A Hackney resident has made it through to the next round of television singing competition The Voice, having passed the ‘blind audition’ phase of the programme on Saturday.
Jermain Jackman, 19, a Hackney Labour Party Youth Coordinator, sang ‘And I Am Telling You’ on the BBC show to win a place under mentor Will.i.am.
Speaking exclusively to East London Lines, Jackman said that he was “extremely nervous” about his performance. On his choice of song he added: “I wanted to break down stereotypes by choosing a ‘female song.’ It’s just like if I said I was from Hackney, people think it’s full of troublesome males.”
Jackman previously worked for two years in the Hackney Youth Parliament as Diversity Officer and volunteers for Hackney-based charity The Crib, which works young people involved in gang culture.
“Depending on where you live there are definite differences in opportunities. There is certainly a lack of them in East London, compared to other areas. Only during the Olympics was attention brought to East London but since, there has been no real legacy. “
He added: “In East London there is a need for opportunities for the young to show their worth. It is important to feel they need to ‘step up’ as their lives progress.”
Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, took to Twitter to congratulate the singer: “I know Jermain Jackman very well and he is a very talented young man. #doinghackneyproud”
Coach Will.i.am said: “This singer’s too good to let him walk. He needs to be on the show.”
Jackman will next appear on the show during the ‘battle phase’, where he will compete against another member of Will.i.am’s team to win a place in the next round.