12–18 November 2018

Campaigner of the Week: Adem Holness

15 Oct 2014

What’s the future of music?

Let our Campaigner of the Week, 24 year-old Adem Holness, tell you, as part of his work as a music leader with Wired4Music  about their Manifesto for the future of music in London.

Wired4Music, hosted by Sound Connections, is a unique leadership programme for young LondonFB_photoAers who are passionate about music. They give young music-minded people from across the city the opportunity to create their own projects and events, develop their skills and influence music through consultation, market research and advocacy.  For example taking part in The Big Music Project, designed to offer experience in mixing, recording, setting up equipment and putting young people in contact with industry professionals.

The young members of Wired4Music have produced a unique manifesto about the future of music in the capital. Their five manifesto themes are the start of a conversation that aims to get young people’s voices heard.

Wired4Music and Sound Connections are supporters of Do Democracy which is a national campaign running during Parliament Week to find the burning issues that young people really care about.

We asked Adem a few questions to find out more about his campaigning:

What motivates you to campaign? How did you get into campaigning?

In all honesty, the idea of ‘campaigning’ isn’t something I was completely aware that I did. I’ve always been the type of person to chase down every opportunity ferociously and, as a music leader, offering opportunities and sharing my experience is at the core of what I do.

When I joined Wired4Music I began to see the power of a collective voice. I began to see the patterns in both need and ambition. At Wired4Music, we believe in not only the pursuit of opportunities for ourselves, but also for others. In speaking up and speaking out, our manifesto seeks to engage not only more young Londoners but policy makers, funders and other stakeholders. It’s just the beginning! I’ve seen first-hand how we are able to positively effect change – like through organising our Wired4Music choir or getting involved in the consultation on Musical Progression in Enfield.

What would you tell other young people who want to get attention on an issue they care about? What first steps should they take?

Find a team! Whatever your challenge, your idea or your battle – there will always be other people fighting the same fight. Get together and figure out the big picture. Once you know that, you can start by taking a, sometimes small, first step.

What’s your next goal?

As a musician, it is to make the best music I can. As a music leader it is to share my experiences and offer opportunities to the widest variety of young people I can. As a music campaigner it is to challenge those with power to provide those without equal access to music opportunities – from performing, to career pathways and industry contacts.

What would you say to a cynic, or someone who thinks that politics isn’t relevant to them?

Part of me would agree. Politics is a funny word, with a funny stigma. What I’ve learnt is that discussing your own difficulties, with peers or with ‘decision makers’, is the only way to forge solutions. Beyond that, we have a responsibility to those who can’t speak out, to help them to speak out or do it for them.


Thanks Adem!

Each week in the run up to Parliament Week 2014, we’ll be celebrating an amazing young campaigner in the UK.  Read what our previous campaigner Rachael had to say.


Join us, Wired4Sound and Sound Connections at a free event during Parliament Week:

Do Democracy: Your Voice, Your Music

The Clore Ballroom, Southbank London’s Royal Festival Hall

Tuesday 18 November – 7.30-9pm


Music has the power to change lives, but do young people have the power to make the change they want through music? As part of Parliament Week 2014, Southbank Centre hosts an evening of live performance and debate asking young musicians and decision makers to come together and discuss who really holds the power. Are we all X Factored out? Is there a place for politics in music? Do you have the power to make the music you want? Join our panel for an evening of lively debate and free live music as part of this special event for the Parliament Week programme.

More details to follow…