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2012-2013 VOLUME 2

in this look book of the year, which has been put together by young people and our youth editor in residence, David.

Bigga Fish’s vision and values have always been consistent as much as our activities continue to be responsive and evolving. Bigga Fish is built on a fundamental belief and vision that youth culture is essential to the vitality and viability of our country, society and economy. Young people will ultimately inherit and run this nation, we will be relying on our young people to lead, be creative and run our businesses. We need young people to be great, we believe in their potential and those they need nurturing and valuing to make a significant contribution to the best of their ability. In 2013 we have sought to further support that vision through building the capacity of our infrastructure and strategic delivery, both within the organisation and also crucially with our national network of partners across 8 cities. We now maintain a network of organisations including football clubs, radio stations, and community venues that we work with to give both breadth and depth to our programmes. Some of these highlights we have included

We pride ourselves on understanding and creatively responding to the needs of youth culture, placing young people at the heart of our offer and through arts and the wider creative industries turning this into a learning opportunity, often accredited. In the last year young people have participated in over 4500 hours of delivery and volunteering, over 500 young artists have been engaged and 1800 young people were introduced to new music experiences with us for the first time. Our 14 years of experience has helped us to have a unique but shared appreciation of the needs and solutions necessary to support greatness in young people. Young people can now come to our events, perform at them and learn how to manage and market them. Above all of our creative achievements, it is our position as a positive youth brand with a personal connection that we are most proud of, where our Street Teamers see us as ‘family’ and that years later people fondly smile at the mention of Bigga Fish, remembering the events they attended.


I walked into the Club Row office for work experience during a busy period of my life. Dissertation, other university projects and Spurs’ race for ‘Top 4’, I absorbed everything. Bigga Fish is a workplace, community, society and home. All of these allow a fun and creative environment for young people to develop into mature young adults. I remember the first time I worked at Bigga Fish via my encounter with Nii for an interview for my dissertation, everybody had a positive vibe to them, from the adults to the young people. Arguably, my first instinct was how long will this last for?! I was relatively cantankerous in my younger days.

We look forward to it!

I was still a little rough around the edges. Being young I never really understood the role of positivity, and how it can drive a person, even more so at an impressionable age. I wasn’t involved with groups such as Bigga Fish, just sports, but I was fully aware of the negative connotations of young black and ethnic minorities in London.

Nii Sackey, CEO, Bigga Fish

My main perceptions were and in many ways still are evident in society.

In 2014 we look forward to the launch of our charitable foundation and growing our resources to increase the value of our offer to the development of young people and our country.

However, the most important thing I learned with Bigga Fish and especially the young people, was that it is my duty to extinguish stereotypes and perceptions of people who judge solely through connotations. That is testament to the development and mentoring skills at Bigga Fish. Bigga Fish allows young people to really express themselves in positive ways and provides support with windows of opportunities to do something they can be proud of. It is a place where I still get a timely reminder that with a bunch of like-minded people around me, I can accomplish what I set out to do. Nii knows that I fully comprehend what Bigga Fish represents and that makes my role as editor easier to deliver. Revising the events that took place in the last 18 months I see even more so than before that Bigga Fish is more influential than to just young black people. Bigga Fish is arguably a fundamental grassroots organisation for young people who look for them just as much as Bigga Fish look to promote talented youngsters needing a platform. I hope I have been able to highlight this, as I believe this to be the underlining point of this book. Editor David Warren @david14warren



In 2012 Bigga Fish went from being a driving hub for urban youth culture in London to a national network for the engagement of inner-city youth in Newcastle, Manchester, Newport, Birmingham and Sheffield. 2013 saw steps taken to expand again with Liverpool and Leeds becoming the latest cities to start up a Bigga Fish street team and run a youth-led artistic programme.

Bigga fish is all about today’s young people. This year saw the influence grow to two other cities. Bigga Fish will have its 15th birthday during 2014. Since the birth of Bigga Fish, we have delivered 150 events and still operate the largest regular national live tour for young people.

At Bigga Fish individuality is important. Each young person has there own identity, which we combine to create our family. Discrimination is never a worry and everyone is comfortable to express themselves creatively. It is all about learning and earning and with Bigga Fish there are numerous opportunities to do so. Vinspired has been a great help in funding the recruitment and training of the street team as well as enabling us with the right resources to give them volunteering opportunities.

‘Bigga is a second family that has enriched my social life. Being a part of the street team has enabled me to meet new people who I can relate to.’ TITUS - Street Teamer

If you are not involved, get involved! There is no reason why you shouldn’t be in a street team. What we want is for everybody to Think Bigga.

