Category Archives: Role Model

MY STORY: Daytrippers Celebrity Ambassador BRANDON MENDENHALL

The Mendenhall Experiment

The Mendenhall Experiment

Rock star guitarist based in Los Angeles and advocate for disabled young people, BRANDON MENDENHALL, joins the growing list of celebrity ambassadors for Daytrippers Children’s Charity.  Mendenhall fought hard and worked hard to become a musician in his earlier years despite physical challenges due to having cerebral palsy and constant bullying.  Brandon’s determination and dedication are awe-inspiring.  His dream was to form his own band, The Mendenhall Experiment.  He not only managed to start the band, but they went on to win several awards and perform professionally.  TMX also recently signed a record deal in Southern California with Lucent Records.  Not bad for a boy from Illinois who was once told he could not make it as a musician.

Brandon Mendenhall, founding member of The Mendenhall Experiment.

Brandon Mendenhall, founding member of The Mendenhall Experiment.

Here is Brandon’s story:

My name is Brandon Mendenhall and I am the founding member of my band The Mendenhall Experiment. I was born in 1983 , 2 months premature with complications during my birth.  A life with Cerebral Palsy is all I’ve ever known.

I knew from an early age it would be difficult for me to reach my dreams as a musician. I couldn’t just join any band.  Not just anyone would have the patience and understanding to work with my unique playing style based on my physical parameters  due to my disability.

On August 16, 2014  I reached a personal and professional milestone, signing a record deal 6 years to the day of The Mendenhall Experiment’s first show in my hometown of Kankakee, IL at a dive bar called Paul’s Place.  If anyone  had told me that day 6 years from right now I would be signing a record deal in Southern California, I would’ve told you, you’re crazy. In order to understand the profound impact of that moment in my life I must go back to the beginning.

Young Brandon Mendenhall

Young Brandon Mendenhall

I was born in a very conservative part of North America and raised by my Grandparents. My Cerebral Palsy left the entire left side of my body damaged. I didn’t walk until I was four years old. Throughout my life  I endured ten corrective surgeries on my leg and ankle. My left hand had nearly zero mobility and strength.

I started out my school life in a Special Education Cooperative and then went onto a more mainstream elementary and high school. School, for me, was a constant struggle as I was bullied, teased and harassed because of my disability. As a teenager I had surgery on my left eye.

Fortunately, I fell in love with music at a young age, listening to bands like Korn, Pantera and Nine Inch Nails that allowed me to escape the uninviting world.  Inspired by these musical heroes I was determined to get a guitar in my hands. When I was growing up there were tons of people who doubted me including my own Grandfather. When I was 19 my Grandmother secretly loaned me $1000 to buy my first guitar. Of which I had to pay her back over the course an entire year making french fries and washing dishes at a local McDonalds. I had to hide the guitar from my Grandfather, but after just 2 months of playing, he found out. One day I was playing in my bedroom. I had no clue what I was doing just figuring things out. My Grandfather went to go to the bathroom which was adjacent to my bedroom. He stood in my doorway looking at  me. After a moment he said, “ No grandson of mine will ever be a musician.” That comment was very hurtful and damaging but it also lit a fire in my soul. Despite my Grandfather’s words I persisted in my guitar playing. Not only did I learn how to play guitar but in doing so I rehabilitated my left hand bringing  mobility and strength to it for the first time in my life.

I moved to Florida to attend Full Sail University. Going to Full Sail and subsequently moving to LA was more of my own personal choice to escape family life and all of the small town antics of people saying I’ll never make it. I wasn’t going to gain any recognition there. I wanted to be surrounded by people who inspired me to aim higher and  musically that pushed me to raise the bar. In my mind going to Full Sail solidified the thought in my head that said you either need to move to New York , Los Angeles or Nashville and for me it was always Los Angeles.

Full Sail, where I received my Associate Of Science Degree in The Recording Arts Program and my Pro Tools Music Operator Certification , was a great opportunity for me. I learned the ropes of music production and the proper techniques and the studio etiquette it takes to make an “on the level” professional record.  My Full Sail education provided the foundation for which I stand upon today. I remember sitting in my apartment with a couple of good friends on down time between classes asking them their thoughts on me starting my own me band called The Mendenhall Experiment. At that time it seemed like a crazy dream, but as I thought about it more and more I knew deep down that it could become something more. After I graduated Full Sail I went home to IL. for a few months to regroup and then went to visit a friend in Los Angeles.  I got there and never went home.

In my early days in L.A I secured an internship at Westlake Recording Studios, while also working at Target to pay the bills. After a while I realized that my foot wasn’t going to hold up. While at the same time struggling to keep my internship because I couldn’t get a driver’s license. Since I had to walk everywhere and take public transportation, it took a toll on my body. I came to a point where I needed more surgeries. This was when I had my first set of foot and ankle surgeries at UCLA. After that I fell into a deep depression. I felt like the limitations on my body had won. I fell in with the wrong crowd and was headed down a dark  path.

In early 2006, still on my private downward spiral, I had a chance encounter with my guitar hero, James “Munky” Shaffer of Korn. It was during that encounter that Shaffer and I had a moment to talk and connect over our mutual love for guitar. Our conversation inspired me to climb out of my hole and give music and my life another chance.

