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5 Inspiring Young People in Nottingham

14 October 17 words: Anushka Shah

Our Nottingham kids are really good at gettin’ out there and showing off their awesome talents. We’re proud to have ya.

Credit: SWNS Group/Newsteam

Adam Cudworth – entrepreneur and developer
When he was 19 and studying Economics at University of Nottingham, he had a bit of an unusual ‘hobby on the side’. Forget nightclubbing til the early hours, Adam wanted to see the day change into night from 32km above above the earth and got into high altitude photography. He bought a decent camera from eBay for £30, did some research to build up his knowledge of the components, and carried out a DIY project much more difficult than that revamping that ugly set of drawers in the corner of your bedroom that you still haven’t got round to sanding. Adam used a giant balloon to send this camera to space and snapped some epic photos – and the whole project cost less than £200. Now that’s what we call economical.


Sheku Kanneh-Mason – cellist
You’ve probably heard of Sheku - he made front page news when he won the British Young Musician of the Year awards last year. He was the first black musician to win the award since it was launched 38 years earlier and the chair of judges, Dobrinka Tabakova, described his winning performance as ‘sincere and moving’. Sheku went to Trinity Catholic Comprehensive here in Notts and he’s got big things in his future; he holds the ABRSM Junior Scholarship and he started his degree at the Royal Academy of Music in September. He’s going places - literally - as at 18, he is already performing internationally. In Blighty, he has performed in front of Prince Charles and in 2015, he made it to the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals. Tabakova said “in today’s society, which seems to be swept by mediocrity, [Sheku] shows how hard work, dedication and talent can lift you out”.  

Jamal Sterrett – flex dancer, photographer and graphic designer
One day, Jamal was on a break at uni and got his groove on in front of a reflective poster outside Rock City. Someone snapped a video, and it quickly went viral. It was so popular, that same night, Rock City had him on stage as a performer. He likes to practice in front of reflective surfaces so chances are you might have seen him around town cracking some moves. He describes his dancing as “improvised” and “emotional”, and his unique style has led to him winning awards for his creativity. He says he wants to teach the style to the kids in his own community and give them confidence and a voice. A great lad, and an inspiration to other young dancers here in Notts.

Jake Bugg – musician and singer-songwriter
Here’s another lad on the music scene, but one that’s interested in a very different type of music to Sheku’s. Jake grew up on the Clifton council estate, describing himself in one of his songs as ‘a poor boy from Nottingham’. But boy, has this one gone far; he’s played around 400 shows in three years. He started playing the guitar aged twelve, and was seventeen when he first rose to fame with his rock tunes. He played the BBC Introducing tent at Glastonbury in 2011, and his debut album reached number one on the UK albums chart in 2012. He’d never been out of England before his rise to fame, but he soon found himself flying all over; amazing, really. His single Trouble Town was even used for the theme tune of the BBC series, Happy Valley. He’s creating quite a name for Nottingham!

Kelsey Shaw – singer-songwriter
This eighteen year old student at the Nottingham Academy is already winning the hearts of her audience. She performed earlier this year at the Noise from the Next Generation competition, and won a prize that gave her automatic entry into the semi-finals of Nusic’s Future Sound of Nottingham competition, where she achieved the highest number of votes ever gained by a solo artist. The public know Kelsey for the weird faces she pulls when she gets too absorbed in the music, but she ain’t worried, as she’s too busy making her performances as powerful as she can. With so many talented young musicians here in Notts, we think she’s right when she says our city has an “amazing music scene that nurtures the talent within the city.” You go girl, keep winning them votes.

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