‘I think the best part for me has to have been the learning process. I have worked so closely with the staff, learning so much more about events and tours, professionalism and marketing, even down to learning how to record data and how to write an invoice correctly. I have learnt so many skills that I can take forward into any work-place as well as skills that are useful in everyday life.’ LATISHA - Street Team Captain

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‘My best Bigga moment was Notting Hill Carnival. Everyone on the team acted mature and everything went well. We all had fun and it shows just how big Bigga Fish can be!’

‘My best Bigga moment was Wandsworth Young Performer. It was good getting together with friends and putting on the event for the people.’ YANNIS - Street Teamer

TASHAN - Street Teamer

‘Bigga Fish has given me life skills that I would otherwise not had. Whilst joining the street team, I have been able to network with a lot of new people and form friendships with other like-minded young people. I have learnt a lot about the music industry and have also been given various opportunities that helped with my own development.’ NAOMI - Street Teamer



‘The whole crowd supported each artist that stepped up to perform whether that be their friends or not, which was great to see and is completely different from what we usually see in Wales. I really think the show brought the community together and was a great success.’ LUKE FUSSELL - Newport Street Team Captain

The Just Talent Finale took place on the 26th May 2013 at Concrete in Shoreditch. What a night to remember!

With the help of Arts Council, Vinspired, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, PRS For Music and all of our regional partners, we were able to put on a fantastic touring programme in 2013 called The Just Talent Tour. The tour visited 8 cities, London, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle and Newport. Over 400 music artists around the UK auditioned for a secured spot in the semi-finals, which took place in each city. Artists performed to a total audience

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of 4,200 people around the country to win a place in the London Finale. This tour focuses on providing a much needed opportunity for the talent development of young artists and to provide them with national exposure to new audiences as well as music professionals such as the judging panel of Michael Lawrence (The HUB Entertainment), Shaurav D’Silva (Universal Records) and Fiona Ramsey (European Tour Manager for Taylor Swift)

In the lead up to the Finale, each of the 8 finalists got over 40 hours of development time working with industry professionals on songwriting, stage presence, performance skills and crowd engagement. They were able to rehearse their songs with a live band and received constructive criticism from professionals who have previously worked with artists such as Rihanna, Eminem and B.O.B. We also put a twist on the weekend and paired up the artists to write a song together to perform at the finale. This was a great task to see how the individuals worked with strangers and how quickly they picked up new skills. At the Just Talent Finale hosted by Jazzie and DJ Policy, the candle-lit venue was filled to capacity and the audience watched the incredible performances from the 8 unique finalists. Each young artist showed his or her creativity, passion and musical talent. The crowd was cooperative and participated with the songs which left the show with a lovely vibe.

After all their hard work, the artists awaited the news of who the winner would be. Mr6 from London was in third, Critical from Newport in second and Georgia Daniels from Newcastle stole the winning title with her song ‘So Wrong’. The night and the whole tour proved to be a success and we look forward to putting on this touring programme again. We managed to put a spotlight on a number of emerging artists and that is what we’re all about.

‘I would like to say a really big thank you for all the tips and advice you gave me in the sound check which made a massive difference to my performance- I will have that knowledge forever now!!!’ MR6 - London Finalist

We Spoke to Georgia Daniels, we find out about her experiences throughout the Just Talent Tour and what she’s hoping to do now. How did you feel about the Just Talent finale from the auditions all the way to the finale? At the initial auditions I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I hadn’t heard of the project before, but I received good feedback about my songwriting and was delighted when I made it down to the semi final. I’ve always wanted to perform at the o2 Academy Newcastle and I was excited just to say I’d performed there, it didn’t occur to me that I could win. Winning the Newcastle Semi Final and knowing I was going to take part in the development weekend and the Grand Finale was just amazing to me and I spent the first day of the weekend being in awe of the other acts, especially as I didn’t realise that rappers have prewritten verses, and thought they were all freestyling these overly-clever rhymes! I loved writing with Merki, it was such an eye opener for me as I usually write solo and it was great to delve into another genre. Meeting all the other musicians and the advice we received from the mentors is invaluable to me, i’m eager to incorporate everything i’ve been taught into all aspects of my career. What are you doing next? I am releasing a soundtrack to a short indie film called ‘Honest’, which includes 3 of my original songs, working on my upcoming EP with Push Puzzle Records which will be out in September and putting together a band as I was so inspired by working with the session guys last weekend. Follow us @biggafish

CASE STUDY ‘I’ve always wanted to perform at the o2 Academy Newcastle and I was excited just to say I’d performed there’ Where can people download or listen to your songs? georgiadanielsmusic What was your best experience from Just Talent? Working with the band and getting to play to such an attentive crowd! The band were so incredibly talented and really brought the best out of my song, I really hope I can work with them again in the future. Well done once again to Georgia! You were amazing! All of the 8 artists were amazing and performed so well. The judges stated that they found it very difficult to choose one winner. Congratulations to all of the artists, you did us proud. The whole night was a success and we hope to do another one in the future. Thank you to Arts Council, Vinspired, Esmee Fairbairn and PRS for Music for making this project possible!



