Norwich may’ve enjoyed a mini heatwave the other Sunday, but the hottest thing in the city was tickets to our Unsigned Live stars’ gig at The Waterfront.
As Maple Ward, Juliet, The Marijanovic and Lfay’s time with mentors Millie Manders and Jasper Milton comes to an end we spoke to them all about gig, the Unsigned programme and what’s next for them.
Maple’s infectious blend of acoustic pop and folk was full of storytelling which played with your emotions and got the evening off to a fantastic start. The perfect soundtrack to a scorching summer’s evening. There’s a lovely lilt to her voice which is literal music to your ears.
She said: “I had a blast Sunday night! It was a wonderful evening, I really enjoyed it.
“I feel really proud to be able to say I’ve performed at The Waterfront! I’m really pleased that my performance seemed to go down well, I had some great feedback from it. I really enjoyed the evening with the other guys.
“It was a lovely way to wrap up our Unsigned experience and see how far we have all come on our journeys.
“This gig is probably up there with my most prestigious in terms of the venue! It’s certainly one I won’t forget. It was cool to tick it off the bucket list haha!
“I’m so excited to be studying for a music performance degree in September. I’m really looking forward to focusing my energy on music and further developing my artistry and performance techniques.
“In turn I hope this will bring along more gig opportunities. One thing I really want to focus on as well is laying down my tracks and getting them out there! I have lots of songs that are yet to be released. I think this will make all the difference once I get on top of that.
“I think I’ve come a long way from week one [of the programme] to now. In all honesty, I think to begin with I was making quite a slow progression. Towards the end I think there was a real shift and a noticeable difference.
“Those who had frequently watched my performances said the same. I don’t know why, but I think something might have just clicked. It was like everything I’d been taught over the course of Unsigned fell into place. Which I’m really glad happened before The Waterfront gig!
“I would certainly recommend Unsigned to others. It was amazing for my mentors to have faith in myself as an artist, and the confidence in me that I can progress my music into a creative career.
“I think that really helped to flip my headspace and made me strive for higher levels of professionalism around myself and my music. I think Unsigned is invaluable for anyone who needs that extra push of guidance around navigating the music industry.”
Juliet delivered a powerful set despite an unexpected song shuffle early in. She styled it out like she’d been performing for years. It worked in her favour, calming the nerves there in her first song. It was an empowering cocktail of RnB, rap, spoken word, hip-hop and soul-tinged pop. The strong feminist lyrics really spoke to the largely female crowd.
She said: “I felt amazing after The Waterfront gig. It’s something I’ve always wanted to tick off my bucket list as well, as over the years I’ve watched some of my idols play there.
“It felt a bit of a blur. Before I knew it, it was all over. But I’ve never felt so proud of how far I have actually come and achieved. My dream is becoming my reality. This was definitely a wow moment for me in my career so far!
“The gig was definitely up there for me next to playing Latitude festival. I am very grateful to have been able to grace The Waterfront stage this young and early into my career. For my next steps I am continuing with AD4 at Access Creative College alongside writing my EP, gigging and learning to play guitar.
“My Unsigned journey has been incredible. It came just at the right time and really helped me to grow in all aspects. I found it very helpful to have two experienced artists as mentors to help guide and be real with me most importantly. My stage performance has particularly just elevated from week one to now.
“A release will be coming soon from me. Until then you can follow my journey on Instagram to keep updated on gigs, releases and hear my unreleased tracks.”
Find out more about Juiliet‘s music on Instagram.
The Marijanovic’s anthemic, genre-defying mix of 80s goth, post-modern punk and rock tore the roof off the building and then rebuilt it so he could demolish it all over again. His voice is exceptional. His accompanying band, Estate, slapped hard. I don’t think my internal organs have returned to their right place yet.
He said: “I’m still buzzing!! After my performance I felt amazing!! It had always been a dream of mine to play The Waterfront! I’ve been going since I was young.
“The feedback from the audience and the atmosphere in the room made the experience so much fun! This was also my first gig with a full band who go by Estate and they absolutely smashed the performance!
“I definitely think this gig is in my top three spots! Latitude will always be my number one spot but this one is a very close second. Both for huge sentimental reasons. The pure joy I got from the stage and audience solidified this as one of the best moments of my life!
“Next in life… Where do I even start? My debut EP Chaos comes out on 29 July and I will be doing one more year at Access Creative College on the AD4 course.
“I have countless shows coming up including Latitude for the second time! I will also be working with Midsummer Events who are a new event company with a great vision for live shows.
“We will be working together on my EP release party and a few other local shows with other Norwich acts. I am still going to be writing new material with $ebbuku ready for release late this year and early next year.
“I definitely would recommend Unsigned to early artists looking for a kick start in the scene. Plenty of great advice and insane opportunities and experiences. Millie and Jasper really know what they are on about and I can’t thank them enough!”
Lfay’s experimental hip-hop / jazz fusion was the perfect way to send everyone out into the night full of feelgood vibes. She’s so relaxed on stage, listening to her is like sinking into your favourite chair after a hard day.
She said: “I feel great, really keen to get more gigs in and progress as a live performer not just an artist.
“[This was] probably one of the best [gigs]. It was the first time me and the band had performed together, and it made a massive difference!
“I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, getting time in the studio. I’ve got about five tracks being mixed and mastered as we speak. Hopefully they’ll be ready to release. A bit different from my usual style. Got a bit of jungle in there. I’ve also got an EP in the works, so you can expect a lot of new music from me.
“[My Unsigned journey] was sick, I didn’t really know what to expect as I’ve never had any kind of mentoring within my music and my performance was very, very different than it is now. It taught me a lot and changed the way that I look at the music industry.
“I’d definitely [recommend the programme] it’s only once every other week but what you get from it is absolutely mad. Millie and Jasper really helped me develop as an artist and made sure that I was being myself.”
Mentor Jasper said: “It was very satisfying seeing Unsigned performances’ at The Waterfront this year.
“As a tutor/mentor at times throughout the year it can be frustrating seeing the potential in each performer not yet realised, but they all very definitely came through on the night.
“Very strong performances made me forget my job and get totally transported away by their shows. A combination of strong song writing and artful stagecraft developed throughout the year has really paid off, I love this job!!”
Unsigned is supported by Youth Music. We’re now accepting applications for September’s programme.
If you wish to considered for selection, please send links to your music, any performance footage, a bit about yourself and why you’d like to take part to [email protected]
To book your place on the next Youth Tech Team course, email [email protected] or give us a call on 01603 283382. Spaces are limited so best be quick.
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