Daniel has launched his career as a singer and beatboxer with shows around the country with the support of commercial event organisers, brands and magazine including Adidas, RWD magazine, iluvlive and Three-Point Solutions who have all booked and worked with Daniel.
Daniel has proven to be a great mentor and example to other young talents who may not join CYL via the traditional referral routes but head into a career they love and enjoy.
I first came to CYL in 2008 with some friends from Catford to work on a DVD, the project was funded by Catford CSPOs, the Lewisham Youth Service and The Digital Holdings. We were given the opportunity to record in the professional music studio and started working on our Mix CD.
Corey (CYL treasurer) was really feeling the music we made and decided to fund and shoot a music video for one of the tracks “Where we come from”. It was an amazing feeling because the video went into heavy rotation on Channel U and I started getting a lot of recognition for it.
I’m now going college so when I’m not there studying, I’m making music in the CYL studio. I also work with other young artists from South London, mentoring them and engineering their music in the studio.
My first mix tape ‘Space Shuttle Business’ is coming out soon, all recorded at CYL. I also featured on a track called “I’m a Star” which is in heavy rotation on Channel AKA. I’m just glad I came to CYL and got more involved….
I have always been interested in music and media and so attended a taster day at CYL when I was 18 through my local PAYP. The love for music I had from a child continued to develop and so I started volunteering for the charity in my spare time doing admin work and using the recording studio. After a few months, this developed into releasing a track entitled “My Yout” which was the feature that broke young MCs Ice Kid & Sickman. The track was a favourite on radio/TV/online and with artists alike, and although it’s fast-paced and hard work very rewarding when I see all the talented young people coming through our doors like myself.
One of the most successful artist to come out the CYL/ Digital Holdings Building. Stylo has now become an international star with a number of mainstream top ten chart releases, collaborations, festivals and TV appearances over the past two years. Stylo has become an ambassador and mentors for charity to date although his earlier work and support included developing acts such as The Little Rascals, songwriting classes, mentoring and performance training. Stylo is a shining example for our organisation and local young people who aspire to be recognised by the mainstream industry.
I booked recording time in the CYL studio with some friends when we were 16, the engineer was also a peer mentor and he guided us in both our music and personal lives. It was good to have somewhere positive to go and make music rather than hanging out in the streets like a lot of our friends were doing.
Now I’m 18 and studying business and marketing, I’ve done a course in peer mentoring and when I’m not at college I’m helping to guide the young people that come down to the building. I’m gaining a lot of experience in people skills, marketing and the music business which I hope will give me a head start in my career when I finish studying.
The work experience, knowledge and skills I have picked up while at CYL has helped me in so many ways I can’t begin to explain how much of a good look it has been.
Swayne Mc'Dermott aka Kodi Starr
Has become a head engineer, producer and peer mentor over his years at CYL. From joining the organisation as a young creative learning about the music and entertainment business, Kodi has had his music played around the world, he has begun to manage artists and work on building his own production team. Whilst still supporting CYL and the young people our organisation works with in the recording studios.
Jordan Wilcocks aka Mr Miniature/ Deekay
Mr Mini now managed by Billy Grant and team (Jay Sean) was a young 12 year old artist and producer who arrived at CYL one day declaring he was the man for the job when it came to engineering the studio and CYL sessions. Just as comical now with his music young Deekay (at the time) proved he was and is very serious when it comes to his craft. Deekay’s work now as an established artist and producer includes mentoring and production sessions with other young creatives who sometimes just need the right environment, opportunity or introduction in order for them to gain entry to the entertainment or any industry.
Leila started working as an apprentice with our media sponsors/ independent record label Defenders Ent at the young age of 16. She worked alongside the charity to deliver a number of youth-led projects, courses and events. Now she has become not only a business owner, established press agent/PR and event manager. She is a strong female industry figure and a shining example to other inner-city girls who may face a number of challenges, hurdles and issues that cannot be allowed to divert them from their dream.