2nd Mar 2020

Introducing Kay Greyson, winner of the 2020 Alan Hull Award at the Community Foundation

Kay Greyson, performing at a sold out show in January 2020 at Bobiks, Newcastle

The Alan Hull Award at the Community Foundation has announced Kay Greyson, a rapper from the West end of Newcastle, as its winner in 2020.

The awards scheme was established at the Community Foundation in memory of Lindisfarne’s Alan Hull, and supports one young song-writer every year with a bursary of £1,000.

Kay Greyson, who headlined a sold-out show at Bobiks, Newcastle on 11 January 2020 joins an impressive list of past award winners including The Lake Poets’ Martin Longstaff, Callum Pitt, Jake Houlsby, Cattle and Cane’s Joe Hammill and Ditte Elly.

With plans for 2020 to include the launch of a new EP, Kay has said the £1,000 award will enable her to purchase tools to support her song-writing, and the general day-to-day management of her music career.

Aged 21, Kay Greyson, describes herself as a rapper from Newcastle and has been making hip hop and rap music for over 15 years. Kay adds:

Bobiks, Newcastle, 2020

“I wrote my first song when I was about 6 years old. I’ve always loved performing and being an entertainer and I make hip hop music and rap music.

“It was a friend of mine called Adam, from The Collective, a hip hop and reggae promoter in Newcastle who messaged me about the Alan Hull Award Scheme at the Community Foundation. It sounded really interesting, so I applied and it ended up being a really positive experience!

“With the £1,000 award, I plan to buy a new laptop. Currently I manage my music career on my mobile, which is really difficult when you’re having to respond to a lot of emails, or for me to do some production if I’m not in a studio. So this award will really help me be more professional and be more business-minded.

“Anyone thinking of applying to the Alan Hull Award Scheme should do it. There isn’t enough opportunities for musicians and creatives with pots of money to develop your career. So, I think it’s a really positive thing and people need to get involved.”

Lindisfarne’s Ray Laidlaw established the Alan Hull Award at the Community Foundation in memory of his friend and Lindisfarne bandmate, Alan Hull, who died in 1995. Alan Hull wrote some of his biggest songs while working at the St Nicholas’ Psychiatric Hospital in Gosforth. During this period Alan wrote two of his greatest songs, "Clear White Light” and “WinterSong” in one night.

Bobiks, Newcastle, 2020

Ray Laidlaw says of Kay’s music:

“It’s socialist based and has echoes of Alan Hull, she’s talking about what she knows about. Her songs are in the spirit of Alan Hull, if he was around now he would love her, cause it’s all about attitude. She sings about things that matter but she does it with a smile on her face. She doesn’t sneer."

Northumbrian Piper, Kathryn Tickell, who is also part of the Alan Hull Awards panel added

“I love the spirit of Kay’s music and performance. As well as having a potentially international reach it is also very much of the North East - and like the folk music I grew up with it is music with a real sense of place and identity - music of the people, by the people.”

The Alan Hull Award recognises and supports one young song-writer or composer every year with a bursary of £1,000. The bursary can be used in whatever way will best help them develop their song-writing; from buying equipment to simply covering living expenses freeing them up to focus on honing their skills.

Jo Cundall, Senior Advisor for Culture at the Community Foundation adds:

“We’re delighted to recognise Kay Greyson with our Alan Hull Award in 2020. Kay is a fantastic talent, and the panel chose her based on the quality of her song-writing and music.

“Alan Hull is known as a prolific song-writer himself, and it’s amazing that his legacy continues to nurture the next generation of song-writers and give them a little helping hand in the early stages of their career.

“Kay is already playing sold out shows and she is certainly a rising star. The award will be used to purchase a high specification laptop that can be used to record tracks as well as manage her career day-to-day. We look forward to see where this takes Kay in 2020 and beyond.”

Grants for individuals at the Community Foundation are currently closed due to the integration of a new grants system, however the Alan Hull Award will reopen in Autumn 2020. 

For more information visit the Community Foundation website at www.communityfoundation.org.uk/apply.

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