Belfast Telegraph

Gemma Bradley in frame for fame as our sole singer in Big Music Project UK talent final

By Nevin Farrell

A young singer will step forward from the shadows of the Sperrins in a bid to win a UK-wide music competition.

The prize includes performing at the O2 in London and a recording session at the world famous Abbey Road studios.

Fresh from 'Frostbit Boy' Ruairi McSorley from the Park village area coming to worldwide attention last week, another star is now potentially in the making, this time from nearby Draperstown.

Singer-songwriter Gemma Bradley (18) is the only finalist from Northern Ireland and will compete against 13 other young musicians in The Big Music Project Competition during the week of the Brit Awards. She will travel to London in the quest for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities including:

  • The chance to perform at a live final at the O2 in London during Brits Week.
  • VIP tickets to the Brit Awards 2015.
  • Her track being included on the Brit Awards 2016 album.

Tens of thousands of young people have been involved in The Big Music Project over the past year - an initiative funded by The Big Lottery Fund.

A series of inspiring music projects have taken place in local communities which have brought about exciting opportunities for young people who are passionate about music, and the competition is just one part of it.

The Big Music Project Competition journey began for Gemma back in May when she uploaded her own music video for online voting. Then in November she performed in front of a panel of music moguls at the regional final in Belfast to secure her place in the grand final.

Gemma developed an interest in music at nine when she started learning the guitar.

She soon combined that with her passion for singing, and along with support from local organisations she has become the talented artist she is today.

"I have had great backing from 'Glasgowbury' at the Cornstore Creative Hub in Draperstown as well as other brilliant opportunities with the Nerve Centre and Youth Action.

"I have played at local festivals and entered competitions, but this is the biggest opportunity I have had so far," she said.


In London, Draperstown's Gemma Bradley will have the chance to benefit from advice and mentoring from music industry executives providing her with what she needs to take a step towards a career as a professional musician. The Big Music Project searched all across the UK for aspiring young musicians aged between 14 and 24 to enter The Big Music Project Competition to find its finalists.

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