Aylesbury songwriter reaches final 10 of international Song for Kindness Contest

A musician from Aylesbury has reached the finals of this John Lennon-inspired competition.
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A songwriter from Aylesbury has reached the final of a John Lennon-inspired international music competition.

Taofeek Oyeyemi, also known as Tbaze, is one of 10 remaining contestants in the International Song for Kindness Contest.

Tbaze's entry is a song called 'Alubarika', already he has beaten a majority of the competition, which included more than 1,500 songs from 28 countries.

Taofeek Oyeyemi (Tbaze)Taofeek Oyeyemi (Tbaze)
Taofeek Oyeyemi (Tbaze)

In tribute to John Lennon's timeless anthem, Imagine, international charity, tuff.earth, started the search for the world’s best new song of hope and optimism.

That search began on the former Beatle’s 80th birthday, 9 October 2020, with the aim of raising spirits in what has been a traumatic 18 months for the planet.

Tbaze, who is from Nigeria, but now resides in Aylesbury, has been invited to perform his song live alongside the other nine finalists at the Cavern Club on 9 October 2021, Lennon’s 81st birthday.

Beyond bragging rights, the winner gets their song professionally produced, mixed and mastered by record producer and head of TUFF Music, Daniel Xander.

The 10 finalistsThe 10 finalists
The 10 finalists

The production will be completed at Motor Museum studio known for the likes of Oasis, The Arctic Monkeys, Ben Howard and Jake Bugg.

Dr Shamender Talwar, co-founder of tuff.earth, said: “The response to our call for songs which promote kindness resonated around the world and the response was overwhelming. Kindness sometimes seems to be in short measure these days, but it’s eternally important and the songs we have received reflect this need.

“We are delighted and grateful that so many people have taken on this challenge and congratulate those that have made the top 10 and wish the contestants the best of luck at the final showcase.”

Judges for the competition include the Knoydart Songwriting Retreat and Shelly Poole and Paul Statham who have written tracks for superstar artists such as Janet Jackson, Dido, Paloma Faith, Kylie Minogue, Marc Ronson, Jack Savoretti, Gary Barlow, Massive Attack and Simple Minds.

Judges considered the theme, the lyrics, melody, composition and originality in coming to their decision. For the Cavern Club finale, they will be joined by Andrew Roachford who enjoyed a decade of hits in the 1980s and 1990s with his eponymous band Roachford.

Knoydart Songwriting Retreat co-founder and judge Duncan Lewis said: "It has been a mammoth task in choosing 10 songs from the 1563 we received. All are of exceptional quality and the task of choosing a winner will be very difficult and so we are delighted that such a successful artist and songwriter as Andrew Roachford has come on board to help us.

“It’s been both wonderful and humbling to discover people’s musical and lyrical response to the word ‘kindness’ and each of the top 10 songs really made our ears prick up. It’s going to be a great and emotional finale.”

Tuff.earth was founded by Anna Prior and Dr Shamender Talwar in 2011 to bridge community sectors, organisations and government, rebuilding social integration and global community cohesion.

Its mission has found support from global leaders and public figures, including former US President Barack Obama; HM Queen Elizabeth II; Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan; and President of Iceland, Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson. Tuff.earth’s patron is His Holiness Pope Francis.

Bill Heckle, The Cavern Club’s owner said: "It is an honour to be in the position for the Cavern to be again inspiring the next generation of artists around the world and who knows, we might unearth a future star or two.

“To have Liverpool and the Cavern hosting this celebration of new music inspired by one of John Lennon’s greatest songs on what would have been his 81st birthday, is a reflection of how timeless his peace and unity message is and how vital it is to keep it going.”

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