Spoken word artist wins Alter Ego 2014 talent contest
The winner of Hackney's biggest talent show was crowned in front of a packed out audience at the Hackney Empire last Friday, 7 February.
Spoken word artist Di-Andre Ebanks Silvera, 13, wowed the audience and judges at the Alter Ego finals with his performance, 'Dare You'. A powerful message about young people in modern society.
Di-Andre said: "It hasn’t fully sunk in yet, but it has left me lost for words because of the people I was up against, like Warren and the Young Brasscals, they were really good. Hopefully I get to do more shows like this in the future.”
Past Alter Ego contestants include Jermaine Jackman who is currently competing in BBC's The Voice.
Di-Andre will receive a package of mentoring by industry professionals, rehearsal and studio time, a professional makeover and photo shoot session. Second place went to 18 year old dancer Warren Hugh Murray and rapper Kagan Page-Burgin,17 and girl group, Young Brasscals, 14 year old Nadia Haloua, Rose Yemelyanova and Sanchez Mequina were joint third.
Eight acts performed in the contest, which was hosted by Kat B (MTV Base) DJ Louis Subsole with performances from X Factors Misha B, Hackney born rapper, J Spades and Alter Ego 2013 winner Emily Numutaako, better known by her stage name, Emily Grace.
Misha B said: “The children are the future, even though I’m 21, there are more generations to come, that I need to make room for and giving back and talking to them about my experiences is only going to better them. I know a lot of them want to be singers, rappers, musicians, dancers, being in the entertainment industry I just feel I can help.”
The six other finalists who played their part in an amazing show were singer, KC Raphael, 19; Girl group, Our Song is Contagious, 14 year olds, Amna-Janine Elsayed, Glorious Okosun and Abigail Asabea Appiah; Girl group, Flight, Melanie Wanjala, Israel Ferron and Esther Korner, aged 15. Rappers, Splash Crew Shanziie Carter, Rykardo Levy-Martin Zamora, Tyla-Ryan Fenlon and Kirstan Andrew. All aged 14 or 15 years old.
The winners were selected through a 50/50 combination of text votes by the Alter Ego audience and nominations by the judging panel made up of Voice 2013 contestant Matt Henry , music producer, Bless Beats and MTV, BBC presenter, Jasmine Dotiwala and Hackney Empire’s Susie McKenna.
The finalists were selected following an X Factor style contest earlier this month. Around 40 performers aged between 13 and 21 took to the stage to deliver a variety of different entertainment including acting, singing, rapping, dance and comedy in the hope of making it through to the finals. The public were also able to view the contenders online and vote for their favourite.
Alter Ego is presented by Hackney Council and Hackney Empire and forms part of Hackney Council’s Discover Young Hackney, a free festival which promotes participation and training in the arts for young people through a range of taster sessions and workshops run by creative professionals in music, dance, radio, art, literature, photography, design, singing, film and theatre. The festival runs throughout February 2014. A full programme of festival events is available here. Live updates are also available on Twitter @DYH2014 , Discover Young Hackney Facebook page and DHY14 YouTube channel.