“I want to be out there, hearing things, seeing things and creating things, and my mentor has been the first person in my life that has actually helped me to do this” – Autumn
On a previous Rhythmix programme, we found that Autumn, 13, had an incredible talent for singing that wasn’t being able to flourish. We matched her with the vocalist and actress Natasha Bain. Autumn expressed an interest in improving her vocal technique, recording and gaining more experience of performing, as well as wanting help gaining access to other musical opportunities within the county. Natasha is a highly experienced performer and tutor, working professionally as a singer and actor for many years.
Natasha took Autumn’s ambition seriously, researching all of the options available to her to realise her ambition of becoming a professional singer, whilst taking care not to give her false hope. Natasha offered practical guidance and technical vocal coaching. Natasha was able to support Autumn to record vocals for music composed for a professional dance company based in Spain.
Having been inspired by the mentoring training to think outside the box in ways to support her mentee, Natasha was very keen to take Autumn on a trip to London, to help to broaden her horizons. They went to Brick Lane market, which had a personal significance to Autumn. This was a very important factor in strengthening the relationship between them. Whilst in London they used vintage clothes shopping as part of a discussion on image and style in music, and went to a live gig.
“This has been a really needed experience for me, because there’s not many opportunities like this, especially when you’re young, and there are a lot of different adults around you making decisions for you” – Autumn
Over the course of her mentoring Autumn developed a great deal as a young artist. Initially she was obsessed with Jessie J and only really wanted to reproduce cover versions of contemporary pop songs. Having spent so much time with Natasha she massively broadened her repertoire, showing an interest in blues, soul and jazz.
Through her involvement with the programme she was given the opportunity to open the music education conference at GLive with her version of Lilac Wine. The audience were all music professionals and included Mitch Winehouse whom she got to meet and speak to afterwards.
Autumn has not previously been overtly encouraged or supported with her music. Her involvement with the mentoring programme has therefore been the first time she has really felt appreciated for her talent or been taken seriously in her ambitions. She has gained the self-belief to continue with her music and the confidence to push for the things she needs to continue to develop.