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UVG - Our Impact - Emerging Talent

The Urban Vocal Group

Since forming in 2008 The UVG has provided hundreds of young people opportunities to develop socially, emotionally, and personally through participating in music-making. The majority do not become professional musicians although many ex-members continue to make music as a hobby. Some, however, have been inspired to pursue careers in the industry and The UVG have supported their development by providing access to professional resources as well as training in the creative and commercial aspects of the music industry. This grounding in professionalism from such an early age has equipped them with knowledge and skills not always available to young people and has led to a wider acknowledgment of their talents within the local music community.

"The UVG have helped young people in Portsmouth to thrive as  singers and musicians and have made a substantial impact on the local music scene”- Nick Courtney (Promoter)

"The consistency in the performance, song writing and production is remarkable" - Bruce Dickinson (Founder of Waterbear College of Music and BIMM

We asked a few of these young musicians to tell us about their musical journey so far and the impact that accessing UVG had on their development as a musician...

Harvey - Singer/Songwriter (UVG 2016 – 19)

Harvey began attending the UVG in 2017 at the age of 15. He already had a passion for writing but wanted to develop his skills and build confidence around performing. Since then he has gigged several times with the UVG including Youth Music's 100 choirs’ event at Victoria Station and performed original material at UVG events. He also attended training and mentoring sessions with The UVG and in 2018 had the opportunity to record an original EP. At the age of 17 Harvey was signed to Big Hug Management and has since performed at venues across the South Coast including showcase events in London. In 2019 Harvey had his debut performance at Victorious Festival and released his first single with the Big Hug Label. Harvey has blossomed as a young musician and his future in the industry looks extremely bright. Harvey on Spotify

In what way has your involvement with UVG helped you progress as a musician?

UVG helped me progress as a musician by gifting me the chance to work with a wide range of other singers and musicians. Weekly sessions have given me the chance to work with others and this has really helped open my mind to singing as a group rather than just a solo artist. It greatly improved my ability to create and sing harmonies and gave me an overall confidence boost as well as opportunities to gig, therefore giving me experience. I have also been lucky enough to have recorded a single and an ep in a studio through UVG, letting me work with session musicians and recording my own songs, and the experience I gained from it was priceless. UVG is an incredible charity which gifts all people with the chance to develop as a musician and work their way into the industry. It’s an opportunity that is extremely worth taking.

What one piece of advice would you give to a young musician starting out on a career in the music industry?

Stay true to yourself. Find yourself as a musician, find who you want to be, and always stay open-minded by trying different things - working and collaborating with other musicians, experimenting with different genres. Always push yourself towards what you want to achieve.

Evangeline - Singer/Songwriter (UVG 2012 – 19)

Evangeline began attending UVG at the age of 12 and over the years developed her vocal skills at weekly sessions, gigging regularly with the group and becoming a confident performer. In 2015 she was a featured lead vocalist on the UVG’s first EP and in the same year developed a keen interest in songwriting. With support from UVG mentors, she developed her skills leading to the recording and release of her first single at the age of 15.  In 2018 again supported by UVG she recorded and released her debut EP ‘Kingdom’ and helped organise the EP launch at the Wedgewood Rooms. In September 2019 Evie began studying for a BA in Commercial Music at Bath Spa University. She continues to be a vocal supporter and advocate of the charity; citing the opportunities that it provided her and continues to provide other emerging young musicians. Evangeline on Spotify

In what way has your involvement with UVG helped you progress as a musician?

I wouldn’t have been open to any of the musical opportunities I have been if it wasn’t for UVG’s support. UVG has made me more confident, more motivated, more driven. It has given me so many steppingstones to achieve new goals and be ahead of the game. It’s taught me so much and been so nurturing! UVG is so special and the best thing to ever happen to me!- Evangeline

What advice would you give to a young musician starting in the music industry?

Don’t try to be anyone else, take influences and learn from others and even invoke others but just write the music that comes out of you!

VCR (Josh, Sam, Roddy, Lewis)

VCR are an alternative indie band based in Portsmouth who have made a big impact on the local music scene in a short space of time.  The band was formed by long term UVG singer Josh (2014 – present) and supported by The UVG who provided training and metoring opportunities as well as recording and rehearsal time. In less than 10 months since their first rehearsal, they performed at Victorious Festival, won the final of local venue, The Wedgewood Rooms, Band Showcase event and recorded and released their first single! In September 19, their track ‘Circles’ won the ‘Best Track’ category at the Youth Music Awards and in Aug 2020 their latest release 'All I want is Us' reached the number 1 slot in the local new music chart. VCR on Spotify

In what way has your involvement with UVG helped you progress as a musician?

UVG provided me with opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to be a part of otherwise (such as the Youth Music awards), this has allowed me to gain stage experience as well as view a part of the music industry I was yet to be exposed to

What advice would you give to a young musician starting in the music industry?

My advice would be to stay true to yourself, write and perform the music you believe in and don’t try to be something you are not, also work on networking from the earliest point you can, having as many contacts as possible is always great – Lewis (VCR Drummer)

Mollie Scott - Singer/Songwriter (UVG 2011 – 17)

Mollie is an R n B and Soul singer/songwriter who joined the UVG in 2010. She has been writing original material since the age of 12 and taught herself piano at 13. Mollie worked hard on developing her voice and with the support of UVG music leaders quickly became a confident performer gigging over 60 times with the group. In 2014 she released her first musical project titled ’Since 1997’ and in 2015 completed a vocal diploma at Guilford ACM, finally graduating with a degree in Song Writing and Artist Development in 2018.  Mollie works closely with the charity today both as a music leader and mentor and also teaches privately; helping the next generation of young musicians take their first steps in their musical journeyMollie on Spotify

In what way did your involvement with UVG help you progress as a musician?

UVG taught me strength, courage, how to perform within a group with confidence and technique. The one to one mentoring session’s really boosted my range and technical ability which I have followed through into my adult years. UVG is a family and I feel like such a big part of it. I truly feel I wouldn’t have had the humble, yet intelligent approach, I have to the music industry and wouldn’t be the skilled artist I am today without their help. They are my roots and for that I will be eternally grateful.

What advice would you give to a young musician starting in the music industry?

Take every opportunity that gets thrown at you, because even if it doesn’t go as you planned or doesn’t get you where you think it should… it will give you heaps of experience and that’s what gives you the strength and courage to carry on. Knowledge and patience are the key to success in this industry so whenever you feel like giving up on your music… DON’T. It will always be there, even on your down days because music is who you are and you should NEVER let anyone, anything or any experience take that away from you.