GPS Mentee Award & PROJECTyourTALENT 4Business Award
GPS Mentoring Experience
When I started my journey with GPS I was driven and full of enthusiasm but my lack of clarity was hindering my progress and I was frustrated. I knew I needed some guidance and GPS was the answer.
Through the programme I was able to assess my work-process and how I apply myself to the business before delving into the detail. Having constant contact with Tony keeps you on your toes because you know you must account for your actions. He was also a great sounding board for my ideas and reassured me when I was on the right track. I would say the greatest lesson I have learnt on my journey is that through stillness you gain clarity.
I realised I had ‘busied myself’ to keep moving but without a crystal-clear vision of the daily steps needed to progress, my actions had not been as effective as possible. On occasion I still lose my way but now remind myself to be still.
There are two complementary elements of my business. I have established a professional choir called Gospel Essence and am about to open AmisStar Vocal Studios in Romford. I founded Gospel Essence in August 2010, since then we have supported and collaborated with artists such as Basement Jaxx, won The Wedding Industry Experts Award for Best Musicians in London and performed at the National Wedding Show in Earls Court.
The choir’s aim is exactly as its name suggests, to add an essence of gospel to any genre of music. Clients select the songs and I create original arrangement in the gospel style. My singers’ fusion of influences, whether jazz, classical, gospel, rock, soul, contemporary, musical theatre or African all enhance my original a cappella arrangements. It’s an exciting challenge to rearrange a wide variety of contemporary songs and perform them in the gospel style that’s usually confined to church.
We are working towards releasing our first album in 2015. AmisStar Vocal Studios is due to open in December. My aim is to make this a musical hub for Romford and East London by offering vocal training, masterclasses, workshops, pop-up themed choral days and community and corporate choirs.
As a start-up business it’s hard to access funding. Start-up loans originate from the same pot even if different organisations distribute them and I have already exhausted this avenue developing Gospel Essence to this point.
In the context of the credit crunch, risk-averse banks are not lending to small businesses and I have ploughed into my business all the self-funding I can. I have the opportunity to expand this enterprise and don’t want the lack of funding to handicap me.
I am therefore looking to raise £5,000 to establish basic studio facilities and enhance the experience and services I can offer my client base. I am also looking to record an album and a promotional video for Gospel Essence.