There’s nothing Cynikal about Goodmayes’ rapper’s music programme

A 25-year-old rapper from Goodmayes who has performed at the Olympics has been nominated for the Young Citizen Award for encouraging other young people to get involved in the music industry.

Not everyone can grow up to be Lady Gaga or Jay-Z, but hip-hop artist Cynikal, who has been widely played on radio and TV, has been showing pupils the variety of roles for them in the music world.

As a result, he is a nominee for the Exchange Ilford-sponsored Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club award. He said: “If you don’t want to be an artist, you could be a lawyer, a manager, you could be in the marketing department. If you have a passion but don’t know about it, there’s opportunities for you to investigate.”

Cynikal, whose real name is Tavinder Sanghera, has worked on an education programme, which could win national funding, with music production company Eight28 and the Charlotte Leatherbarrow Foundation.

He and other industry talents have visited schools in Brixton, Dulwich and Pimlico over the last two years to hold two-day workshops with 30 to 40 children at a time.


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The children take part in a music industry “simulation”. They are assigned roles and have to consider ideas such as marketing plans.

Cynikal, who lived in Goodmayes until he was 19, said it has been well received. “They feel we’re still young, we’re not that far away from them and they can achieve what we’re doing,” he added.

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The former pupil at South Park Primary School in Water Lane, Seven Kings, also said it would be a privilege to take the programme to his secondary school – Forest School in College Place, Snaresbrook. He said: “I think I’ve been invited in September to do a performance and a talk, it would be great to go back with the team and do a workshop.”

He will return to the Olympic Park on Monday for a set during the Paralympics.

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