We hosted the Circle of Light album launch on Thursday 10 October, offering people the first chance to buy the album and watch contributors perform their tracks live!
The story of how the Circle of Light album came about is both inspiring and impressive. Tricia Gardiner of Greenshoots proposed and won a bid funded by Youth Music to give 60 Nottinghamshire musicians an opportunity to write, record and release a vinyl album which was released through I’m Not From London / Dedicated Records on World Mental Health Day – October 10. Many of the young musicians have struggled with their own mental health in some way or another, and this project was set up to offer support and help them.
Local rapper and co-organiser, Scor-zay-zee, spoke of his own struggles with mental health and how music saved his life. “I suffer with schizophrenia, and I got to a very low point – I was having hallucinations all the time. It was scary. But music gave me a way out of that – it saved my life, and I wanted to share that with these young people who have been struggling and show them the power of what music can do.”
The album was created in the space of three weeks – which is incredible in itself – with the help of singer/songwriter Nina Smith. She helped put the album together, and even performed a song with four other women on the night. Summaya Mughal of BBC Radio Nottingham also became involved with the project.
On the night, Mughal spoke of the group’s supportive atmosphere that made her push her own boundaries, even. Following her performance at the event, she explained – “I’m not a rapper, but Scorz [Scor-zay-zee] got me up on stage doing this. This group is so supportive, it’s amazing to have been a part of it – I feel blessed.”
The project has clearly had a positive effect on the young people involved, as Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies student Mae Monypenny proved when she rounded off her mesmerizing performance with a show of emotion and a few tears.
Monypenny is attending the Youth Music Awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 16 October. “Two of the other students from the group – Tiffany and Poppy – nominated me, and I’m so thankful that they did. I’m performing in Battersea Arts Centre – just me and my loop pedal!”
The project and launch party truly proved to be a success as Tricia Gardiner’s question to the audience; “public funding very well spent, right?” was met with excited cheers of agreement from the audience.