Hackney

Finding one’s voice

Jermain Jackman: Finding one’s voice

This was first published in Progress magazine | Richard Angell and Ben Dilks The winner of The Voice on politics and pop ‘I’m still the same Jermain Jackman that you’ll see in McDonalds on a Friday afternoon getting my Big Mac meal,’ begins the winner of The Voice, before pausing to concede, ‘but it’s changed the life around me.’ The 18-year-old believes that winning the BBC’s singing competition in April ‘sent a message’ to other young people in his local community in Hackney, east London. ‘I’ve spoken to many young people, in Hackney especially, and they’ve turned their lives around because they saw how hard work has gotten me somewhere and it’s all become so real to them,’ he says. But there is nothing soft-headed about Jackman’s message. ‘Too often young people get given false hope,’ he says. ‘Politicians say, “Oh yeah, we’ll do this for young people” and then [the] EMA is scrapped, tuition fees trebled and we’re seeing youth clubs nationwide being shut down because of cuts.’ (more…)