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23 June 2012

Introducing new East End talent

HACKNEY-based youth engagement charity Rising Tide offers young people a credible pathway into the music industry – and for six young artists this culminated in a once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform live at Hackney Weekend.

They were chosen to play the BBC Introducing Stage – a national programme to give under-the-radar artists a massive step up in their career.

Gabin Sinclair, from Rising Tide, said: “This is the culmination of on-going artist development of Hackney talent. We’re working with the BBC to continue their programme and everyone performing today will perform at other festivals across the country.

“It doesn’t matter what postcode the young artists are from, we’ve got people from different areas making music with each other.”

Young musician and resident Samuel Mensah, 23, who performs under the stage name Xploder, was grinning from ear-to-ear when he came off the stage on 23 June. He said: “It was amazing – I feel like my career is on its way up. This is a great opportunity.”

Rhymer and Dalston resident Issac Danquah, 18, added: “It’s overwhelming, I didn’t expect something like this to happen. Where I’m from in Hackney, there are not a lot of positive role models. I know I’m not famous or anything, but I hope to inspire others.”

And inspire he did. Alicia Thomas, 19, Tilishia Green, 30, and Renell Holder, 18, were at the front of the stage in support of Issac.

Renell said: “I wanted to see Issac because I saw him at the Hackney Picturehouse as part of the Academy. He was really good – how’s he going to get anywhere if he doesn’t have supporters? We’d see him again.”

Dalston resident Issac Danquah, 18, played on the BBC Introducing stage

Dalston resident Issac Danquah, 18, played on the BBC Introducing stage

Dalston resident Issac Danquah, 18, played on the BBC Introducing stage Musician and resident Samual Mensah, 23, aka Xploder

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