About us

News & events

About us

News & events

Using music as a creative and uplifting force, bringing young people together

We are a South London based music performance and education group. Our aim is to develop group playing skills, leadership, confidence as well as cultural appreciation and understanding.

We objective is to support the young people we work with, as they grow as people and help them maintain a  positive outlook to tackle the challenges that life presents.

Using music as a creative and uplifting force, bringing young people together

We are a South London based music performance and education group. Our aim is to develop group playing skills, leadership, confidence as well as cultural appreciation and understanding.

We objective is to support the young people we work with, as they grow as people and help them maintain a  positive outlook to tackle the challenges that life presents.

About us & what we do

News & events

See and hear the great music we make

Don’t take out word for it, see what the young people are capable of with a little encouragement. We are so proud of them all.

Feedback from the Youthsayers community

  • Due to the number of live gigs I have performed at, my confidence as a musician has grown exponentially. I remember when I first started Youthsayers, I barely had enough confidence to solo in front of my bandmates.  However, the band leaders have been so encouraging and supportive, I now feel confident to play and solo in front of anyone, no matter how large the audience is.  This is thanks to Youthsayers! Along with the strong sense of community that the band leaders create, they also guide us to be creative musicians.
  • I think it is very important for this band to continue so that the youth of today can continue to flourish. An embodiment of Community. Since youthsayers, I have gone on to study Jazz at a Conservatoire, perform at various stages and festivals. I must give gratitude to The sooth sayers for this. I also wouldn’t know the lyrics to Zombie without them.
  • Youthsayers is one of my absolute favourite things. During lockdown I really struggled with my Saxophone playing as I had quit lessons and felt very stuck however because of Youthsayers I have been able to express myself creatively and regain my love for the instrument. It is the highlight of my week and I am extremely grateful for it as it has helped me build as a person and allows me to escape the stress of school. It has given me the most amazing opportunities, built my confidence and I have now made life long friends. Lockdown, as for many, was extremely hard however because of Youthsayers I had structure to my week and something to look forward to. Music is so incredibly important and I like others rely on it for multiple reasons, Youthsayers gives us the confidence and platform to experiment with music and has helped me improved my musical knowledge in the such a freeing way.
  • Before joining the Youthsayers I hadn’t been given an opportunity to play much reggae, roots and Afrobeat music live. Being a person of colour this had really been a big part of my life as playing the songs were musically enjoyable and educational for me with songs such as “Fussing and the Fighting - Dennis Brown” and “Zombie” by Fela Kuti; two both really empowering songs. In addition, I picked up the Trombone again at Youthsayers whilst having the role as the singer. The inspirational leaders, Robin and Idris had been very kindly open to me playing Trombone in the band which had kick started me being able to read music again, play and solo. What a great time I had with the Youthsayers band, travelling with them to Germany for Freedom Sounds Festival. It truly felt like a family during the period my generation were there.
  • I cannot speak highly enough of Robin and Idris and what they have created for young people through Youthsayers. My child has really developed musically under their expert guidance, through amazing role modelling, inspiring music choices / arrangements and workshop and gig opportunities. The standard that they play at is awe inspiring and gets better and better - despite the fact all are welcome and there are a wide range of abilities involved. More importantly, they have created a wonderful inclusive atmosphere where young people work together supportively. They are encouraged to push their boundaries in a safe space and to develop their confidence and leadership skills. Over the last couple of years I have seen many of the young people come out of their shells and start to solo for the first time, or lead the band.
  • I will never be able to thanks these guys enough for the support given to me and Ollie during the pandemic when Ollie was struggling with poor mental health. A support plan was developed to get them back to rehearsals. Robin and Idris handled the situation amazingly getting the balance between offering compassion / support and an expectation of moving forward and pushing through.  Being part of Youthsayers has played a huge role to Ollies recovery and healing. Ollie is involved in a lot of music as is aspiring to be a professional musician but this is the very best project in so many ways they are involved with being the highlight of the week but has also set the bar for the type of musician / human being they want to be.
