“Music is everything to me, honestly I don’t know what else I would to fill my time, Every day I do something musically”
Chez is a singer songwriter and DJ who has been coming to The Music Works for several years, and is now part of our UPSURGE artist development programme. We caught up with her to talk about her experience with us, and the impact it’s had on her.
Chez first got involved with The Music Works after she’d left school. “I was 16 and I started a music course in Gloucester college, but it wasn’t great. I had a youth support worker at the time and she introduced me to Malaki (Creative Director at The Music Works) and to Grove (previous participant on UPSURGE) who is so cool and inspired me to get involved with The Music Works. Then I applied and got onto the UPSURGE programme a year ago and here I am today.”
Chez studied GCSE music at school, but found it didn’t resonate with her. “Studying it [music] was so different to The Music Works. It was very classical based, we didn’t look into much dance music, r&b or hip-hop at all. It was very intense and narrowed down structure. It was just about getting the grade in music and nothing about wanting a career in music. There wasn’t much freedom to explore or be creative with music at school.”
Chez feels that at The Music Works, she is given autonomy which supports her creative growth.
“I feel completely in control of my creative path at The Music Works 100%, there is no pressure from anyone here to look a certain way, sound a certain way, play a certain genre of music , write my songs a certain way, it is completely up to me and I love it.”
She has also found her musical skills have developed through specific training opportunities, “one thing I would say is that my singing lessons on UPSURGE have really helped me, I had no idea of the power I could have and the range I could access with my voice before. It is definitely going to help my career. I know more now and trust myself more with my voice.”
The facilities at the Hub in Gloucester are also a highlight for Chez. “I love the Hub, The Hub is sick, every room is mint, the good quality technology in there is insane! And I think because it’s designed by young people I think and hope it will help Gloucester’s youth just grow”
“The Music Works has given me a lot of direction to be honest, I think I know what I want more now more so than before I came here. I have grown as a person, my confidence has grown and the faith I have myself. Just the drive to do it has been boosted.”
What’s next for Chez? “I am planning on dropping a drum and bass mix soon and I have got an EP in the works which is more of my singer/song-writer stuff, so it’s exciting!”