The Virtual Big Sing 2021 (VBS 2021) took place on June 21 2021, it was an online music concert where thousands of children tuned in on YouTube to watch their favourite celebrities perform for them live!
The event was presented by Mark De-Lisser, who is the vocal coach for the singers on The Masked Singer (one of my favourite TV shows!). There was an amazing A-list line up including:
Aston Merrygold – who was on the X Factor
Becky Hill – she was on the first series of The Voice UK
Gabrielle – ask your Mum who she is, she’s a legend!
Kirsten Joy – she sings for Clean Bandit
Marisha Wallace – she’s on Broadway for you musical lovers
MNEK – his songs are in the top charts!
Nathan Evans – the guy who went viral on TikTok singing the Wellerman Sea Shanty
Professor Green – one of Britain’s best rap artists
RED – the TikTok star
24 hours before I was set to go to London to watch the show live in London at Abbey Road Studios, a member of my household tested positive for Covid ruining my trip down to London, I was so disappointed. Lots of people at the moment are having to isolate at home and it’s really boring – I know that from experience.
One thing that never stops is music! Although I was stuck at home, I could still take part in the event from the comfort of my bedroom. So, I tuned in to the live stream on YouTube and started chatting to the people who were also watching from home and school. It was like I was at a real concert, but I could wear my pjs!
One great positive that comes from live streamed events is that it means that no-one has to miss out on the things they were looking forward to due to Covid. Thousands of kids joined the chat from all over the UK from Leeds to London!
VBS 2021 took place at Abbey Road Studios in London which is famous for being the place where legends such as Adele, The Beatles and Amy Winehouse have recorded their music!
As soon as it started, I got up and started getting involved with the warm-ups, doing star jumps and vocal warm-ups in my room. I felt so silly jumping around my room, but everyone was posting about how they were doing the same on Twitter.
One really cool thing was that you could see the famous recording studio at Abbey Road Studios! This is where they record all of your favourite songs and make them sound amazing. As a kid I always dreamed of singing on stage and being able to record my music in a place like that. I’m sure some of you reading this now also wish you could do this, and maybe one day you will!
Mark De-Lisser gave us some great advice, he said, “Whatever you do in life it’s important you work hard!”
The world has changed a lot since I was a kid and children are now amazing with technology, TikTok is more popular than Facebook, and you can create music on your phone! Mark De-Lisser told us that most kids nowadays want to be YouTubers, he said:
“YouTubers create so much content! And it’s important that you work hard”. Becky Hill, who went on The Voice said: “I thought music was for special people or for people with parents with money…I wanted to be an electrician.” She said if you want to be a musician you should go for it, “You have nothing to lose!”
Enough of all that talk of hard work and back to the fun stuff! The line-up was amazing, and the singers performed all of my favourite songs including ‘I Feel Good’, ‘Never Enough’ from The Greatest Showman and ‘Wellerman’, the sea shanty that went viral on TikTok!
If I had to pick my favourite performance of the day, I would have to say it was RED. Her voice was absolutely magical. She sang ‘Never Enough’ from The Greatest Showman and it was so beautiful it gave me goosebumps!
The performers were interviewed by Mark De-Lisser but the audience was able to send in their questions. It was so cool to see Mark reading out my YouTube comments to some of my favourite singers!
Professor Green, who is a rap legend in the UK, spoke about mental health. He went through a hard time when he lost his Dad because of mental health struggles. Professor Green said that to channel his emotions he wrote them down into lyrics and put them in his songs. His therapy was his music and his advice to kids struggling with feeling down is to direct these emotions into making music.
After the interviews and a lunch break, we had the second half of the day where primary school kids joined in. The chat went crazy! I’m 23 and got my first smartphone aged 13; I can’t believe how good you kids are with technology nowadays!
Kirsten Joy opened the second half of the day with ‘Symphony’, one of my favourite songs to dance to and it turns out I’m not the only one:
“I’m dancing in my room going crazy!” – taken from the YouTube chat.
Not everyone was as keen on singing and dancing though, one kid said:
“I can’t sing.” Mark De-Lisser read out this comment and said to us all, that everyone can sing. It doesn’t matter if you are good, you should enjoy singing because everyone can!
The live chat brought us all together during the day. It was great to see that I wasn’t the only audience member having to self-isolate at home, one teacher wrote: “A big shout out to year 4 at *school* because we are all self-isolating.” Just because we were at home watching didn’t mean we had to miss out on this fantastic event!
We all got up dancing when Aston Merrygold took to the stage! He sang ‘I Feel Good’ and he definitely did make us feel that way. He even did a backflip at the end! One teacher wrote:
“I’m dancing along, wishing I could be there to hear you all sing in person, but I cannot wait to see videos - happy singing!”
After his talks of mental health, Professor Green joined the stage to sing ‘Read All About It’ and people were really supportive of his story and his music saying:
“We love Prof. Green.”
“Big RESPECT to Professor Green.”
We ended the day with Becky Hill singing ‘Last Time’ and MNEK finished the set. Although it was the end to the day, the energy was the highest it had been all day with kids saying:
“Year 4 are on our feet!”
“Awesome, awesome, awesome!! *School name* Year 4 would like a shout out please! Awesome! Big Sing rules!”
“We’ve had a great time, thank you so much from Owls Class at *school*.
Written by NYMAZ Young Music Journalist, Katie Lewendon