You are here: Rianne’s story

Making the most of her talent

When she turned 17, her musical curiosity finally won out and she started going along to the Garage’s SLAM nights, where young musicians perform in front of an audience of other young people. At first she was happy just to watch, but after a while her desire to be on stage became harder and harder to resist.

When Adam, Youth Arts Officer at the Garage, asked her if she would like to perform at one of the SLAM nights, Rianne was terrified. But she bravely agreed and proceeded to impress the crowd.

Rianne began to volunteer as a music mentor with Community Music East, another local project supported by Youth Music. She helped younger musicians to improve their songwriting and vocal skills. The Garage team was keen to help her develop her own talent too, so she signed up to their Musician’s Development Programme, which helps emerging artists to hone their abilities as musician and performers.

I still get butterflies when I’m singing on my own, especially in a small room of people, but everyone at the Garage is really supportive and that’s definitely a great help when you’re feeling nervous.

Singing as a form of escape

Rianne’s songs cover the whole spectrum of human emotion, dealing with everything from her (at times troubled) family life to her feelings for her fiancé. Now 20 years old, Rianne has to balance her devotion to her music with her job at a fast food outlet in a local shopping centre. She sees singing as a form of escape from the more mundane necessities of daily life.

“When I first started writing songs, they were pretty meaningless, but now they’ve become a lot more personal. I write a lot about my own experiences:  family, friends, how I feel, if I’m ill, if I’m sad. When I’m fighting with my family it’s quite nice that I can sit there and get my feelings out in a song instead of just angry screaming like everyone else does.”

Music takes me into another world. I can just relax and feel like I’m actually me.

Connexions (original song)

Watch Rianne perform one of her own songs, a deeply personal number about her relationship with her dad.

Case study researched and written by Rebecca Davies.