Stoke Newington school is basking in reflected glory as ex-students Labrinth and Professor Green get the two top spots on Radio 1’s official chart.
Rap artist Professor Green and singer and producer Labrinth both went to Stoke Newington School, which has built its outstanding reputation through its art, media and music departments.
Professor Green, 27, real name Stephen Manderson, snatched the top spot with his song ‘Read All About It’ on the BBC Radio 1 chart show.
Timothy McKenzie, aka Labrinth, came second with his single ‘Earthquakes’, performed with his friend Tinie Tempah, who also comes from Hackney.
Music teacher Elly Barnes, who taught Labrinth BTEC music when he was 14-16 years old, said she was very happy about the success of the students. She told Eastlondonlines: “He was certainly a unique student. He could pretty much turn his hand to any instrument and navigate his way around any song. At this time he was perfecting his composition skills and we were treated to a few of his earlier songs in the classroom and in our school concerts where his family were regular participants. It was pretty obvious to everyone here that he was going to make a massive impact in the musical world.”
Rachel Sturrock, who was a student at Stoke Newington School at the same time as Labrinth, told Eastlondonlines: “The McKenzie family, who all went to Stoke Newington, were good at different things – some sang, some played instruments. They were all brilliant. His older brother Joshua, 26, is a professional drummer now.”
“The Mckenzie’s were quite a famous family in school – people used to compare them with the Jackson Five,” she added.
The two artists, who have collaborated in the past for a song ‘Oh My God’, joked with one another on Twitter about the charts. Labrinth wrote: “Number2 guys we got something to look forward to for the next track was a sick week well done to my boy @professorgreen.”
Professor Green responded to his tweet saying: “Who’d of thought two youts from hackney would be dunnin the charts [sic].”