Music education and artist development charity The Midi Music Company was established in 1995 and since then has enabled over 20,000 people the chance to develop their love of music. Based in Deptford, in Lewisham, the charity provides affordable instrumentalclasses for 5-30s and adults , affordable rehearsal space, an on site recording studio, as well as programming events and development opportunities for aspiring musicians.

Here, Ailsa Yexley shares the work of five artists they’ve been working with. Don’t miss their upcoming events detailed below.

Yussef Kamaal – Yo Chavez

Drummer Yussef Dayes is madly talented and one part of Yussef Kamaal alongside Kamaal Williams, aka Henry Wu. I love this track so much. You can hear in their output that they have that needed solid touch on rhythm, groove and progression. It’s like you just instinctively feel that they jammed for days and just got to this place quite naturally. I went with a friend to see them play The Jazz Cafe and experienced one of my most intense musical bliss-outs yet and we put it down in our ongoing memory store of top 10 gigs ever. Debut album Black Focus is out on Brownswood Recordings on Nov 4th and its clearly a fitting home for them. 

Tenderlonious Presents Ruby Rushton Boiler Room

This one from progressive soul-jazz 22a labelhead Tenderlonious is my favorite Boiler Room ever and I wasn’t even there to witness, but the online playback was enough. I’ve been going down since 2010 when Boiler Room launched and Blaise (Bellville) literally ran the show from a tiny boiler room in Hackney. The programming was heavily electronic focused at that time and I squashed into a tiny room with Hudson Mohawke, James Blake, Mount Kimbie, all that lot, playing amazing records. This one is a ‘I wish that was my living room right now’ dream of all dreams and they all have full command on every instrument and vibration around them. Multi-instrumentalists just blow my mind. Yussef Dayes on drums in this one too, their unit is so tight. The 22a label showcase at The Jazz Cafe December 17th will wrap up the year of music perfectly.

United Vibrations – Grow

Call United Vibrations our “in house band”! ‘Grow’ is the type of song that kindly forces you to tune-in to all streams of your consciousness and put a much needed subjectivity on your earthly conditioning. I love the video for giving out that same energy as #blacklivesmatter. It tells stories of ancient times and whips you up into a natural dancing rhythm pretty quickly.Here, we have Yussef again drumming with United Vibrations, joined by 2 of his blood and musical brothers Karim Dayes and Ahmad Dayes. Ahmad is our recording studio manager and Cre8tiv® music production tutor. Completing the band is honourary brother Wayne Francis, who is the music production tutor on our 11-16s after-school programme ‘Aspiring Young Musicians’. Wozzy Brewster OBE, The Midi Music Company founder and executive director, has co-managed United Vibrations for over 4 years and in the past UV have played our Breakout Club® live nights at The Amersham Arms. Other members who played early gigs at our nights include Kate Tempest and Katy B. A lot of ground work goes on here!


The song’s title stands for ‘A lot Of Something Out Of Nothing’. I play this on loop on a Monday at 9am. If you love the dynamics of people, music, dance and London then you’re not going to look away from this video. All those things should, and do, come as a package and this video is a quick fix for that feeling. This song always keeps our heads bobbing in the office and singing out when they’re in the live studio above. 

Michelle O Faith – The Wasted Youth 

Michelle O Faith has a unique classical vocal style with a modern tone and her story shows the full circle of nurturing talent here. She first came to us when she was 8 years old on our Budding Young Musicians programme where she explored vocal training with our tutors once a week. She then received one of The Midi Music Company bursaries in partnership with Tom Ap Rhys Trust which sent her to the prestigious music school, The Conservatoire, where she received complimentary one to one tuition. This year she won the PRSF Women Make Music Award and has just released new lead track, Sleep through the fire which is taken from her forthcoming No Romance in China EP. 

We champion early years music education and I get great pleasure out of days when local five year-olds buzz the door for guitar and keyboard classes. The Band Workshop for 8-11s is always super cool, and the electric guitar suits everyone who has a go! There is so much bonding, healing and growing power in music, and I am proud to be part of the background team who facilitate that for so many people. Music absolutely has to start young!

Michelle O Faith will play our next The Breakout Club on Monday 28th November at The Amersham Arms along with other CICAS® members OPSA! and Jay Johnson.

The Midi Music Company will be hosting a free event, the ‘Music Explosion Sessions’, on Wed 23rd November with talks and Q&A from Massive Attack Bassist Winston Blissett, Mervyn Lyn of SONY BMG and Virgin Records and MTV UK presenter June Sarpong. You can email for complimentary guestlist.

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