A talented teenager who sings in both English and Welsh is set for stardom this year after being named Arts Connect Original Singer/Songwriter 2012.
Competition judges all agreed Kizzy Crawford, aged 16, from Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun, is ‘destined to become a star with a completely superb and original act’.
The exciting Arts Connect competition brought together talented young singer/songwriters aged 14 – 25 from Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Councils' Arts Development Units.
Kizzy won a three-day recording experience at a recording studio, as well as a regional EP launch and feature and photoshoot in Plugged In, the music magazine for Wales.
Talented young people who took part in the contest will be provided with further opportunities to develop their skills in music, as well as being mentored and guided into possible careers within the creative industries.
Judges were Paula Redway, Director of Theatr Brycheiniog; Amy Wadge co-writer for Ed Sheeran and Steve Bush, producer for Tom Jones, Stereophonics and Corinne Bailey Ray.
Kizzy,of Merthyr, said: "I have a fantastic cultural heritage to be proud of - Welsh, English and Barbadian; and this is reflected in my music as well as drawing on soul, indie, folk, jazz and songs and songwriters from the 60s and 70s.
"I want my music to speak to people and to touch them and by writing in English and Welsh I am telling the world that our ancient language can be heard in mainstream media as young, edgy, current and beautiful."
All young people who performed in the competition and from across the Arts Connect regions will have the opportunity to record a song to be featured on a taster album recorded at Amy Wadge’s studio. This will be launched in February at the Muni Arts Centre for A&R representatives.
The young singer/songwriters will also come together for masterclasses, workshops, courses and mentoring and guidance into the music industry, building on the already hugely successful RCT Cultural Services initiative the RCT Collective.
Also successful in reaching the competition finals were Sion Edmonds (Bridgend, aged 19), Evan Gardner (RCT, aged 22), Tom Bedlam (Bridgend, aged 20), Jamie Willetts (RCT, aged 17), Naomi Edwards (Bridgend, aged 18), Lydia Howells (RCT, aged 16), Asha Fletcher Peters (Vale of Glamorgan, aged 17), Jessie Jenkins (RCT, aged 22). Jade Bird (Bridgend, aged 15) got through to the final but was unable to attend due to illness.
Auditionees on the audition day (including acts above) were: Ffion Wilde (RCT,aged 15), Will John (Vale of Glamorgan, aged 16), Adam Fear (RCT, aged 23), Lewis Popp (Merthyr Tydfil, aged 17), Andrew Davey (RCT, aged 16).
This successful Arts Connect project was delivered in partnership with Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils. Arts Connect has brought together the four local authorities to deliver Arts on a regional level.
By joining forces, sharing resources and working together, they aim to extend and enrich the opportunities offered to audiences, residents and communities – from household-name stage shows to local talent, comedy and exceptional development programmes that let rising stars shine.
Tanya Walker-Brown, SONIG Co-ordinator, said: ‘It was a privilege to once again work with such talented young people in this, our first Arts Development/Arts Connect partnership project across the four regions.
"The project has also been about signposting these young people into further opportunities in the music industry as well as providing them with future bespoke workshops, masterclasses, courses and mentoring experiences in their chosen field."
For further information about SONIG Youth Music Industry or Arts Connect please contact the Arts Development Team on 01443 490205.