Wandsworth Young Performer Winners 2012

Multi-talented group The Individuals will now record in a professional music studio

Four young people who combined their distinctive individual talents to form a musical group have been crowned the winners of the Wandsworth Young Performer competition.

Described as an excellent example of cross-genre collaboration, winning group The Individuals is made up of a beatboxer - 16-year-old Seshie Henry, an MC - D'Angelo Ferlance, 17, and two singers - 15-year-old Yemna Mirabet and Rianna.

The group's performance in the final, which took place on Saturday December 8th, at Wandsworth's Civic Suite, featured a perfectly pitched opening rendition of Amazing Grace, which then developed to include beatboxing and MC-ing in what the panel of judges agreed was a seamlessly woven performance that stood out from the crowd.

For winning, The Individuals, who are part of Battersea Arts Centre's Homegrown programme of creative workshops, were given a prize package promising a promotional video directed and produced by a professional and a performance at a large-scale event put on by the competition's producer, Bigga Fish.

The group will also receive recording or rehearsal sessions in a professional music studio and master classes with professional artists.

The judging panel - comprised of music producers Yomi Kadejoh and Fusion and professional performer Monique Duchen - watched 11 acts perform before choosing the winner. They named acapella group Untitled runner up, followed by 17-year-old vocalist, Imani Jawarah.

The council's children's services spokesperson, Councillor Kathy Tracey, said: "The wealth of young talent we have in the borough never ceases to amaze me and this competition is a wonderful outlet for it.

"As part of the process all of the young performers are given advice and support by professional performers and established event producers to help them hone their skills.

"And, young people who wanted to put themselves to the test away from the limelight were given the chance to help with the promotion, marketing and production of the event by its producers.

"We are committed to creating as many development opportunities for young people as possible - whether this is through education, apprenticeship schemes, sporting activities or artistic endeavours such as the Young Performer contest."

The annual Young Performer contest is run by Wandsworth Council's Arts Team in partnership with Bigga Fish, the borough's youth service and Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) - and with support from South Thames College, Tooting Hub and World Heart Beat Academy.

It is open to 14 to 19-year-olds who live, go to a school or a youth club, or work in Wandsworth.

This year's final was hosted by actors and comedians Don & Bowaa with special guest performances from bands Velvet Stream and 2011 winners Wanted Down Under.

For more information about the Wandsworth Young Performer competition visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/arts.

December 14, 2012