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A Conversation With...

We sat down with Radio Host and DJ Shayna Marie & Elijah Cushnie the project lead at Youth Music for the NextGen Fund, ahead of our partnership launch with Youth Music as a commitment to getting young people into the music industry.

Shayna Maire

Radio host and DJ Shayna Marie @shaynatmarie is supporting the partnership and hosting the event for young musicians to share stories and inspire each other.

We wanted to find out more about Shayna and Elijah here’s what they had to say.

What attracted you to the music industry?

Shayna – It was simply my love for music.

Elijah - I started after finishing University in 2009, which was during the Credit Crunch, and I struggled to get any formal work, so I focused on my own music projects and they eventually started to gain traction and earn me a small living. Music allowed me to be creative, run my own business and learn about new technology in a hands-on way.

Elijah Cushnie

What have you learnt about yourself from doing what you do?

SM – Being on the radio has made me realise how much I love being a part of people’s lives. Being a small part of their routine, every day is so much fun.

EC - The impact that being able to travel the world had on my perspective is immeasurable. I got to visit over 25 countries and spend significant periods of time in places like China and Japan and it helped me reframe what success looked like in terms of life and career.

What advice would you give your younger self about embarking on this journey?

SM – Enjoy every step of the way

EM - Time in, instead of timing. Just getting ideas done and out rather than thinking about them for long periods of time and stalling just helps you learn a lot faster. A lot of the ideas I’ve had I’ve done much slower, than I should have, due to doubt, procrastination and being busy with ideas that may be half as good.

Who did you look up to when you were younger?

SM – Alicia Keys, Jenny Francis, and Lindsey Lohan.

EC - Outside of family it’s really artists and athletes that I found inspiring in general as they must put themselves out there and commit to things publicly in a way most people will never understand.

Are you working on any exciting projects?

SM - I am working with the NHS on a project with Blood Donations.

EC - My role at Youth Music is funding young people's ideas. Each round we get to accelerate their artistic journey and that is exciting to me, as once you put art and ideas into the world literally any positive thing can happen, and we will soon see how this will begin to change people's lives.

What sparked your interest in Youth Music?

SM – I like that they are helping young people gain opportunities in the creative industry.

EC - I’ve had great opportunities and experiences based on some of my privileges like living in London and having a stable home environment and after a decade doing music, it was an opportunity to take some time to give back, share knowledge, and learn new skills.

What are you most passionate about?

SM – Fitness! I love working out and trying new classes & seeing changes in my physical and mental health due to exercise.

EC – Learning and being open to new ideas and perspectives,

What’s your go-to food when you go out for dinner?

SM – Salmon because you really can’t go wrong.

EC - Usually a veggie dish

What’s your favourite Turtle Bay Dish?

SM – The garlic pit prawns and the sweet plantain

EC - Organic Tofu Buddah Bowl

What’s your favourite Cocktail on the Turtle Bay Menu?

SM – The Tingaling

EC - Montego Bae

We are looking forward to connecting and working closely with Elijah on the NextGen project with Youth Music. No doubt there will be future opportunities to connect Shayna with upcoming talent who she can mentor and inspire.

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