Skrilla otherwise known as Ashley Pitter, began his journey with Bigga Fish as a street teamer, then became a street team captain and finally became a staff member. He has now grown to take part in new challenges and is doing some very exciting things for the community!

“I have worked with Bigga Fish for just over 10 years; starting as a young street teamer at the age of 14 then moving up to become a Street Team Captain and Marketing Assistant and now I’m running my own business called Hype Squad.” Follow us @biggafish

During my time at Bigga Fish I have worked on many of their promotional projects, including the P.Diddy (Diddy Dirty Money) album tour, Urban Classic, Hackney Weekend and also 2 regional tours across 8 cities. I have worked with and helped train over 250 street teamers since I started. I also assisted with the successful design and delivery of the new innovative Bigga Fish/VInspired Street Team Training and Development programme for the newly recruited regional street teams across 8 cities.

Since moving on from Bigga Fish, I have gone on to create HypeSquad UK and HypeSquad Models. Both are London based teams of young promoters specialising in peer-to-peer youth marketing. We have more than 30 trained and committed street team members across London. HypeSquad UK promotes brands through traditional and non-traditional street and online marketing campaigns. We’ve already worked with Musicalize, Bigga Fish, Fat Talent, Urbans Got Talent, Street Life Radio, Rampage (at Notting hill Carnival), the So Solid Crew tour and most recently the Itunes Festival. As well as working on HypeSquad, I am also working as Marketing Manager with One Big Community which is a Spirit of London company; a coalition of young leaders and youth organisations in the capital. It was inspired by some of the horrific events that have resulted in the deaths and injuries of so many young people in London. Youth Empowerment Day will be an event led by young people, for young people as a day of action against youth violence, seeking to get a meaningful reaction from decision makers and the wider London community.

“Bigga Fish has to be one of the best places I have ever worked. Bigga Fish has been a big part of my life; a lot of people I know and clients that I have worked for mostly know me because of Bigga Fish and the stuff I have done whilst working for them.” I started promoting events for Bigga before I was even old enough to go and now that I have left I still feel like part of the team. I’ve learnt a lot through Bigga Fish and I was given the chance to meet many inspirational people and artists while I was there. I have had loads of happy experiences with Bigga Fish but the best would have to be working with all the young teamers, who I still keep in contact with. There were also other funny moments like the Bigga ‘One Pound’ Fish Remix and the Harlem Shake! Seriously though, I’d like to say thank you to Nii Sackey for being the inspirational ‘mad man’ that he is and for teaching me most of what I know, Michelle for being the mummy at Bigga Fish and also rebranding me ‘Skrilly’, Rachel for just always being on point and keeping her cool, also DJ Policy, Ella, Heena, Raven, Ben and Natalie who I also had the pleasure of working with. Finally I’d like to big up the street team, my little brothers and sisters in all 8 cities, it’s your time now to enjoy your youth and I hope you enjoy your time with Bigga Fish as much as I did.

Aiming to break down the barriers between different music genres and to bring together different cultural contexts, Remix the Mix is a pilot that aims to produce a model for the future music engagement and education for 14-21 year olds through orchestral music. Remix the Mix promises to be a fusion of music styles, which brings together a dynamic group of young urban music performers and the best classical instrumentalists aged 14-19 across Barking, Dagenham and Havering. We are working with 60 young people with this project and they are involved as artists or a member of the orchestra. The project has been funded through a partnership with the Mayor’s Music Fund, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Barking and Dagenham Community Music Service Hubs, Havering Music Services, Audio Network and Bigga Fish.

‘Loved Rehearsals today, it was a really cool, fun & productive session, cant wait for the show! #watchout’

The finale event is the culmination of a six month project where performers worked alongside professional musicians and composers to explore, remix and refix well-known musical pieces to create this exciting showcase. The finale event will take place in March 2014 at The Broadway Theatre.


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From Left to Right: Jazzie, Idris Elba, Yoav Segel, Joe Divas, & DJ Policy at the premier of the film

Irons in the Fire is a 3D film about opportunity, narrated by Golden Globe winner, Idris Elba and features DJ Policy and moving spoken word artist George the Poet.

The film follows 5 young Londoners that have gained skills from organisations that have changed their lives. Idris Elba, who is the voice-over for the film is also the film’s ambassador. Irons in the Fire also features George the Poet. Follow us @biggafish

It features 5 organisations, Bigga Fish, Greenhouse, Fifteen, Impact Dance and Only Connect who support the young people in music, dance, food, sport and acting. Pollo as we like to call him started off as an audience member, progressed to a volunteer, then trainee and onto a full-time member of staff teaching other young people and performing. He now works as a resident DJ in Ibiza. The premier night for Irons in the Fire was on Wednesday 30th October 2013. The night was very enjoyable. Idris Elba came to support the young Londoners and was happy to pose for a picture or two!

