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NextGen Community Event: Youth Music Awards Nominee Takeover Highlights

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nieema hassan
Panel host Nieema opens the evening

Photography: Livy Dukes @livydukesphoto

It was a night of celebration as we hosted a special takeover edition of our NextGen Community Event, announcing the nominees of the forthcoming Youth Music Awards 2023, in association with Hal Leonard Europe.

Following previous events in Cardiff and Manchester, the third instalment of our NextGen Community series took place on Tuesday 14 September at Amazing Grace in London. Shout out to Ticketmaster, who kindly sponsored the event.

These events are a great way for 18-25 year old creatives meet like-minded people starting out in music, find new collaborators and this time, network with Youth Music Awards nominees, judges, and sponsors.

Rising Star Award (Artist) nominee, TU3SDAY, opened the evening with a DJ set as guests arrived and began to work the room, making connections. Youth Music CEO, Matt Griffiths, then gave an introductory speech before the all-female panel started.


Chaired by last year’s Youth Music Awards host, Nieema, the panel featured FEMMEFESTIVAL founder and NextGen Fund creative, Talia Andrea, NextGen Fund artist, Nyrobi Beckett-Messam of the alt-rock duo, ALT BLK ERA, and Cactus City founder, Vanessa Threadgold.

In line with our theme for this year’s Youth Music Awards, the panellists discussed why and how we could “Take Note” of more grassroots projects and people across the country. Talia shared the origin story behind her grassroots project FEMMESTIVAL, rooted in the lack of female visibility across the music industry that she had noted as a journalist for her student paper.

Nyrobi talked about the importance of emerging artists receiving support from youth music organisations such as Engine Room and Inspire Arts. “The only reason that we are here today, and we have been able to progress so fast is because of the funding and support we’ve been getting,” she shared. Nyrobi also opened up about how welcoming she had found the alternative rock music community when ALT BLK ERA began playing their first live shows. 

Talia noted the current lack of mentorship within the music industries, and the need to nurture people from marginalised or lesser represented groups and help them to navigate the industry. “The mentorship that Youth Music has given me has been vital. Being able to talk to someone, have them share their journey and have them tell me what I can do with mine is so important. I think it’s step that as an industry we can take more,” Talia voiced.


Ni Maxine

There were a whole host of fantastic and varied performances from some of this year’s Youth Music Awards nominees.

Jazz artist Ni Maxine began the live music portion of the evening with a full seven-piece live band. Nominated for the Original Track Award (Solo), the Neo-Jazz singer-songwriter treated the crowd to a stunning rendition of her nominated single ‘Strange Love’.  

Sarah Angel

Joe Winter

Fellow Original Track Award (Solo) nominee, Joe Winter, gave a spellbinding performance after, including their nominated song, ‘Laughing For The West’, and a goosebump-inducing cover of Beyoncé's iconic ‘Halo’.

Sarah Angel

Music Video Award nominee, Sarah Angel, filled the stage with balloons for her gig, where she sang her songs ‘Love Without Love’, ‘Wistful Tenderness’, and recent track ‘Space Carnival’.

Boodz & TL

Wrapping up the live portion of the event were nominees Boodz and TL, twin brothers and rap artists who have both been individually nominated for the Original Track Award (Solo) and Lyricist Award respectively. Together, they performed their collaborative track, the bouncy ‘Inside Step’, before TL performed his moving, cinematic single ‘Time Will Tell’.

The Spit Game

The indomitable Spit Game then assembled on stage for their high-energy track, ‘Wag1Fam’, which commanded the attention of the entire venue.

Marla Kether

Youth Music NextGen Fund artist, Marla Kether, then hit the DJ decks with for her set, bringing another brilliant NextGen Community event to a close.

Join the Youth Music NextGen Community to get information about our funding for young creatives, freelance work, as well as job and training opportunities.