I was on the Future Leaders programme during its first cohort in 2013/14. At the time I was 16 years old and I had been playing percussion in my local youth samba band for a few years and was already teaching younger participants than myself. I knew that this realm of community music and carnival arts is where I wanted my future to be but had no idea how I could feasibly make it work and many of my peers in school and my community didn’t have the same amount of passion about a future in the arts as myself. That’s when Future Leaders happened.
I was totally immersed in a new community of like-minded people from all over the UK I had never met before with the staff and my peers during the course. Not only did I make a lot of great friends on the course but the wider network of Global Grooves actually helped me build links in my own city. Beyond the network, I was given the opportunity and the space to develop different aspects of being a carnival artist, from personal development, freelancing, working with other art forms as well as learning a lot of rhythms and cultures from specialised teachers.
7 years after taking part I’m proud to say that I am a full-time freelance musician (with a couple of study trips to Brazil under my belt!). The support, knowledge and opportunities provided by the course have been pivotal in my own journey over the years! I’m currently based in Edinburgh working on a variety of projects from creating content online, providing admin, production support and teaching at Oi Musica CIC, performing with various Brazilian music groups in Edinburgh as well as teaching in community groups and schools. As well as getting stuck in with Global Grooves based opportunities whenever I can.