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Youth Music Awards 2019 winners: One year later

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In October 2019 we celebrated the first ever Youth Music Awards in association with Hal Leonard Europe. One year later, we caught up with some of the winners to find out what they've been up to.

man with blue hair, mustache and beard, visible from shoulders up

Devesh Sodha

Music Producer Award sponsored by Steinberg

Since winning the award, Devesh has been developing his skills as a composer with the help of Steinberg’s Dorico Pro 3, who invited him to their headquarters to test the program. He’s now able to score his own sheets for live sessions. 

Devesh also been pitching for several big Hollywood trailers, and has secured funding from Arts Council England to hold a concert, that will now take place in London at the LSO St Luke’s Venue on 26 June 2021.

“Thanks to the people at Youth Music, I had the opportunity to be mentored by Electric Pineapple. It was a great experience to see how a seasoned professional works and get some valuable insight into the industry."

“I think winning the award has given me more confidence in my own work and my abilities as a composer. I think it has helped my career for sure as being able to call yourself an award-winning producer always looks great to companies and it also helps validate your skills as a producer.”

young woman on stage singing into microphone under green lights

Eam aka Mae Monypenny

Live Performance Award sponsored by Hal Leonard Europe

In the last year Eam has had more opportunities to play gigs in Nottingham and London, including well known venues like Rock City with Circle of Light and Rough Trade. Some gigs have been cancelled due to the pandemic, but she's hopeful they’ll be rescheduled for next year.

During lockdown Eam has kept herself busy writing new material for herself and other artists in her local area, and live streams with magazine Leftlion and Nottstopping Festival that raised money for frontline workers.

Mae started as a participant at Circle of Light, and has now stepped up to mentor new participants and produce music for others on the project, with the album set to be released on World Mental Health day 2020. She’s also hoping to release new music with the vocals she recorded at Spotify Secret Studios as part of her awards prize.

“Winning the award has definitely opened me up to a world of experiences and given me many of opportunities for not only now but the future and it has also boosted my confidence immensely and I feel extremely honoured to have had the experience."

Fred Fredas

Music Video Award sponsored by AVID

In the last year Fred has been perfecting his craft as an artist, releasing lots of new music as well as directing his own music videos.

“Winning the award has motivated me to win more awards and has let me know that my hard work is being recognised! As an artist to know your talent and hard work is being recognised goes a very long way.”

Watch the music video for his track, 'Never Lose'.


Cuttlefish Orchestra

Social Action Award sponsored by Hal Leonard Europe.

Josh, Brendan and Sam had a lot planned for the band, but the Covid-19 crisis sadly put many of their ideas on hold, including a small tour around the North of England, a new album release and an exciting gig at Isle of Wight Festival – secured as their prize for winning the award.

But lots has been done. Brendan has been offered a traineeship with Jack Drum Arts, Josh is in his final year studying Creative Writing at UEA and Sam finished his first year studying Popular Music at Napier in Edinburgh.

Though kept apart through lockdown, the band have kept in touch on Zoom and recorded a new song using a mobile recording studio provided by Jack Drum Arts. The new track, ‘Make it Mine’ is now available on Soundcloud.

They’re looking forward to their 2021 gig at the Isle of Wight Festival, performing to their biggest audience yet!

man in black tshirt smiling into camera

Neil Card

Inspirational Music Leader Award sponsored by PMLL

Neil has been busy at Tang Hall SMART moving lots of their music activities for young people online.

“I have used this period of time to develop my teaching skills on drums, rapping, production, composition, lyrics and more - by creating video tutorials. We now have a state of the art virtual college!  We have tried to stay as engaged as possible with our people and I know I have developed in a lot of areas, so I’m looking forward to inspiring young musicians in the new term, as well as being inspired by them!

"Winning the award last year made a huge difference to my career; it gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment that reverberated through the year, and it has reinforced what I already knew about myself and Tang Hall SMART, and that is that I hope to continue this work for the rest of my career."

two men standing next to each other, one holding an award, smiling at the camera
Credit Blouhaus Photography

WILD Young Parents Project

Innovation Award sponsored by Novation

"Winning the Innovation Award was a huge moment for our project. It vindicated all of the creative work we have been doing with young parents in Cornwall and gave us the confidence to push ourselves further and think of new and inspiring ways of working". 

Since lockdown WILD have been finding creative new ways to engage young people and parents, running music sessions online including choirs and bedtime stories.

six people standing next to each other smiling at the camera
Credit Blouhaus Photography


Original Track Award sponsored by TikTok

"The last year for us has been very weird! After winning the Youth Music Award we were picking up decent momentum and gigging a lot as well as growing our online following on social media and streaming platforms.

"Unfortunately, lockdown put everything on hold, and now we are just starting to get ourselves on the gigging scene again. Last month we were delighted to reach the number 1 spot on our local radio Express FM's New Music chart so we are so looking forward to having the opportunity to say thank you to everyone for their support.

"The Awards were an amazing experience for us all and we had the opportunity to shoot a music video and have our track mixed and mastered at a top London studio. Having the chance to work with and learn from top professionals has made us much more confident musicians and performers and we owe this to UVG and Youth Music. Thank you."

girl with headphones on standing into the mic, and a man with his back turned to the camera wearing headphones looking at a computer
Taz recording in the studio


Lyricist Award sponsored by BandLab

Despite the lockdown and everything going on Taz got 3 A levels and hopes to study Music at University next year. Taz has also been writing lots and is keen to get back in the studio to record an EP. As part of her award prize Taz had a session with electronic music duo Bicep, that ‘reignited a musical spark within her’

About the awards, Taz said, “It was an amazing experience and honour to be chosen and has definitely helped me to believe in my ability and potential more. To know that other people, like Bicep, have heard my music, think I am talented and want to work with me is amazing.

“Massive thank you for the award, the prizes from Genius and the opportunity to work with Bicep. I truly, truly appreciate it.”

Youth Music Awards 2021

in association with Hal Leonard Europe

The next Youth Music Awards in association with Hal Leonard Europe takes place on 19 May 2021. Nominations close at 10am Monday 5 October 2020.