Christmas is a time for giving and students from one theatre school franchise are doing just that this year. Back in August 2021, Razzamataz Maidstone, part of a multi-award-winning franchise network, invited Jacob Fowler from the winning band from BBC’s Little Mix The Search, to come and work with the students.
Charlotte Olivares, who is the Principal of Razzamataz Maidstone, planned a song writing project with Jacob along with Karen, the school’s vocal coach. The students chose to write a Christmas song and the results exceeded all expectations.
“Jacob is currently performing in the musical theatre show Heathers but we sent him the lyrics and he helped us to write the music,” explains Charlotte. “Jacob came back to the school on October the 16th and that is when we all realised that what the students had created was really something very special.”
What had started out as school project to allow the students to understand the process of writing a song, had suddenly turned into something much bigger when the team listened to the result.
“Despite us having zero budget and only three weeks left of term, we knew we needed to get this song out for more people to hear,” says Charlotte. “We always tell our students to dream big so that is exactly what we did. I had no contacts or no experience in producing a record, but I wrote an email to parents and various local businesses explaining how proud we are of the students and how much potential this song has. Despite having no money, we did have lots of fire in our belly and a strong desire to make this work, and the result of that email was unbelievable.”
Unbeknownst to the staff at Razzamataz Maidstone, a couple of parents did work in the industry. One parent volunteered to come in and record the vocals free of charge and another parent is a record producer, who is funding the song to be released on ITunes and Spotify in time for Christmas. The proceeds of the song will go 100% to the Future Fund, Razzamataz’s own charity that supports students studying performing arts at college.
“We are incredibly grateful to the parents who have given up their time to make the children’s dreams come true,” explains Charlotte. “The record label has waived their fee so 100% of the proceeds will go towards our Future Fund charity, which seems really fitting, especially as so many young people have lost out on opportunities during the lockdowns.”
The upbeat song reflects the difficulties of last Christmas in lockdown. The students wrote about the sadness of not seeing family and loved ones and how they are looking forward to reconnecting and appreciating all the little traditions that were missing last year. Called Bright Christmas, it replicates the excitement and joy of Christmas through children’s eyes.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our students and a fantastic legacy for the whole school,” adds Charlotte. “We are all incredibly proud of what they have achieved and are blown away by the talent that we have in the school.”
Bright Christmas by the students of Razzamataz Maidstone will be released on ITunes between the 10th-14th December. It can be downloaded via: