Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Celeste, Lewis Capaldi, Ncuti Gatwa And The 30 Under 30 Europe Entertainment Class Of 2020

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Celeste stunned audiences and fellow celebrities with her singing and songwriting even before releasing her first studio album. Lewis Capaldi sold out a whole stadium tour in the U.K. before releasing his debut album. Rwandan-born and Scottish-raised Ncuti Gatwa became a Sex Education fan-favorite for his earnest portrayal of Eric, a teenager who defies all stereotypes usually associated with the role of the “gay best friend.”

These three performers are just three examples who have followed an unconventional path to stardom and have been recognized by an esteemed panel of judges in the music and the film industry.

In the music industry, talented performers are redefining genres. Alyona Alyona used to be a kindergarten teacher in Ukraine before deciding to redefine what a rapper could look and sound like. Mahmood mixed Italian and Arabic words in his mega-hit “Soldi,” the song that propelled him from the national stage in Italy to the one of Eurovision.

Filmmakers like Tamara Kotevska and Kantemir Balagov have been able to bridge the vast physical and cultural distance between their home countries—North Macedonia and Russia respectively—and European audiences to triumph at prestigious festivals and award ceremonies in Europe and in the U.S.

Then there are those who cross over music and acting, like Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, who wrote the musical Six, about the lives of the wives of Henry VIII reimagined as a pop concert—the show moved from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, to the West End, to Broadway. Or the rapper Dave, who didn’t just win two of the U.K.’s most prestigious music prizes, but also made his acting debut in Top Boy. Or Sheila Atim, who won a 2018 Lawrence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in the Bob Dylan musical Girl From the North Country—she’s also a singer and a composer—and was awarded an MBE for services to drama. Or Olly Alexander, frontman of the award-winning synth-pop band Years & Years, who is about to release new music as well as starring in a TV drama about the 1980s AIDS crisis.

And of course, there are the entrepreneurs who are operating behind the stage curtains—those like Lorenzo Brewer at Nkoda, working to provide access to the world’s sheet music, Ankit Desai at SNAFU, who uses AI to improve emerging artist’s chances of being discovered, and Viktoryia Khromchanka and Givar Shabani at Gigital, who want to make it easier for performers to find paid gigs.

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