Young rappers pass auditionBy Mike Pyle
April 08, 2011
By day they are Denefield School pupils Tom Stephens and Rhys Nash and by night they are rappers Burn and Magz – and they are going strong in a competition to find the UK’s best unsigned act.
Burn and Magz, both 15, sailed through the audition stage of Live and Unsigned, one of the country’s biggest music competitions.
The duo battled hundreds of other auditionees and will now take part in a regional final in front of judges from BBC Radio 1, NME Radio and Kerrang! magazine.
Tom, of Grovelands Road in West Reading, and Rhys, of Purley, have performed together for two years.
Tom, whose rap alter ego is Burn, said: “We started out just MC-ing in the playground as a bit of a joke but as years went on it started to get more serious.
“Now I’ve invested in a studio in my bedroom.
“In Live and Unsigned we’re against a lot of guitar bands and rock acts but we see that as a good thing.
“We’ll be a breath of fresh air when we come on and start rapping.
“If we get through to play at the O2 it will be a dream come true. It would be amazing.”
Tom said the duo were influenced by British and American rap stars and sound “like Dizzee Rascal with an underground twist”.
Tom’s father David said: “I think this is quite an achievement for them.
“I went to the auditions and there were some good young acts there. There were a lot of guitar bands and things like that but Tom and Rhys turned up and went through.
“Now I just want people to give them as much encouragement as possible.”
Burn and Magz will compete in the regional final in Aldershot on Sunday for the chance to progress to a place at the Live and Unsigned festival at the O2 in London this year. The duo could also win a recording contract, a world tour and equipment. For tickets to the regional final, visit www.liveandunsigned.uk.com.