Princess Arinola Adegite (aka B!TEZ) took part in Get Started with Music, a music employability programme for young people from Greater Manchester. In 2022 she was commissioned to write a spoken word piece as part of the All Things Equal installation.
I was at the beginning of my music journey when I came across Brighter Sound. I was mainly a poet and performer. I made bedroom pop in my room. Not to show anyone, just for fun.
I stumbled across Get Started with Music. It was for young people who have always wanted to be an artist, but have never had the resources to get into music. The programme was online during COVID. When I first started the project I was really alone and confused. But everyone was so warm and welcoming that I actually felt like I was in person after a few sessions.
There were all these mini initiatives, like you could get like £200 worth of free equipment. From a working class perspective, that's so important. There were so many times when I was younger when I was like “Oh, I want to get a guitar” or just experiment with something.
During the project I got to experiment with what I wanted, and I was able to get free equipment and free advice about music. It was so important and it was so empowering. Brighter Sound showed me BandLab, they showed me how to use Logic and Ableton. It gave me so much knowledge and I became comfortable with my songwriting. I was like, I could actually pursue this.
I just felt so much community. It felt more like a family and it was really encouraging for artists that were maybe a bit insecure or new to this.
B!TEZ took part in Get Started with Music during the pandemic
From then I signed up to work with Contact on their Level Up programme. I received funding from Manchester International Festival to create some demos. I sent those demos to Youth Music and they sent them to Turtle Bay and they’re now sponsoring my EP, which is crazy.
Earlier this year I did a commission called All Things Equal, with Loraine James and Urban Projections. They are both amazing people. It was really nice to work on a commission basis after being a participant.
I feel like anyone who's been to a Brighter Sound project can truly take an imaginative approach to music. Because I did that I feel that’s why all these bigger companies are interested in me.
I now have a different idea of what the music industry is and what it has to offer, as well as what I have to offer it! I have boundaries and an understanding of what's normal in a creative environment and in a career environment and what's not.
Sometimes it's literally just about the music business side, which can be the most covert side of things. If you’re not really knowledgeable about things like marketing and PR, it's confusing. Brighter Sound is really helping to illuminate all that for the younger generation. It just feels more like they're facilitating you rather than teaching you. They empower young people to choose what part of music they want to get into.
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"I now have a different idea of what the music industry is and what it has to offer, as well as what I have to offer it!"