Young Musicians Week: Meet the Artists

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Young Musicians Week, our five-day songwriting and production residency got off to a fantastic start with Liam Frost and the Brighter Sound team. Each day we’ve invited along a number of guest musicians to work with our young musicians, sharing their experience and expertise. Here, we find out more about them…

Young Musicians Week: Meet the Artists
16th February 2016

Young Musicians Week, our five-day songwriting and production residency got off to a fantastic start with Liam Frost and the Brighter Sound team. Each day we’ve invited along a number of guest musicians to work with our young musicians, sharing their experience and expertise. Here, we find out more about them…

Young Musicians Week, our five-day songwriting and production residency got off to a fantastic start. 

We’re delighted to see lots of new faces, as well as some Sing City regulars, all with diverse music tastes and interests, and we can’t wait to see and hear their progress throughout the week. 

Each day we’ve invited along a number of guest musicians to work with our young musicians, sharing their experience and expertise.  Here, we find out more about them…

Day one

We started the week with a focus on songwriting with our Sing City practitioners - singer songwriter Liam Frost, emerging musician James Holt and composer Sara Lowes.

Liam Frost

Described by Elbow's Guy Garvey as "the UK's answer to Bright Eyes" and heralded in some quarters of the British music press as a Mancunian Bruce Springsteen, singer-songwriter Liam Frost has developed, across two critically acclaimed solo albums, into a well-cherished artist whose distinctive voice, songwriting and sincerity really set him apart. Following his recent TOKOLOSH collaboration with members of The Earlies and The Whip, Liam returns in 2016 with an as yet untitled third album.

LIam Frost

James Holt

James Holt is a singer/songwriter from Manchester and with his unique blend of folk and alternative rock, is receiving recognition and praise from music industry giants and the listening public alike. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, guitar, cello and vocals, and records, writes and produces all of his own music. James’ song 'Whatever Happened to John?' was chosen by Brian Eno for the NOISE festival 2014 who said of the track: "Brisk, funny, exciting. Great drumming” and has been featured on BBC Introducing. BBC Radio 6 and BBC Manchester. James performs regularly at venues and festivals, including at London's Royal Albert Hall.  He released his debut EP "In the Face of It All" last year.

Sara Lowes

Sara Lowes

Sara Lowes is a composer, singer and piano player, as well as a fantastic mentor. She’s carved a successful career as a session musician and solo artist, including work with The Earlies, King Creosote, Daniel Johnston and Marina and the Diamonds. She’s released four solo records to date, receiving critical acclaim in the national media and music press. Sara spent nine months at the National Graphene Institute as Composer in Residence, unveiling the wondrous Graphene Suite at The Martin Harris Centre (The University of Manchester). Sara has recently been working for Oscar Winning composer Steve Price for the BBC Natural History Series The Hunt.

Day Two
We’re delighted to welcome back the extremely talented Natalie McCool for a day of guitar masterclasses and workshops, and vocalist Yvonne Sheldon returns for a second day of 1-to-1 singing lessons.

Natalie McCool

Excelling in razor-sharp alt-pop production developed with Dave Berger from seminal Liverpool alt-pop band Outfit and mixed by Rich Turvey (Blossoms, Clean Cut Kid, VITAMIN), Natalie McCool’s new recordings have every hallmark of great pop music with a fresh twist of modern alternative influences.

Love for Natalie’s songs come from across the blogosphere in places such as Idolator, Pigeons and Planes, and more mainstream press of Sunday Times, Q and Clash. Natalie also landed on Radio 1, first with numerous plays from Huw Stephens and then on the Radio One BBC Introducing Playlist. This was followed my more support from BBC Introducing who described her as ‘One of the finest emerging songwriters around’ and featured her on a live TV Session with Everything Everything and Jack Garratt.

2016 will see Natalie releasing new single ‘Fortress’ featuring award winning singers ‘Sense of Sound’ providing an epic backdrop to her rousing lead vocal. She is also heading out on a number of dates across the UK in the first part of the year.


