Sunday, 11 August 2013

A Future Star

Signed to the label HKNY, Rishi is a 16 year-old R&B/Pop singer from Hackney, London. He currently attends Haileybury School in Hertfordshire, after going to Edge Grove Prep-School. He always loved to make music, and when he was 15 he realised it was what he wanted to do with his life. Rishi is extremely multi-cultural (his father being Bangladeshi and his mother from Thailand), but has lived in North East London for over 7 years now. Over a year ago his parents introduced him to an independent label called Urban Hit Factory, and after a few vocal lessons he began recording his first tracks with big producer Tom Vernon.

His first music video, called ‘You Never Know’, featured rapper Double S, who is quite a prominent name on the UK Hip-Hop/Grime scene, and has done videos with SB.TV (, amongst other channels. This certainly helped Rishi to get his name out, and was a great start. Here is a link to the video:

Rishi is now working with well-known producer Rishi Rich from label 2point9. This in itself is a great achievement – Rishi Rich produced numerous songs for famous R&B Singer Jay Sean. Rishi will also be working with producer Shae, who helped to launch British singer Jessie J, another great achievement.

Rishi’s first single, ‘You Never Know’, came out on the 9th of August on iTunes!

I spoke to Rishi earlier, and this is what he told me:

1.)  When did you realize your love for music?

My love for music didn't really come to me as a realization. A passion and appreciation for music has always been in my life. Every time I would hear a song on the radio, I would analyze each particular instrumental riff and more importantly for me, the vocal trills.

2.)  Favorite artist, album, and song?

My favorite artist of all time has to be Justin Timberlake, as he is such an astonishing character. The fact that he himself can cover all aspects of media, as a vocalist/instrumentalist, an actor, and a businessman amazes me. My preference for Timberlake probably came from his "Justified" album, which was the first album I ever bought. However currently my favorite album is the 20/20 Experience - Part 1 because it doesn't have any what I would call ‘skip tracks’ - but who knows what Part 2 has in store? Personally I don't really have a favorite song; it really changes with the mood I'm in at the time.

3.)  How come Conor Maynard tweeted your song?

Conor was introduced to me by a friend of mine who is a session musician. I showed Conor some of my material over a meal, and it showed that we shared an appreciation for the same music, so I suppose he wanted to do me a favor.

4.)  What advice would you give to other teenage musicians?

Honestly guys, music has been a large factor in my life, even when I didn't really realize that I wanted to pursue it as a career. Music is definitely one of my ways to express emotion in a different way than the norm. If you enjoy it and it is something you love, keep doing it! When I was in the middle of my GCSE's, I remember that it was getting really stressful because I didn't have the best of timetables. When I could I would just grab my guitar and sing and it honestly helped me to stay grounded and focused. So please carry on doing music you lovely, beautiful people.

5.)  What are your plans for the future?

This question does come up a lot and honestly there isn't a straight answer, because it always seems to change every time I answer it. For now I can definitely say that I plan to put my all into developing my overall skills as an entertainer.

6.)  What one word would you use to describe your music?


7.)  Where do you get your musical inspiration?

My inspiration comes from a range of areas I guess. When I was younger I grew up listening to my mum's music, which was at the time ‘Country’, which was quite weird. But I am influenced by both iconic and contemporary artists such as: Elvis Presley, MJ, Brian McKnight, Usher and of course JT.

8.)  What have you enjoyed most about your musical journey so far, and why?

So far, the buzz of music has honestly made me a happy kid, the ability of recording and completing a song is a skill in itself and to be able to do that is quite fulfilling. Moreover, the people that you get to meet in the music world are really interesting! Getting to meet experienced session musicians and music executives of labels etc. really broadens your perception of the music that is so frequently around you.

Check out Rishi:

Monday, 5 August 2013

"Watch out Richard Branson!"

Ollie Forsyth is a talented businessman and entrepreneur, and is running two successful businesses. Impressive? Wait, because here comes the shocker – he’s only 15! Ollie told me: “At the age of 6, my money making started off by making my parents Tea and Coffee for 20p, and if they wanted it reheated I would charge another 20p.” It seems Ollie has had entrepreneurial talents for all of his life, and he undeniably started early to make use of them.

Despite being extremely dyslexic, Ollie has managed to overcome his problem with the help of his school, Milton Abbey, in Dorset, and this has in no way impeded his business skills. He set up Ollie’s Shop ( in 2010, selling bracelets, cufflinks and more. The business idea came to life when he began selling friendship bracelets to acquaintances at school, and soon their parents began buying them too. He recently launched his 2013 collection, which featured leather belts, wallets and bracelets. Not only are Ollie’s gifts high quality, but they are also sold for great value, and all of his pieces are sold within the region of £5-£35. Ollie told me that since 2010 Ollie’s Shop has taken off massively due to the huge amount of commitment he has for his enterprise, and this is demonstrated by the £20,000 it turned over last Christmas
However this is not Ollie’s only trade. He also restores classic cars, and he currently has two classic cars including a Triumph GT6 MK1 and a 1930 Austin Ulster, which are both extremely valuable.

Ollie is currently working with over 50 charities including East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice and Teens Unite. He has told me that he hopes to have raised £1,000,000 for charity by 2024, a great aim to have at such a tender age. I think it is very touching that somebody of such a young age can have such a kind heart. An example of his compassion is his wish to visit Africa and to help people living in poverty to set up their own businesses. He hopes also to set up a charitable fund for inspiring entrepreneurs called The Ollie Forsyth Foundation.

Ollie told me that his greatest idol is Sir Richard Branson. He, like Ollie, is incredibly dyslexic and struggled as a young teenager, but has inspired Ollie to tackle his dyslexia and to set up businesses of his own.

Ollie’s Shop has become extremely well-known due to the young age of its creator, and hundreds of people have shown great interest. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, commented: “Mr. Hague applauds your initiative at such a young age to start your own business.” Author Matt Dickinson described Ollie’s Shop as a ‘great example of a dynamic business idea’ and I think he is spot on. He has also been in a number of Newspapers and on the Radio a few times, and indeed as I am writing this Ollie is on BBC Radio Northampton, a great achievement.

Ollie has been labelled as the next Branson, and this is what he told The Northampton Chronicle & Echo: “I find school work challenging but battle through it. I get told again and again I’ll be the next Branson if I carry on doing what I’m doing, which I would love to be.” He plans to enroll in The Peter Jones Academy for budding businessmen, which is backed by Dragon Den’s star Peter Jones, one of the most successful and well-known British entrepreneurs.

Ollie’s ambition to help people throughout the world, along with his entrepreneurial flair (which was praised by India Hicks the TV Commentator and Model), is the perfect recipe to help his business to take off. At this young age, Ollie still has a long way to go, but I have all the faith that he will succeed. Ollie’s favorite quote, ‘actions speak louder than words’, suits him very well. He doesn’t want to be known as the next Richard Branson, he wants to be the next Richard Branson. Good luck Ollie!

To read more about Ollie and Ollie’s Shop, please check out:

Twitter: @oforsyth