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We catch up with Hackney born and bred Leona, gives us her reasons why she is all set to give some inspiration to the young attendees of the Hackney Academy.  She reminisces about the good old school days talks about ways to improve the educational system through engaging with music.

Was your Mum and Dad Heavily involved within social work?

Yeah my Mum and Dad worked in a lot of places where there was a lot of issues. My Dad would build program’s for kids that have been kicked out of normal school.  He would kind of take them on trips and outings and be like almost a Father figure. He would come home and like tell me what’s going on I was kind of lucky because I feel like my upbringing was positive I feel like a lot of people in this area don’t get that kind of attention.

Hopefully this has a huge positive effect, for me personally I think it would be good to have more program’s for young people to get involved in

I got to go to school, to do classes outside of school and that really helped me in music and things like that, that is why I evolved because I was able. That is why I wanted to be a part of this and to my knowledge hopefully I will inspire some people.

So how are you going to try and engage with young people in Hackney?

Well we are both (Leona and Plan B) going to be involved with the academy, so the academy consists of music, dance, fashion and all different tiers from different industries. I think that there will be young people picked to perform at The Hackney weekend as well. So that is kind of how we are getting involved I went back to my school and met some kids there and I had a talk with them, it was really sweet.

Was any of your old teachers there?

A couple of my old teachers were there, my old Head Mistress has left now, but it was weird going back. Everything seems so much bigger when you are  in school and when I went back I was like it’s really tiny, it’s nice to go back.

What are your hopes for Hackneys next generation? 

Hopefully this has a huge positive effect, for me personally I think it would be good to have more program’s for young people to get involved in Things that are free as Plan B said it is all about engaging with music. It’s important because a lot of young people also listen to music. Especially with this there are a lot of young people who want to be in the music industry you know like singers. It’s just giving them the knowledge I guess giving them inspiration to know that they can do it and feel a part of it. I feel they can achieve it because often in this area they feel bit left out.

This outreach work do you think it will give tangible results instead of just inspiring?

We hope that, you can just do as much as you can do. You know there is a certain point.  You know you go out into the world on your own and hopefully it has a positive effect. You kind of have to put it into action really you can’t physically make people do things.  They have to actually want to do it themselves and for themselves.

Twitter: @leonalewismusic

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