14-year-old AYM Award winner signs with BMG!

This week we’re taking part in the Big Give Arts for Impact match funding campaign! We’re raising £10,000 to support talented young musicians from low-income families. By donating you’ll be helping young musicians like Astrid, who recently became the youngest artist ever signed to BMG! You can read Astrid’s incredible journey so far below and become a part of it by donating today. Click here to donate.

For jazz inspired pop/rock singer and songwriter Astrid, aged 14 from Merseyside, fate seemed to intertwine with her name, inspired by the legendary Astrud Gilberto. Her journey into the world of music began young, nurtured by the soulful sounds of jazz that filled her home.  

“I grew up in a household of music,” Astrid reminisces. “My Nan was a big fan of jazz, so I would listen to some of the greats: Etta James, Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington. In fact, the first song I sang was ‘What a Difference a Day Makes.’ I must have been six.” From those early moments, music became more than just a hobby for Astrid; it became an intrinsic part of her identity. 

“Music is just me,” she says. “I don’t know who I would be without music. Whether it’s playing the piano, guitar, writing or recording, it just defines who I am.” Her love for music extends beyond performance; it serves as a means of expression and healing. “Every song takes me on an emotional journey,” Astrid reflects, “it can be really therapeutic.” 

However Astrid’s musical journey faced challenges when her family encountered unforeseen hardships. “We were in a really good position before Dad became ill,” she explains. “Mum and Dad both worked, and had good jobs, but Dad suffered two strokes and had to give up work as it affected his speech and everyday life. Mum then had to care for him, so things changed pretty quickly.” Despite these obstacles, Astrid’s determination remained unwavering and in 2022 she applied to our Awards Programme. 

“AYM has helped me to keep on my musical journey” Astrid acknowledges. “Without its support and guidance, I wouldn’t be where I am now.” AYM’s financial support enabled Astrid to buy essential equipment including a Sire Larry electro acoustic guitar and an iPad with a stand and light for performances. Beyond financial support, Astrid has benefited from opportunities for collaboration, learning and inspiration. “AYM offers great get-togethers to meet other Award winners and opportunities to learn and make music together.” 

One memorable experience for Astrid was attending an Awards Day in 2022 at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA). LIPA donated the venue and all artistic delivery and the young people chose to take part in one of three activities: song-writing, music production or instrumental workshops. Award winners also had the chance to showcase their music at an informal open mic performance during the lunch break. Additionally, we held a session for parents/carers, giving them an opportunity to find out more about how they could support their child’s music making. 

Surrounded by fellow musicians and inspired by her talented peers, with whom she collaborated on songwriting, Astrid learnt so much. She described the event as “exceptional, incredibly inspiring, and motivating.” She added, “Going home was the part I enjoyed the least – I wish we could do it every week!” 

Astrid’s mum said “Astrid came away totally inspired and blown away by the talent. We all just loved it.” 

Astrid next attended our 2023 Awards Day at the prestigious London College of Contemporary Music (LCCM). The day saw budding musicians collaborate in small groups, working together on various aspects of music, from songwriting and production to instrumental performance. 

These Awards Days also give Astrid the chance to meet and connect with other young musicians: “we stay in touch on social media. It’s great to see what music they are making and putting out.” 

As her musical journey unfolds, Astrid’s dreams expand and evolve. “I would love to become an established, respected singer-songwriter, appreciated around the world. But if that doesn’t happen for me, I will be involved in music in some capacity.” Astrid’s currently immersed in her creative process, having recently released her EP through BMG (she’s the youngest artist on the label!) and working on new songs. Exciting opportunities on the horizon include the chance to record at Abbey Road Studios, a dream come true for the avid Beatles fan. 

Despite the challenges she faces, Astrid’s unwavering dedication and the generosity of donors like you, means she’s poised to make a lasting impact on the world of music. Her message to AYM reflects this: “I would just like to say thank you to AYM for believing in me, understanding what I am trying to do and for helping me to get there.” 

Support more young musicians like Astrid by donating this week during the Big Give’s Arts for Impact appeal. We’re raising £10,000 to empower talented individuals through our Awards Programme. Your donation can be doubled, meaning your contribution will have twice the impact. Join us in shaping the future of music today! Donate now and be a part of a young musician’s journey to success.  Thank you! 

Find her latest single on Spotify at ‘Astrid Allegrah’ 

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