  • Youthsayers is a brilliant and talented group of young people who play vibrant, multicultural music, mentored by music industry professionals. But it's not just about nurturing and encouraging young musical talent. My son's confidence in social situations has been boosted and he's much more relaxed when interacting with other people as a result of being part of Youthsayers. Youthsayers is also a community – it's about local people connecting through great music and it feels like being part of a great big family. It's fantastic.
  • Youthsayers also taught me a lot about not just playing reggae and afrobeat music, but also the history and culture that surrounds them both which is integral to the sounds.
  • Youthsayers played an absolute pivotal role in my development and career as a young musician, they did not only provide an abundance of inspiration, but a great insight of music, which I’ve not experienced with any other organisation
  • Youthsayers has given me incredible opportunities and experiences, from travelling to Germany to play a music festival, to helping others get involved in the same music that’s helped me develop my sound as a musician. Youthsayers has allowed me to expand my musical understanding of what it means to be a performer and how to deconstruct as a listener. As I’ve progressed, the connections I’ve made at Youthsayers have helped me make my first steps as a professional creative.
  • Through Youthsayers Noah has developed both socially and musically, outside of school and the limited musical experience that it can provide. The group is supportive and friendly with consistently high expectations for the young people and provides unique opportunities for them to develop their skills in rehearsals and workshops with established artists and performers and take part in exciting performances. The professionalism and dedication of the young people are evident in their outstanding gigs and a testament to the hard work Robin and Idris do to make this all possible. I'm pretty sure that without Youthsayers Noah would still be stuck in his bedroom on Minecraft after school every night.
  • For me, Youthsayers has been a really important part of not just my musical development but also just me as a person. Meeting new faces and role models at Youthsayers has really helped me grow in my confidence and find myself for who I really am. On the musical side, Youthsayers is an unbelievable opportunity which sums up all the great things about music and the new London scene. Robin and Idris are absolutely incredible mentors who have done so much for the community and have helped not only myself but countless others like me find their feet within music!
  • Being in Youthsayers has given me so many opportunities and good friendships.  Robin and Idris really encourage us to contribute and to experiment. When I joined Youthsayers nearly 5 years ago, I had performed in school but never in public, and I was quite shy. Playing great music together every week, and performing in public in amazing places like the Royal Festival Hall has really helped me grow in confidence and improve as a musician. During lockdown we carried on playing together on zoom, and did an amazing collaborative project with young musicians in Pakistan. I'm hoping to study music at Uni next year, and I'm really grateful to Youthsayers for encouraging me to develop as a musician
  • Youthsayers helped me to broaden my musical horizon as a performer. Observing my mentors Idris and Robin performing on stage was truly inspiring and helped me to develop my own sense of stage presence. Being taken to Germany free of charge with Youthsayers was such a privilege and collaborating with fellow young musicians who had never played reggae music was a brilliant cultural exchange. Further exchange with the Alpha Boys School, Jamaica provided wider opportunities to collaborate and delve deeper into the origin of the music. Youthsayers is the only programme I am aware of that gives students access to mentorship with an established band exploring such genres. I do hope others may benefit from the experiences I have gained learning with this organisation.
  • Youthsayers provided the perfect musical outlet for me alongside my studies at school and sixth form. Some of the gigs and trips with Youthsayers made some of the best memories from that time in my life. It allowed me to learn about and play new genres of music, meet great people and introduced me to some of my now-favourite songs! 
  • Since joining Youthsayers Giacomo (or, our son) has had a world of possibilities opened before him. Before he was playing the clarinet as his second instrument plodding through the classical repertoire of ABRSM grades; six months later he's improvising solos and composing spoken word accompaniments to the afro-beats of the band. He utterly loves it and takes great pride to be on stage with his new mates.
  • In my opinion, Youthsayers is more than just a music project…it is like an extended family. In the 6 years I have been part of Youthsayers, I have made so many friends with whom I have shared many amazing cultural and performance experiences.  For example, performing in front of thousands of people at the Lambeth Country Show and Womad festival, collaborating with talented young musicians from Jamaica, Pakistan and Germany, and participating in workshops and performance opportunities with professional musicians. 

See how we do this

We work with the young people in a wide range of activities to support them to grow and flourish.

Are you aged between 11 to 18 and would like to play a musical instrument and play great music