be the physical side of things.

You’re touring with Peridot and Twist and Pulse, are you excited about that?

Yes, we can’t wait!

You’ve got a big following online via Facebook and YouTube. How big a part do you think YouTube played in your success?

That’s how we got our name out there and recognised. That’s how Peridot and Twist and Pulse found us.

What can we expect from Nemisis next year?

Loads of laughs and jokes. We’re just three fun guys but we’re also very serious about what we’re doing. Expect a lot from us! We’ll also be doing lots of workshops.

What advice would you give to young people wanting to get into the industry?

Never ever give up!

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We wish you all the luck for the future, Nemisis. We love that the boys are teaching workshops in schools. What a great way to get involved in an interactive activity! If only Talent Oxford were back at school again…

April 5, 2011

THE OXFORDSHIRE YOUTH AWARDS 2011

On Thursday 20th January, the Oxford Town Hall came alive with talent as over three hundred young people and their families, including ten of our accomplished Talent Oxford performers, gathered for an amazing ceremony to celebrate youth achievement.

The third annual Oxfordshire Youth Awards, organised by the Oxfordshire Association for Young People, were held to highlight the positive side of young people in the Oxfordshire community. Over a hundred 11 – 18 year olds were nominated and the final decisions were also in the hands of a panel of dedicated young people. The night was not only held to celebrate talent. The strength, bravery and courage of young people who had faced incredible adversity in their lives was also awarded, and the final decisions were also in the hands of a panel of dedicated young people.      

 There were six awards - The Individual Bravery Award (awarded to 14 year old Beatrice Carr who had to adapt to life in a wheel chair after complication during a spinal operation), The Jake Spicer Award for bravery was (given to Kais, who has embraced life in the UK after fleeing the terror of war in Afghanistan aged only eleven), The Community Award (given to 15 year old Bea Curtis from Fitzharrys School in Abingdon where she acts as a peer mentor for Year Seven students), The Sports Award (given to 16 year old Fran Groves who this year won a silver medal at the World Sports Acrobatic Championships), and the Volunteer Award (won by 14 year old Josh Boffin who volunteers for St John’s Ambulance). The Arts Award was given for achievement in the wide field of the arts, and was given to Catherine Turvey for her book of short stories and poems ‘A Voice Within’, which has now been published. Amongst the many nominees for this award were ten of our Talent Oxford performers (Jake Dean, Nina Reiber Hodgson, Livvy Frazer Smith, Renetta Eagle, Ryan Anderson, Andrew McIntosh, Yasmin Wren, Jamie Felton, Ellie Brown and Ebony Cantwell), who were put forward for their dedication to honing their acts for the Talent Oxford Christmas Concert last year, and their individual achievements in performing arts. All received a certificate, and had their moment on stage.

The night was not only about the awards, but also about the performances – local youth choir Tenacity impressed the audience with two wonderful numbers, dancers coached at Emma Jane Greig’s dance school opened proceedings with a bang, and incredible solo performances were given by some of our Talent Oxford 2010 finalists Andy, Ryan, Jamie, Nina and Jake. 

A fantastic night was had by all, and everyone walked away inspired and proud of the many amazing achievements of the young people of Oxfordshire. 


Pop’s Young Dream

April 5, 2011

This month Talent Life caught up with pop sensation 18 year old Alexis Jordan. Having already sung in front of music legends such as Simon Cowell, James Brown and Smokey Robinson Talent Oxford were keen to find out what’s next for the young talented star.

Hi Alexis, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. How would you describe your musical style?

I would say it’s classic with some pop, it’s very world wide, very versatile.

You’ve sung in front of some big names such as, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, were you nervous?

I guess I wasn’t that nervous, because I was only 11 and because I didn’t really realise how big they were as stars then. I was pumped up for it.

How big a part do you think You Tube has played in making the public more aware of you?

Yea, my mum used to push me in front of the computer when I was younger and make me perform. I used to be like ‘mum this is weird’ but as you get into it, you love doing it. I’m like this is fun, just singing in front of the camera is fun.

Who are your music icons?

I would say Janet Jackson, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dionand Michael Jackson are my biggest icons.  

You’re getting ready to release your debut album. When is out and what kind of sound should we expect?

It’s coming out early next year. There’s some pop on there, RnB, urban and some classic songs. It’s also got a reggae/country vibe as well as some folk. There’s a little bit of everything on there, it’s got a universal sound.

What’s it like being signed to Jay Z’s record label? One of the biggest rappers around.

It’s so great, it’s amazing! I work very hard, he’s such a great mentor to me.

Do you see yourself as a role model now?

I’d like to be a role model and show girls they don’t have to wear skimpy clothes. I want to be really positive, no cussing, I’m very happy to be one.

What advice would you give to young people wanting to get into the industry?

Stay focused that’s the key. Always give a great performance and work hard. Keep going for it because I know it’s hard.

Finally, what should we expect from you in 2011?

What can you expect from me in 2011? You can expect my new album next year, it’s got some great songs on there and hopefully I’ll be on tour.

We can’t wait until Alexis’s album comes out in the new year, when we can expect more ‘feel good’ songs. Alexis’s single Happiness is now available to download from iTunes. Alternatively to find out more information about Alexis log on to: www.alexisjordanofficial.com