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Will Young leads music workshop

Award-winning singer-songwriter Will Young has praised LIPA Sixth Form College Music students for their musicianship and song-writing skills, after leading a workshop

The musician, who has had 11 Top 10 singles and four number one albums, visited the college on Thursday 17 October. He watched three bands perform a song each, before giving them feedback and working on the arrangements. Will said: “They were all wonderful. We had three such different songs. The students were very receptive to new ideas.”

Flautist Jake Foster, a second year Music student and part of the first band to perform, Just The 8 Of Us, said: “To hear what someone, who’s been so successful in the music industry thinks and for him to give us tips, was incredible.”

The other bands to perform were Sombras and Ask Elliot. Will spent time breaking down their songs and getting them to re-work sections, with a special emphasis on dynamics, stressing “take your audience on a journey.”

Second year student Mary Jane Collins, said performing for Will was nerve wracking, but LSFC had prepared them well. “You do so many performances and shows here that we felt ready. LSFC really does bring you out of your shell.” Jake agrees. “During my first performance here, I was physically shaking. Now I’m still nervous, but can enjoy it.”

As well as working with the bands, Will, currently touring the UK, also took part in a Q&A. He discussed the importance of authenticity, when performing a cover, “I have to find a connection to the song. I can’t just do an impression. It has to be me. Sometimes that takes a long time and sometimes it happens instantly,”

He also talked about his approach to using art to challenge society and how authenticity is key there too. “I like to test the norms, rather than accept the way it is, especially with my videos.

“I’ve received criticism for doing that, but I as long as I was being authentic, and my intentions were honest that doesn’t matter. If it sparks debate that’s good and that’s what I think art should do.”