Marcel de Oliveria, 12, first winner of the Brent Factor talent competition
PUBLISHED: 15:55 18 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:55 18 December 2019
A 12-year-old boy from Neasden has won the borough’s first Brent Factor spectacular.
Marcel de Oliveria wowed judges at the Brent Civic Centre on Saturday with his rendition of Little Mix's Wings.
The Brent Factor was launched this year by Jasmine Dale in conjunction with Community Together (Metropolitan Police) Talent Show. A core value of the event is the campaign against knife crime through preventative action to empower young people.
The contest is open to 11 to 25 year-olds who are encouraged to showcase their talents through the arts. Categories included singing, dancing, rapping and spoken word/poetry, with auditions in August and October. On the judging panel were Tracey Hanson, founder the Josh Hanson Trust, comedians Mr Cee and Rudi Lickwood and Roger Samuels, from the The Voice UK.
Ms Dale said: "The evening was amazing, it went really well. Marcel was the outright winner. He has such a powerful voice which just went to the heart of all the judges."
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She added: "The Brent Factor has similar principles as the X Factor, we aim to capture the diamond in the rough whether black or white, our belief - talent is talent that needs to be captured, nurtured, mentored and not forgetting workshopped."
Ms Dale said she was motivated to hold the event after seeing "fear and lawlessness rule the day".
"The theme of the night was for the youth to take part, to empower them to take part," she said.
"Instead of going on the streets and being part of a gang, they can put their energy into something more positive. This is not about street, it's about life, it's about taking your life to another level and that starts very young."
The evening also saw a performance by Real Police, a choir made up of police officers.
Plans are afoot for a "bigger" event next year when Brent be the London Borough of Culture 2020.
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