How Youth Music helped Mica achieve her dreams
Mica has always known that she wanted to be a singer, but she didn't know how to get started. Youth Music helped her to make the most of her talent.
Determined to succeed
Mica Townsend is a talented 23-year-old singer and songwriter who has already started carving out a career for herself in the music industry. She comes from a hard-working single parent family in Manchester.
“My uncle lived on Moss Side, a tough part of Manchester and built up his own property business. I’ve often thought if he could make it, anyone can”, she says.
Discovering a talent for music
She began singing at the age of 7, when she liked music, hairdressing and athletics. She thought she might become a singing hairdresser! She sang in her church choir and took part in school plays and concerts.
Although she didn't come from a musical background, she listened to the radio avidly, developing a love of pop music and quickly discovering she could sing a song even after hearing it only once.
Given opportunities by Youth Music
She wrote her first song at just 9 years old, and aged 10 she attended her first Youth Music funded summer project course. She continued to attend these over several years which gave her access to professional tuition at a very cheap price.
“It’s important for all young people to know that if you’re not from a privileged background, you can still have a chance. Everyone should know that there are opportunities out there for them”, Mica says.
“That’s why these Youth Music funded projects are so important. For me they were some of the best times of my childhood and I learnt about singing, acting and dancing from professionals”.
Singing with stars
Mica recorded her first track for a singing competition at the age of 14 and then got the opportunity to sing with Ruby Turner and later with Damon Albarn's Gorillaz.
“This was the first time I realised that I could make a career in music without being famous." she says.
Mica continues to get paid for her singing and has travelled Europe with Errol Brown (formerly of Hot Chocolate) along with other performers.
Developing her music career
Mica is determined to make a career from her own music and for her, songwriting is the key element.
“I feel that songwriting is where the truth comes out. I can definitely tell where my mind was at when I listen to an old song”, she says.
She wants to make a living from her own songs but knows from the experiences she’s had already, how determined you need to be to succeed. She believes some people give up too soon.
"Young people give up on a music career too quickly as all they look for is fame. If all they want is fame it may not happen but if you want to make music just never lose sight of that and it will begin to happen.”
Ready for the big time
Mica has recorded songs for an EP which she aims to release soon.
“I don’t want anyone to make me a star, I want them to buy into a ready- made package. So it’s more about making people know I’m here and creating a buzz.”
She believes she can achieve this through harnessing social media, offering free downloads and getting coverage in magazines.
“I don’t really see myself as driven, I just do what I have to do to make it. Now I’ve got my five songs ready to release, I feel a new phase is starting for me.”
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* Photos © Travel Weekly Northern Ball