Hub Case Study: Hackney hits the high notes

Young Hackney’s Big Music Champion, La Braya, gave us her review of the Big Music Project Showcase – Hackney Live!

The London Borough of Hackney is a particularly creative hub of the capital – and this year, it had especially high profile as part of The Big Music Project. On the evening before London’s The Big Music Project: Live came to Hackney’s Bl_nk, Hackney Live presented a Hackney-only show at the impressive Hoxton Hall.


The live-streamed event, with interaction via Twitter and Chatroll, gave an opportunity for young people to gain valuable experience of big-stage performance and digital broadcasting in a grand setting.

Young people involved in Young Hackney’s youth services and family and supporters of acts patiently filed among the cameras and lights, and when the show began, made plenty of noise.

Social media stirs interest

Over 40,000 people were reached via social media before and during the show, with big support in particular coming for rising rappers Frenzy and SNE. A number of other young acts also got in touch asking about the possibility of performing at future events.

Hackney’s Big Music Champions, fresh from social media and promotions training sessions in the run-up to the event, helped stir debate and interest ahead of the show – and two members, Brian Saicedo and Labraya Buffong, formed a two-person panel on the night, giving insightful feedback to their peers from Hoxton Hall’s ornate balcony.

hackney-live-2Behind-the-scenes stars

Other Champions assisted with the smooth running of the broadcast, helping the sound, camera and lighting crews, and providing vital liaison with the performers. Of course the music industry is not all about those making the music – so it was great to see enthusiasm to learn more about the behind-the-scenes support roles which make things happen.

Varied sounds

Though it’s fair to say the music itself was impressive. From the soulful sounds of Clarissa and Alexia Fernandes to the ethereal vocals of Hoxton Hall Youth Arts graduate Terror Troy, there was diverse talent for all to see.

It was excellent to see the progress made in the last year from two returning performers, Josh Tenor and SNE. Both have really built their sound from where we last saw them, and look like acts determined to put in the necessary hard work to make it to the top.

image2Energy in the room

Timbo STP and Oluwalinda added a fresh dynamic as the show’s high-energy presenting team – even throwing in an impromptu dance routine.

There were many catchy hooks and shows of vocal flair, but perhaps the most memorable refrain in the evening came in the recorded on-demand show, from 15 year-old rapper x.ny: “Don’t bow down, just give me my crown.” The evening was certainly a right royal celebration of young Hackney talent.

Big thanks once again must go to The Big Music Project and partners for supporting this really valuable platform.

This review was put together to by Young Hackney’s Big Music Champion, La Braya.