With thanks to Ian McLaren, Innes Associates. Pictures: JN Photography.
Excitement is building for the north-east’s largest youth singing contest, ahead of this Saturday’s grand final.
The NEX Factor singing competition, sponsored by Apex Industrial Chemicals and RSL NDT, highlights the most promising music stars between the ages of 13 and 19 from across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.
Twelve talented teenage acts will line up in the final at the Thainstone Exchange, Inverurie on Saturday, 30 May 2015, with all funds raised going to Aberdeen-based charity Cash for Kids.
Over 100 youngsters applied and through a series of auditions the judges whittled the field down to the final 12 acts – 11 soloists and one duo – to vie for the 2015 NEX Factor title and win a fantastic first prize.
This year’s winning act will receive £1,000 in prize money, a session at a recording studio, a personal art portrait, plus an amazing day out in London with world-renowned music artist Emeli Sandé, Aberdeenshire’s most successful pop star.
The 28-year-old multi Brit Award winning singer songwriter, who has had three number one singles in the UK, was keen to give her time to the winner of the NEX Factor after hearing about the competition’s charitable contributions. Each entrant was asked to donate £5 to Cash for Kids to help support local young people of a similar age who are ill, disabled or disadvantaged.
This year the NEX Factor also attracted interest from the X Factor production team who asked event organisers for talent recommendations for the hit Saturday night show.
Around 700 people are expected to pack into the Thainstone Exchange for Saturday’s final with the audience voting for the winner. Tickets are selling quickly, and all proceeds from the contest will go to Cash for Kids, which raises money for the welfare of local young people under the age of 18 living in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Competition organiser, Yasmeen Ali, said:
“This year’s NEX Factor final is set to be a fantastic event. The finalists are of an extremely high standard. Regardless of who triumphs on the night, all of the finalists have done really well to get to this stage and I’m sure have very bright futures ahead of them. Those in the audience on the 30th will have a difficult job selecting the winner, but in years to come they can say they helped put these youngsters on the road to stardom.
“NEX Factor is a community event that benefits those in needs and encourages charitable giving in children. It’s for the kids, by the kids. We hope to raise a large amount to allow Cash for Kids to continue its incredible work. There is a lot of excitement amongst the finalists about the prospect of a day out in London with Emeli Sandé, and we can’t thank her enough for her involvement.”
This year, all but one of the finalists is female.
Each finalist will perform two songs chosen by themselves and they will line-up on stage in the following order: 18-year-old Courtney Murphy from Mintlaw; Tammi Whyte, 15, from Aberdeen; 17-year-old Alannah Moar from Laurencekirk; Banchory’s Anna-Louise Barton, aged 16; 14-year-old Kyle MacRitchie from Inverurie; Megan Williams, 17, from Dufftown; Rebecca Henderson, 16, from Kennethmont; Bucksburn’s Rachel Brechin, aged 18; 16-year-old Bambie from Inverurie; Talitha Brown, 17, from Aberchirder; 15-year-old duo Amie Flett from Bridge of Don and Megan O’Brien from Balmedie; and Iona Fyfe, 17, from Huntly.
Tickets for the NEX Factor final are priced at £15 per person and can be purchased via the Cash for Kids website at www.northsound1.com/charity/fundraising-appeals/nex-factor/.
Cash for Kids’ Michelle Ferguson said:
“There is a lot of talent in the NEX Factor final and I’d like to wish all the finalists the best of luck. This brilliant initiative is shaping up to be a great night out for everyone who attends and their contribution to the event will help to make a huge difference to the lives of children in the local area.”
Cash for Kids is Northsound Radio’s listeners’ charity. It makes grants to individuals, families, children’s groups, organisations and projects throughout the Northsound transmission area. All money is raised locally and spent locally to benefit local disabled and disadvantaged children and young people under 18. More information on Cash for Kids can be found at www.northsound1.com/charity, or telephone 01224 337010.