LAST month, it was announced that Generator, a Newcastle-based music and business support agency, launched a youth advisory board as part of their mission to nurture new talent across the region.
The organisation has since recruited seven successful candidates to form their new Generator Youth Advisory Board (GYAB). Virtual meetings will start soon where board members will have the opportunity to influence and shape the future of Generator and the programmes they run, including creative digital & tech membership programme Digital Union, and their artist development programme, Tipping Point.
The seven GYAB members consist of Kay Greyson, Jake Fletcher, Eddie Scott, Grace Stubbings, Thea Van der Velde, Keely Liptrot, and Nathan Dunn.
22 year-old Kay Greyson has been rapping and performing since she was a teenager, most recently performing at the Royal Albert Hall, BBC Introducing Live, and at Newcastle’s Hit The North Festival. Kay is currently in the studio working on a brand new EP. Her packed out performance at Hit The North and a string of top-drawer singles earned her the award of Newcomer of the Year at the 2019 Journal Culture Awards.
Jake Fletcher is a songwriter and producer signed to Soul Kitchen Music Management. He also lectures at the Academy of Music and Sound in Gateshead teaching a variety of college and foundation degree courses. Speaking about why he wanted to be part of Generator’s Youth Advisory Board, Jake said, “I am passionate about making a career in music viable to a more diverse range of young people within the region.
“It is an honour to have been appointed to the Youth Advisory Board and I’m looking forward to being part of the team.”
Thea Van der Velde, 24, is a Creative Communications Manager from Newcastle. She currently leads on marketing and communications for charitable housing association, Tyne Housing Group.
On joining the Generator Youth Advisory Board Thea said, “I’m a big advocate for the creative industries, specifically in them being a place that values all different skill sets, allowing people from all backgrounds to really shine and for young people to have their voice heard.
“It’s clear Generator share in this passion, and I’m looking forward to playing my part in helping to provide more opportunity for other young people here in the region."
Eddie Scott is a songwriter and musician from Sunderland who formed his band PICNIC in 2015. He has since played in gigs and festivals nationwide, and alongside this, is active in helping young musicians pen their first songs.
Speaking about his motivation to join GYAB, Eddie said, “I love to help people, especially young musicians, and have made it my personal aim to help remove some of the mystique around a career in music.
“I believe the help and funding is there but doesn’t always make it down to the people who need or deserve it most, as someone from a very working class area I would like to have a hand in changing this.”
Grace Stubbings co-manages and performs in the rock band VENUS GRRRLS. She has recently graduated with a BA in Music Production from Leeds College of Music. Alongside playing in bands, she is involved with many different community music projects such as SWM Collective, Sage Gateshead, and the Switch It Project.
Nathan Dunn is an entrepreneur and software developer. Nathan co-founded his first venture, packagedby, last year – a software development agency.
Speaking about joining GYAB, Nathan commented, “I believe the addition of my voice on the board will add the perspective of someone who hasn’t followed the “traditional” route into employment through university.
“I’ve seen the value of vocational education, apprenticeships and continuous professional development, all of which will be needed to fill the increasing number of tech vacancies in the region. I believe joining the Youth Advisory Board will be a fantastic opportunity to encourage more young people into careers in tech.”
Keely Liptrot is the 19-year-old Founder of Sass and Snarl, aiming to support women in the music industry.
On joining GYAB, Keely commented, “Being part of the Generator Youth Advisory Board means that we can shape a more equal and diverse Music Industry by putting attention on future leaders.
“There is so much upcoming talent going to waste in the North East because this talent does not know how to communicate their value to enable them to cut through the clutter. I joined this board to get the talent of the North East the recognition it deserves.”
Hannah Matterson, Generator’s recently-appointed CEO who spearheaded the development of the Youth Advisory Board, commented, “It's really important to me that Generator's work reflects what our audience want and need. We are constantly adapting our programmes to ensure creatives and those working in the digital sector in the North East can gain access to the knowledge and support they may need.
“Our Youth Advisory Board is taking this one step further. They will work with our team and our Board of Directors to ensure that all our programmes are fit for purpose. They'll get to influence our decision making and hold us to account for the work that we do.
“This will mean that, as an organisation, we can really address the challenges the North East faces, but also support the development of the future leaders of the sectors.”