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Bradford schoolgirl chosen to perform on BBC Music Day

Fifteen-year-old Bradford schoolgirl Musumba has been chosen for West Yorkshire’s contribution to BBC Music Day on Thursday, September 26.

Following the success of ‘We Are Bradford’ in March, The BBC returns to The Broadway shopping centre in Bradford city centre with its live event, broadcasting from opposite Debenhams.

As the contribution of Radio Leeds to ‘Music Day Mash-Up’, Musumba will be performing self-penned rap lyrics to a performance of Elgar’s Nimrod by the 50-strong Bradford Youth Orchestra.

The theme of BBC Music Day 2019 is Music and Wellbeing, celebrating how music inspires people, brings them together and makes a positive impact. Diverse music genres from each region of the country will be showcased and music performances in special locations reflected by local and national radio and regional television.

St Bede’s & St Joseph’s College student Musumba (full name Musumba Naomie Soda) from Holme Wood, Bradford, has been causing a stir since launching a music career with her début single ‘Pourquoi’ and follow-up ‘Different Wave’ earlier this year, both recorded locally in Bradford.

BBC Introducing in West Yorkshire was quick to spot the potential of the young musician of Congolese heritage, who describes her art as a fusion of African rhythms, feminist lyrics, contemporary R’n’B vocals and rap.

Musumba with BBC Look North’s Harry Gration

Describing Musumba as “a total must-hear” and “absolutely a star in the making”, BBC Introducing presenter Alan Raw has played her tracks numerous times on Radio Leeds. And Tom Robinson of BBC Radio 6 Music declared “what came out of the speakers was brilliant” when featuring her on his weekly mixtape.

Although she has been into music for as long as she can remember, Musumba attracted public attention when she took the stage in London’s Trafalgar Square last year at ‘Million Women Rise’, with her self-penned ‘Feminism Rap’.

That led to her being invited to support BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize nominee Kate Tempest at Bradford’s Women of the World Festival last November. She was thrilled to receive an amazing reception from an audience of 400, many of whom sang back her lyrics and asked for an encore.

After singing acapella in St. George’s Hall at Bradford Literature Festival, an organiser reported that she “took the mic and stole the show”. Musumba has also recently performed to audience acclaim at Bradford’s Speaker’s Corner, at Leeds West Indian Carnival, and on community radio stations in Bradford and Craven. She can also be found busking regularly in city centres.

With a strong family and mentoring team around her, Musumba is determined to keep her feet firmly on the ground, writing and performing music while studying hard for her GCSEs.

She said: “I’m overwhelmed by all this and can’t thank people enough for the wonderful things they have said about me. It’s all happened so suddenly. I plan to take it steady and balance my school work with my music career. I want to thank those who have been supporting me, especially my mum and dad.”

You can find the Bradford musician online by searching for “Musumba Bradford” and hear her interviewed on Radio Leeds by Alan Raw on Saturday 21 September (8-10 pm) and Gayle Lofthouse on Tuesday 24 September (4-6 pm) and live from the event on Thursday 26th September.

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