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Youth Music Awards 2023 Winners: David Coke

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Get to know the trailblazing winners across the 12 categories at the Youth Music Awards 2023 in association with Hal Leonard Europe.

david coke holds his youth music award
Credit: Connie Burke

David Coke

Do Your Own Thing, London

David Coke won the Young Leader Award sponsored by Clintons.

David Coke has been a part of the Heart n Soul community since he was 10 years old. In that time he has been a valued member, both as a musician and a leader. He began as a participant at the Youth Music funded programme, Do Your Own Thing. Last year he hosted Heart n Soul's flagship youth event, Squidz Club, making him an important role model for the 200+ young people who attended. His leadership and skills translated into him applying to work with Heart n Soul at the Hub in 2018, and now he's a valued member of the staff team.

David is a young man with a learning disability and a passion for music. He plays music and supports his peers by taking a role as an MC and host and playing drums for participants at the programme. He improvises live with the London Symphony Orchestra, where his drumming held the track and supported every other musician.

david coke and berkeley edwards pose on stage after david receives his award
David Coke (L) and award presenter Berkeley Edwards from Clintons (R) / Credit: Livy Dukes

How does it feel to have won?

“I’m speechless man - it’s really nice winning a Youth Music award, you know? But it’s the people that are behind the scenes that I’m eternally grateful for. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be standing where I am today, so I’d like to big them up!”

What is your role at Heart n Soul?

“I started at Heart n Soul when I was 10, and now I’m a full staff member. My role is to help out younger generations of people, and to help guide them on the right path to success.”

What is your relationship with music like?

“I started drumming when I was 10, quite a few years ago now, so it’s been a journey man, it’s been a journey, but it’s been a lot of fun. Obviously, I love to perform music as well. I performed [live] a couple of times, so it’s been a pleasure really.”

What’s next? 

“Carry on with the things I’m doing... I’d like to carry on making my impact by encouraging youngsters to never give up, to keep on striving to reach their goals really. And I’ll be there to help them every step of the way.”

Do you have any advice for other young people?

“My advice would be to never give up - if you don’t succeed, try and try again, keep pushing through it.”


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