Nottingham University Hospitals Charity and SELFEARTH will be hosting a music event on March 25th, in aid of children’s cancer wards E39 and E40 in Nottingham for children going undergoing cancer treatment.
After recent shows at the University of Derby, The Ferry Inn and The Maze we look forward to this fantastic event introducing new music from artists in the East Midlands.
Down at INFL, Alex Kuster had a chat with Imran Khan, who’s been organising the event and artist Katie Cooper, one of the acts, to see what they’ve been up to ahead of the gig…
Imran, do children’s cancer wards E39 and E40 have significance to you personally?E39 and E40 are the Children’s cancer Wards at the main Nottingham University Hospital. I became away of the wards through my work with Children’s Cancer Charity Sophie’s Journey.
We wanted to do something to help the children who spend long periods of their childhood in the Hospital and add to the existing provisions; which could help to give them breaks, improve facilities and hope the money raised will go towards anything which helps time to pass in a more enjoyable way.
I work in the Hospital as a Student Nurse and I became aware of the wards through an amazing girl called Sophie Robinson, who created ‘Sophie’s Journey’ – a charity which provides free holidays for children going through cancer treatment. Sophie passed away in 2016 following a two year battle against Medulloblastoma. She was an avid fundraiser and big inspiration to me.
And how do you find the music scene in Notts developing?
I think its great and growing. There is a lot going on and opportunities for musicians to get out and perform. I love ‘Dot to Dot’ and ‘Roots Music’, which is run by Chris Barlow. And what Will Robinson is doing with gigs like the Waterfront Festival. I think more promoters should come out and put on festivals and events as there is a lot of talent out there! Unfortunately there is not a lot of paid opportunities and that’s something that needs addressing.
What sort of events do you hope to be organising?
My focus is primarily on Music Events, which have often been free entry so we have to raise money in some other way through donations or through getting good prizes for a raffle. For our event at the Chameleon, we have a raffle with sports prizes, family based prizes and also for tickets to Glee Comedy Nights! Definitely worth buying a ticket and seeing some awesome music running throughout the day from 4pm till 11pm. I also annual do a Music event for Derby University’s Raising and Giving Week and we’re looking to raise money for a cause in Leicester in the not too distant future.
Will you keep charities involved in future events?
Yes! For me the charity aspect plays a big role in everything we do. There is a lot of people out there and organisations in need of help and support. I have a personal connection to cancer related causes as my grandma died of cancer, as do a lot of the musicians I know, which is what binds us in projects we do. I worked in the Oncology and Haematology Wards for a long time. When I was helping Sophie’s Journey it was very transparent and I could follow any money raised to the ultimate benefit of the children it seeked to help. Seeing you can make a difference made me want to keep helping other causes.
How did you choose the artists you wanted to have at the first one?
I listened to there music and they are all awesome. I know Katie Cooper, Paris, Jake Burns, Warren Ireland and Gareth Icke fairly well now, whereas Caroline McLavy, Tori Sheard, Ben Smith, Adiescar, Junction 25, Luke Broughton are performing for us for the first time and that is also exciting to hear new musicians to our project perform.
I also chose Musicians from different parts of the East Midlands cause I think it’s good for people in a different city to hear music going on in another area. I tried to create a gig where attendees can discover new talented artists they may not know. I also want to include musicians on our line up from the local student scene, so anybody with a talent can showcase their ability. Nottingham’s Confetti produces amazing musicians, as do the universities! We definitely want to get them involved and give them a slot on our gigs.
Anything else we need to know? Surprises on the night?
Our event is opened by Debbie Marshall, a nurse who created a rap about the pressures of being a nurse under the current government. Katie Cooper, is also doing a fundraising stall for building playgrounds in Uganda. We also have a feature artist from Bedfordshire, Adiescar, performing at 4.30. Local band Junction 25 are closing the gig. We were chosen as NUSIC’s pick of the day in Leftlion and hoping we get a great turn out! So, come down and support a great cause!
Katie Cooper is a musician from Nottingham who has played at the Bodega, as support to Ashfield and Rose Elinor Dougall and at last years Dot to Dot Festival. She also released her First E.P ‘From Kate With Love’ at Rough Trade.
Katie, how did you originally become involved with singing and songwriting?
I started off in a gospel choir and absolutely loved the joyousness of it all. From there I started to focus on my own songs and a close friend taught me the basics of guitar. I’d go to open mics every week and meet new musicians and people and try and learn better stage presence.
How do you find the Nottingham music scene?
Incredible. I don’t think there’s any other scene as close knit and friendly. Just from going to these open mics every week I’d get to know some fantastic musicians and gig promoters who five years later I’m still good friends with. It’s bursting with talent, always!
What sort of music influences you?
It’s all about the lyrics for me. Songs that take a couple of listens to really understand what it’s about.
How would you describe your sound?
Honest. That’s the main thing I hope to bring to my music for other people. I’m trying to tell my own experiences and feelings in my lyrics and hope that someone who relates to it can be helped in knowing they’re not alone. I try to use influences from my days in choir to give us much soul as possible and hope others feel that!
So, you’ve got a E.P out, recently ‘From Kate With Love: what’s the inspiration behind it?
I had a year or two of chaos in my life where everything changed, my romantic position, my career, my living space and a lot happened in that time. I was thrown into life head first and I didn’t always make the best decisions, a lot happened and the E.P was the culmination of me discovering who I was and making mistakes along the way but learning to not regret them and instead let them motivate me.
Who’s your favourite other artist performing at Fusion?
I haven’t actually had the pleasure yet to watch a lot of the acts live so I’m really excited to see everyone, so I couldn’t possibly say! But it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Fading Video From Katie’s E.P https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmJVELPyZ9E