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Impact Stories

Ashley’s story: A musician that’s breaking the mould

When Ashley started at Legacy Youth Zone in Croydon, it was clear that he was talented at music, football and basketball. He was very shy and introverted at first, but after spending time in the music studio and working closely with Music Youth Worker, Shannan, he started to come out of his shell and ask lots of questions around music production.

After lots of hard work, Ashley incredibly learnt how to play the piano by ear. Over lockdown he even began to read music! Ashley really enjoys coming to learn on session with Shannan.

During lockdown, Ashley put some of his skills to the test, and played for the virtual Crystal Palace Festival, and even had a track produced and streamed on YouTube. His song had over 1 million hits!

Ashley is a great role model, and his peers at Legacy really do look up to him. For all of his amazing efforts, in December 2020 Ashley was given a Jack Petchey Foundation Award for his contribution to music and production, learning a new skill whilst sharing this with other members, and for showing high levels of respect to all around him.

“Ashley breaks the mould. He wants to do so much more with his life, and he puts all of his energy in the right place. He’s a remarkable individual and I don’t think he realises how talented he is; he can hear things in music that a trained professional would find hard to hear – I’d go as far to say he is a musical genius.”- Chardine Wadley, Legacy Arts Coordinator

Ashley’s story

Ashley playing the piano

I’d heard a lot about Legacy from friends, but it was my neighbour who convinced me to come after telling me about the music production room and the equipment that was there. When I first came, I saw lots of faces that I knew, but the staff were really engaging too and showed me around. Before coming to Legacy, I would come home from school to make beats, now I’m going somewhere that has the proper mixing equipment and Macs that we can use for production.

I’m really grateful to Shannan and Chardine for helping me in so many ways, from changing the way I play music and helping me create beats in a much easier way.