Apprentice Nation, with supporting partner BT, last night brought together some of the most acclaimed artists on the UK music scene, treating fans to a livestreamed concert featuring their greatest sounds and sharing inspirational life stories and advice to help young people shape their future.
As a career and life skills training platform, Apprentice Nation, supported by BT, aims to cut through the noise and inspire the participants. Apprentice Nation is particularly oriented to support those from historically underrepresented backgrounds who are often hard to reach, to have the strongest social impact. Using the power of music Apprentice Nation, aims to inspire 16 to 24 year olds at a critical time in their lives as they leave school and enter the job market to help shape their future and gain valuable skills.
The show launches a series of interactive webinars which will take place over the next six weeks, featuring music artists, leaders and young people, covering topics such as: Digital Industries, Personal Branding, Money Management, Networking, Self Belief, Gender Equality, Time Management, Thriving At Work When Pregnant plus Presentation Skills Training.
Presented by radio DJ and TV personality Yinka Bokinni, Apprentice Nation’s livestream concert from Printworks in London, featured Ghetts (Ivor Novello nominated), Young T & Bugsey (2021 BRIT nominated), Ray BLK (MOBO nominated, BBC Sound of The Year 2017 winner) and critically acclaimed IAMDDB, who were back on stage, performing some of their hit songs in a one-of-a-kind show. Each artist also gave viewers the inside track on their personal career highs and lows to help inspire people to pursue their passions, and not to let setbacks and struggles at school and with entering the job market, particularly as result of the pandemic, hold them back.
The concert kicked off with Nottingham pair Young T & Bugsey. One of the biggest hip-hop duos in the UK right now, they have capped a phenomenal year with three BRIT nominations, including British Single and Breakthrough Artist. The duo kicked off their set off with Don’t Rush, a tune which provided the soundtrack to the biggest viral TikTok video challenge of lockdown with over 760 million views to date.
Unlike anything else on the career training scene, Apprentice Nation’s flips the traditional training methods on its head with its accessible, gamified content giving participants the opportunity to earn credits whilst they learn and exchange them for exclusive rewards such as England Football Shirts, Beats by Dre headphones and even a private video hangout with one of the artists from last night’s live show.
Bugsey of Young T & Bugsey on not knowing about apprenticeship in his formative years, said: “When growing up and at secondary school I didn’t know much about apprenticeships. Not until I went to college and even then, I had to search for it; the info wasn’t just slapped bang in front of me. It’s good to have things like Apprentice Nation, they’re someone you can actually go to and seek help and advice. It’s not just music, but even if you do want to go into music, there are so many things in music you can do that some people are not even privy to.”
Following the Notts duo was BBC Sound of The Year 2017 winner and Catford, South East London, native Ray BLK. Ray is one of the most important voices out in the UK
music scene and has been channelling her creative energies during lockdown to work on her debut album. During the performance, Ray performed her smash hit singles Love Sick and My Hood, a track she famously collaborated on with international grime superstar Stormzy.
Ray BLK on not letting your environment be a barrier, said: “I never let my surroundings and my circumstances hold me back. I think it’s very easy to doubt and feel like it’s impossible, to reach your goals when everyone around you isn’t doing that or you don’t even see yourself represented. But I always try and never let my surrounding dictate my future.”
Following Ray BLK was Manchester-born singer and songwriter IAMDDB who is now making waves internationally with her unique urban jazz-infused anthems after her smash hit Shade became a viral sensation on TikTok – pushing views for the track up to 40 million. Last night, she took to the Apprentice Nation stage to perform Wa’hum and Pause.
Urban-Jazz artist, IAMDDB on not giving up and advice for those thinking about a career in music, said: “Be grateful for everything that didn’t go to plan, because it’s gonna grow you, your character, your depth of plan and don’t be afraid when people decline you or your music or your artistry. It’s just another chance for you to figure out the right way to do things. People at the top have failed numerous times. Failing is just another way of understanding how not to do it so you get closer to mastering your craft.”
Last in the line up, but certainly not least, was an artist who rarely needs an introduction, Ghetts. Ghetts has been a frontrunner in the UK grime scene since its early inception and the Plaistow-native has released some of the genre’s most iconic hits including Skadoosh and One Take, cementing himself as a legend of the scene. Coming off the high of rave reviews of his latest album, Conflict of Interest, Ghetts took to the Apprentice Nation stage last night to perform new tunes Hop Out and Fire & Brimstone.
Ghetts on having faith in yourself, said: “My advice would be to believe in your individuality – there’s a powerful source in that alone. It can feel very strange when you’re young and you don’t fit in to the status quo of ‘what’s cool’. That can feel very frightening – but that’s also a powerful place to be and you just don’t know it yet. It’s people like that that normally change the world. They create a whole new way of dressing or talking, or way to spit and sing, you know what I’m saying?”
To watch the show from last night: https://apprenticenation.co.uk/liveshow/
About Apprentice Nation and Launch of Six Week Series of Webinars
The interactive content over the next six weeks feature over 20 on demand videos and webinars all featuring the artists from the live show, along with the following four special sessions:
· 27 April: Think Like an Employer – When job hunting during a pandemic – Young T & Bugsey
· 4 May: Think Like an Employer – When you’re in a new role – Ray BLK
· 1st June: Elevate Your Game – Career Path Planning – IAMDDB
· 11th May Self-Belief, Your Greatest Tool – Ghetts
Hayley, South East London, Apprentice Nation participant and Production Runner on her involvement: “My biggest highlight was when I saw Young T & Bugsey perform and I got to be part of the incredible team supporting them. I learned so much from seeing the equipment being set up and assisting the hard-working crew. I met a lot of creative people with incredible ambitions that spurred me on to reconsider what I want and realise that any goal is achievable because any obstacle can be overcome with relentless drive and belief. It was an unforgettable experience.”
Jonas, South East London, Apprentice Nation participant and Trainee Host added: “It was an honour to be a trainee host for Apprentice Nation and I had a blast!
Interviewing Young T & Bugsey’s manager was a great experience and a surreal moment as a really like the duo’s music. I learnt that being on set is a non- stop job, however, the experience taught me that it doesn’t have to be stressful as long as you plan and communicate with your team effectively.”
To access the skills Hub for new Apprentice Nation content: