Three aspiring musicians from Essex were among the winners of a national competition after taking part in new grime music workshops.
More than 8,000 secondary school pupils from across the county have been encouraged to explore their creativity through the VIP Studio Sessions programme, which is funded by Essex County Council-led Essex Music Education Hub.
The workshops, geared at teaching young people how technology can support live musical performances, have been supported by music producer Max Wheeler and rap artist DJ Eyez.
Pupils have also had the opportunity to create their own songs using online music sequencing software, have them listened to by professionals and even enter them into a monthly national competition.
There have been three Essex winners since the competition started in September last year.
They were Jake Shipton (Year 7 at Burnt Mill Academy, Harlow), DJ Weezy AKA Liam Amadi (Year 9 at Hylands School, Chelmsford) and Nimrod 100 AKA Jacob Lawrence (Year 10 at Helena Romanes School, Great Dunmow).
Jake Shipton said: “I have used the VIP Studio to create my own tracks. I love it because it gives me the freedom to produce tracks with help from online videos.
“I have gone on to produce my own tracks in a variety of styles.
“I'm so excited about music production and when I am older I will become a professional music producer."
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Music can play a valuable role in a young person’s development and we believe all children should have the opportunity to take part, regardless of the type of music they enjoy.
“Projects like this enable school pupils to explore their creativity through grime music - a popular and relatively new genre not traditionally associated with school music.
“I hope the pupils really enjoy taking part and I am delighted we have already had a few Essex winners in the national competition.”
The Essex schools that have taken part in the VIP Studio Sessions programme are:
- St Mark’s School, Harlow
- Helena Romanes School, Great Dunmow
- Burnt Mill Academy, Harlow
- Mark Hall Academy, Harlow
- King Harold Academy, Waltham Abbey
- Debden Park High School, Loughton
- Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport
- James Hornsby, Laindon
- The Sandon School
- The Bromfords School, Wickford
- Hylands School, Chelmsford