World-renowned Hackney born singer Leona Lewis will cement a long-standing relationship with Hackney Empire by officially becoming a Patron of the venue. With a focus on the Creative Futures Programme she will continue to offer mentorship and support to the young people supported by the venue. Since December 2020, Leona has been working closely with a group of 25 young artists and musicians aged 15-25 years old from across East and North London. Kicking off with an intimate Q&A session for the group on Zoom, she shared her own experience and advice, from growing up in Hackney, to winning X-Factor and recording her next release in LA, her song-writing inspiration and how she deals with nerves. Since then Leona has hosted a series of workshops for the group offering personal mentoring and advice to each of the young artists, as well as bringing in guests from the music industry, including vocal coaching and song writing masterclasses with Yvie Burnett and Autumn Rowe to support their artistic development. These sessions are available for the public to view on YouTube.
By becoming a Patron Leona will join Clive Rowe, Olivier Award-winning actor whose name is synonymous with Hackney Empire having starred in over 14 of its acclaimed Pantomimes.
Leona Lewis said, “I am honoured to become a Patron of Hackney Empire, one of the London’s most loved and magical venues. For me this feels like homecoming – it was on Hackney Empire’s legendary stage I won the first competition which started me on my journey as a professional artist, it’s the place I launched my album Echo, and is home to amazing memories of generations of my friends and family. More recently during the pandemic it’s been a huge pleasure and inspiration to work with young people from Hackney Empire’s Creative Futures programme. I’m looking forward to continuing that work as a Patron – getting involved creatively and helping to amplify the voices of some of our amazing young artists.”