Taz's Story

Taz is a young woman from north Cambridge, who has been part of Romsey Mill's music programme for several years.

In 2019, Taz won a national award for young musicians and singers. She was named Best Lyricist at the inaugural Youth Music Awards for her song 'A Different Perspective', which is about her life and experience of inequality in Cambridge, Young artists from all over the country entered into the awards and had their tracks judged by a panel of music industry judges, including figures from BBC Radio 1Xtra, YouTube Music, Virgin EMI, and Amazon Music UK.

Taz picked up her award in front of an audience of hundreds at a special Youth Music Awards Presentation in Battersea Arts Centre in October. Speaking of the moment she was announced as the winner, Taz said, "I felt amazing. It was a shock to me that I won, or that I even got that far!"

Taz said that she was inspired to write her song because of the way that people think that everything in Cambridge is excellent and successful, whereas the reality for many is very different, She said:

"A lot of things that are real for people that live in Cambridge get ignored or overlooked because the city's overall good reputation. Where I'm from, Arbury, there are a lot of problems that are ignored. Cambridge is a lovely place, but not everywhere."

"A lot of people don't do well, and there's this reputation that it's because they're lazy and that sort of thing. But it's because there's not the right encouragement or opportunity for so many young people".

Taz has always been a music fan. However, it wasn't until she met Karl Lewis, Romsey Mill's music specialist youth worker, that she started to write and perform her own material. Karl, known as 'K' or 'KD', supported Taz to write, record and produce music in Romsey Mill's in-house studio. She said,

"At Romsey Mill, we're all different ages, different genders, different cultures, yet we're all like a family. 's lived a similar life to us. HE made me realise that what I have is actually different from most people my age".

"I have so much to say about the world", continued Taz. "One, I'm a girl and I've come up in a traditionally man-dominated culture, so for me, that life is hard. Second, I grew up in Arbury - it's not the best area - and third, like. learning about it in Sociology, it opens my mind. Sociology put everything in my life into perspective. My life is evidence of the theory I learnt".

She added, "I think rapping has helped me to have a purpose, like - something to work towards. I feel satisfaction after I've just written a lyric. I'd been on a break with music. The song I entered the competition was written a year and a half ago, but after winning this award, I've been encouraged to write more. It's made me appreciate my own lyrics even more. It's made me take a step back and take myself more seriously, so I'm definitely going to continue writing". 

Taz is currently studying Music at University.

She describes the support she has had from Karl and Romsey Mill as the "kick start" for her and her peers.

"It's about having encouragement and opportunities - to believe that things are possible. and then from a certain point, we can just flourish"

Taz's song, "A Different Perspective", is available to download or listen to on Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon

Romsey Mill's work with young people to create opportunities with them through music is supported by Youth Music. 

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