Natalie McCool
Yvonne Shelton

For Yvonne Shelton there have been many singles, albums, and tours, in various capacities. This multi-talented artist and entrepreneur runs and directs choirs, groups, and has been involved in BBC productions for Music Live 1999 in Glasgow co-ordinating artists such as Chaka Khan, James Taylor quartet, and Ce Ce Winans Music Live (1996), Deniece William’s Show  BBC Radio 2.

Her extensive career has included performing with the likes of The Beautiful South, Simply Red and Take That, on the Oprah Winfrey Show and delivering private performances for Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelou.

Yvonne is a founder member Lead Singer and Director of Urban Voice along with Tyndale Thomas and Kadria Thomas, she has also been involved as an artist in community projects with organisations including BBC Philharmonic and Halle.


Day Three
We can’t quite believe that Elbow’s drummer Jupp is with us all day. He’ll be leading three separate group drumming tutorials. Manchester spoken word collective Inna Voice will also be dropping by to lead a workshop.


Jupp has been playing drums for over 25 years. He’s the drummer in the Mercury Music Prize winning band Elbow and runs his own Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.. He’s a proud Ambassador of the NAS and Patron of the ART Charities and is endorsed by Gretsch Drums, DW Hardware, Roland UK, Vicfirth, Protection Racket, Ultimate Ears and Porter and Davis. Through teaching he hopes to inspire other drummers and pass on the passion he has.

Jupp copy

Inna Voice

Inna Voice is a Manchester-based collective of poets, MC’s, singers, beatboxers, producers and visual artists. It evolved in 2011 from Young Identity Alumni Members and they now work in partnership with Commonword and Young Identity to help deliver workshops in Longsight, Moss Side, Trafford and at Contact.

Day Four

Day four gives our young musicians the chance to explore an unfamiliar, but exciting genre of music as Avital Raz leads an Indian Fusion masterclass. Musician Christian Madden (The Earlies) is also dropping by to lead an impromptu workshop exploring synth techniques.

Avital Raz

Jerusalem-born Avital Raz has recently gained notoriety for her taboo-busting song lyrics. Her latest release 'The Believer' a collaboration with Scotland based cellist/producer Pete Harvey (Meursault, The Leg) was reviewed in the Herald Scotland as 'likely to be one of the most compelling things you hear all year'.  Avital leads workshops across Sheffield and Manchester, and will be running Brighter Sound's brand new Indian Fusion Lab course next term.

me with tanpura

Christian Madden

Christian Madden is a session musician, composer and producer. He’s a founder member of a transatlantic psychedelic collective called the Earlies and a dedicated enthusiast of the Hammond organ, as well as many other vintage and analogue keyboards of the 1960s and 70s. Christian has produced and appeared on stage with King Creosote, Micah P Hinson and Paul Heaton. He spent most of 2014 touring with Cherry Ghost and Doves frontman Jimi Goodwin, as well as releasing the debut TOKOLOSH album Stay Strong. 2016 will see Christian release his debut solo album.

Day Five
We’re ending the week on a high as we welcome drum and bass vocalist and former BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Jenna G for a music industry masterclass. Bassline producer Burgaboy will be with us all day in the Band on the Wall studio, recording the fantastic new songs composed this week.

Jenna G

Singer, songwriter, strong and emotive, meet Manchester’s Jenna G. Jenna was a music fiend from an early age - both her parents were in bands and she grew up in a house surrounded by all sorts of musical influences. Now, she’s presented on BBC Radio 1Xtra, has bagged three awards for her music including Best Female Artist at the Drum and Bass Awards (2015) and has released records with artists such as Chase & Status, Netsky, DRS, SPY and many more.



King Burga aka Burgaboy is a well known Manchester musician. He is known for his hard hitting bassline music and most recently, soulful R&B. From the age of 11 he decided to take a musical path joining the school choir and singing to his heart’s content. A few years later, at the age of 14 he began producing his own music on the family computer, becoming a well known producer through perfecting his craft - his unique sound setting him apart from others. Now at the age of 25 Burga is on the path towards a bright future, releasing two albums independently in 2015. Hoping to be an example of goodness, Burga continues to work hard for his fans and remains grounded with the knowledge of his popularity. 2016 will see Burga's continued growth musically and personally, shining his torch for his home city.

This event is made possible through the kind support of Youth Music and PRS for Music Foundation.