My first mini-gig of the year was at the launch of the 2016 Nottingham Young Creative Awards. This is a series of awards that are given to creative people from Nottingham between the ages of 13-24, for outstanding achievement within their creative field.
I won the YCA for Music in 2012 which had a truly big impact on me. At that time I was only just starting to gig on the Notts music scene and with the release of Parlour Tricks imminent, Outlaw advised me to enter for the award. Being unknown made me nervous about entering, but as the leaders in Nottingham creative enterprises were (and still are) on the panel; it was going to be a great way to get them to hear what I was doing.
I still feel the nerves when I think about the moment just before my name was called out. Along with prize money I won a recording session to make a live EP with Tom 'T'sMyth' Smith; then a Confetti student. We got on straight away and since I have worked with Tom every year on one project or another (he's currently mastering my new EP; out early this year!) Dean Jackson attended the awards and invited me to perform on his BBC Introducing show. After trying to connect with someone at DHP to play Splendour, head of DHP; George Akin, welcomed me for a meeting and within six months I had gone from being virtually unknown in my hometown, to performing at Splendour and being track of the week on BBC 1 Xtra.
My point is, the Notts YCA awards gave me a network. It helped me link with people who I otherwise would have struggled to contact. If you're a Notts creative, seriously; just enter (and even if YOU aren't; pass this on to someone you know who is!) - it can be a game changer! It's awesome to see these awards continue and to be invited back to launch their 7th year is a real honour!
Big love to Notts YCA's! What a wicked start to the year!
If you are a young Notts creative; in music, art, film-making, fashion... Practically anything! Go here to apply!