‘All too often we receive an unwelcome barrage of negative press about young people. It’s therefore refreshing and inspiring to watch this film, and be reminded that up and down the country there are young people who are triumphing above adversity, and grabbing opportunities for self-expression, personal growth, and real achievement. And what a powerful reminder too, of the power of arts and culture – a great film!’ Althea Efunshile, Chief Operating Officer at Arts Council

‘A truly inspirational film showing young people seizing opportunities, working hard and turning their life around. Equally amazing are the people who give their lives to helping others achieve their full potential.’ Samantha Simmonds, Sky News

From left to right, Derek Bardowell, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Kim Chaplain, Mayor’s Fund for London, Nii Sackey, Bigga Fish, Althea Efunshile, Arts Council, Samantha Simmonds Sky News



On 10th August the Royal Albert Hall was the stage for Urban Classic. Working with the BBC and Serious, the show had an audience reach of up to SIX MILLION people!! Follow us @biggafish

‘a joyous and inspiring collision of musical worlds’

‘Urban Classic Prom a pleasure to witness

Daily Telegraph


Maverick Sabre

‘Tonight at the BBC Urban Classic Proms was one of the most enjoyable moments of my career…’ Wretch 32:

‘Tonight will have its own room in my memory museum.’ Jacob Banks:

‘I can’t even find the words to explain how privileged I feel. Also I’m probably the first performer in history to fist bump a conductor at the Royal Albert Hall.’ Laura Mvula

‘What a night!!! #UrbanClassicProm x’ Lady Leshurr:

‘Last night has only just sank into me. I didn’t understand why so many people were amazed at what I did cus I just see it as doing me BUT having somebody’s grandma and grandad that have NEVER heard of me or the music I do bobbing their heads and putting their hands up MOVED ME!’ Follow us @biggafish

2 Hours of complete brilliance was on show at the most prestigious of venues. Not to mention the most prestigious of ceremonies, so if you missed it…...well, there is always next year. Urban Classic was just as successful as the first previous instalments (if not better), with Wretch 32, Laura Mvula, Maverick Sabre, Lady Leshurr, Jacob Banks and Fazer bringing the urban talent to the stage and taking the spotlight on an all-round enjoyable showcase. This time though Urban Classic made it onto the BBC proms agenda, which is testament to the vision of those who started the grand concept. For those who are not yet familiar with this particular live performance, it isn’t a synthesiser creating the beats, bass or rhythm but the BBC Symphony Orchestra; an 80 piece orchestra with violins, double bass’, clarinets and of course a drum kit. Under the guidance of the forwardthinking conductor Jules Buckley, both sides completely proved any doubters wrong that this couldn’t work or that the first edition was a novelty in a great British year of 2012. If anything the demand for tickets will be even greater for 2014, especially due to a 5-star review by the Daily Telegraph’s Bernadette McNulty. ‘A joyous and inspiring collision of musical worlds’, is a sentiment that in one-way or another was echoed by the audience.’


Sticking to our aim of developing new music talent, we have set up a new weekly competition to put the best song tweeted in to us on our website. Every Friday somebody gets a little bit more recognition for his or her talent and hard work. We post a video or two as well as giving a little shout out and the links to their various social media. Since starting the weekly competition is May 2013, on average 240 people have entered and 23 young music artists have featured on our website. The winner’s music has been shown to over 36,000 people within the past 8 months through our website. Follow us @biggafish





‘Amazing!! Huge thank you to @BiggaFish’ Ayanna Witter Johnson ‘Thanks a lot @BiggaFish, it’s an honour for real! #LevelUP’ - Che Lingo




‘Awwww thanks @BiggaFish, glad y’all like the joint had fun making it!!’ Roro Benson





We would just like to take some time out and thank our partners and funders. A big thanks to Arts Council, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, PRS for Music & VInspired, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Forward Eoundation and the BBC We would also like to thank all our regional partners. Thank you to all Street teamers and leaders, as without your help and hard work, the objectives we look to accomplish would not be fulfilled. Thanks and appreciation all-round as we have been given our fair share of acknowledgements from people in the music industry.

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Contact Us The Trampery London Fields, 125 – 127 Mare Street, London E8 3RH E: T: 0207 729 9944 @biggafish Youtube Channel: Bigga Vision

‘The Bigga Fish Foundation is coming soon!’

Bigga Fish 2012-2013 Volume 2  

A look-book for Bigga Fish edited by David Warren.

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