December 13 2013 Latest news:
Ramzy Alwakeel, Reporter
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Budding Romford musician Chris Hatwell is celebrating after reaching the top 10 with his very own anthem.
But it’s not the record-buying public Chris, 17, has won over. Rather, he’s down to the final rounds of a UK-wide contest to write a song for a philanthropist’s 80th birthday.
The Havering Sixth Form College student is hoping to strike a chord with the Jack Petchey Foundation’s judges when he takes his piece to boot camp next week.
If he wins, the track will be heard at Jack Petchey events across Britain – a boon for Chris, who hopes to become a professional performer and composer.
“It means a lot to get through to the final 10,” he said. “It’s a step in the right direction.”
So how do you write an anthem?
“I wanted to make it similar to the Gladiators theme – that’s quite inspirational,” Chris revealed.
“And there’s an orchestra, which I thought was anthemic.
“I was aiming for success and not giving up, and that’s what the words reflect.”
The song had to overcome some challenges of its own to make it this far.
Everything went smoothly at first. Having found talented Romanian singer Denisa Ştefania Băileşteanu through Facebook, Chris added her vocals to the song.
Unfortunately, one of the requirements was that all performers attend the boot camp should a song get through to the final 10.
And Denisa might have struggled to pop 1,500 miles across the globe at short notice.
Facebook came to the rescue again, and Jack tracked down a replacement – the more conveniently located Amanda Ward, of Brentwood Ursuline School – with hours until the submission deadline.
But that was the easy part.
“We literally had four hours to complete it,” said Chris.
“I was thinking: ‘Am I going to get this done?’
“Amanda managed to learn it in that time, which I was really shocked at.”
Now all they have to do is wow the judges – which should come naturally for Chris, who already holds prestigious scholarships and titles from Awards for Young Musicians and the EMI Music School.
Chris and Amanda will attend the boot camp event on Saturday, September 14, at Newham’s Stratford Circus venue.
To watch their song, click the link above.
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