Over the next year and a half I would rebuild my life from the ground up. Relocating  to the valley with a better job, a better place to live and healthier friends. It was a new beginning. However, that new beginning soon became clouded with elements of the past. It was in the spring of 2007 when I realized that yet again, I would have to go undergo another series of foot and ankle surgeries at UCLA. In July of 2007 recovering from surgery, I began writing for The Mendenhall Experiment. In August of 2008 with five songs completed it was time to test The Mendenhall Experiment in a live environment. During a months long vacation visiting my family I decided to reunite with my high school jam buddies and book a couple of shows for fun playing the material that I wrote for The Mendenhall Experiment. After two successful shows in the span two weeks with 100 plus crowd each night The Mendenhall Experiment had proven to be something of value. So at the end of my vacation it was time to return to southern California and find permanent members for my band.

From 2008 to 2014 the line-up for my band was a revolving door of musicians.

Every band goes through the process of finding the right combination of musicians who believe in what the band stands for.  During this period I had the fortune of working with some very talented musicians. With these former line – ups The Mendenhall Experiment opened for bands like Korn, Megadeth, POD, Alien Ant Farm and many more. Playing shows like Monster Energy’s Aftershock Festival and playing famous venues such as the Whiskey A Go – Go. , Roxy, The Viper Room and The Glass House.  However I didn’t find the combination of musicians right until beginning of 2014…

At the start of 2014 with my dream team of band mates finally in place a filmmaker approached me about filming a documentary about the story of my life and journey through the music industry living with Cerebral Palsy.  The man who wanted to tell my story  is my long time friend and lead videographer and photographer for Korn.  Sebastien Paquet The band that had first sparked my passion for music at the age of 11 was now, in a way, connected to me on a professional level.

From that point on things have been moving rapidly. My band went from playing our first gig as a group at a dive bar in Santa Ana in March of 2014 to being signed artists with worldwide distribution an EP on it’s way and the documentary release not far behind. All of this happened  in less than a year.  In that year we have played venues such as The Citizen’s Bank Arena , The Viper Room, The NAMM show  and Whiskey A Go – Go several times.

My band and I  were honored to win the August Artist Of The Month for Guitar Center on July 11th 2014. An honor that was especially important to me because I grew up a loyal Guitar Center customer. Just before that win my band and I also got to play the Anaheim House of Blues,  where we won 2nd place for the Battle of the Bands for Warped Tour.  We were discovered by an A&R representative for Lucent Records where we signed a deal on August 16, 2014.

The moment I realized the coincidence with the dates was the moment I realized I was on my way to making it… August 16th 2008 (first TMX show ever) August 16th 2014 (TMX signs with Lucent Records in Southren Ca.)

The Mendenhall Experiment

The Mendenhall Experiment

While some people are enticed by money and fame that’s not me; I really do everything that I do for the kids. For people growing up like I did with disabilities or challenges that make dreams like mine seem impossible. The other stuff is just an added bonus.

Over the past year I have met so many wonderful people whose lives have been touched by my message and my music. That’s a pretty surreal feeling after being doubted and disregarded my whole life. I don’t really care about the people who doubted me back then.  I care about the kids I might inspire in the present and years to come.

I am  looking forward to helping create a future that will bring happiness, success and ability to those formally considered disabled.

– Brandon Mendenhall – Founder/Guitarist of The Mendenhall Experiment

Connect and support Brandon:  http://www.themendenhallexperiment.com/

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Word of Advice: Unleash the Power of Presence

Advocate for social change, Maya Mehta in 2015

Advocate for social change, Maya Mehta in 2015

When you hear Londoner and lawyer MAYA MEHTA speak, you listen.   We Are Daytrippers recently attended an event called Putting the Soul Back into Business which was hosted by Harvard Club of the United Kingdom and co-hosted by Ms. Mehta.  Not only did Maya project the presence of a strong woman who genuinely cares about social change, but she also seemed to make sure it was going to happen; there was something extra-special about her.  We reached out and found out how she continues to intend to move mountains for the greater good.  Maya has founded Microfinance Groups at her current and past employers with law and investment firms.  In 2004, she established an advice surgery for Asian victims of domestic violence and forced marriages in East London.  Maya studied law at Oxford and in 2013 she co-founded the Harvard-Oxford Alumni Social Business Group, a forum dedicated to bringing “social intrapreneurs” together to use business as a force for positive social change.  Her message encourages all of us not just to sit there and tsk-tsk about social issues we notice or feel passionate about: but to do something:

THE POWER OF PRESENCE

Feeling Powerless?

When I hear about the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram and dragged into the forests of Nigeria, or rather when I don’t hear about them anymore because the world forgets so quickly and moves on to the next popular hashtag or the next ice bucket challenge, I feel powerless.
But then I remember how I felt back in 2004, when I kept reading stories about young Asian girls who were forced into marriage, or even worse, subjected to honour killings by their own families for choosing to be with the person they loved, or who committed suicide because they did not want to marry a complete stranger.  I couldn’t just turn the page of the paper and turn a blind eye.  But then I couldn’t exactly fly to Pakistan, India or Bangladesh and catch the perpetrators.  However, I could change things here at home in London.   

I would travel on the DLR to my law firm in Canary Wharf, watching children playing on the estates of Shadwell, their mothers hanging laundry out of the windows of the surrounding tower blocks.  The juxtaposition of the gleaming glass towers of Canary Wharf and the relative poverty of the surrounding areas was striking.

Mobilising Resources Around Us

Having met with a local charity, the Newham Asian Women’s Project, it became clear that the abuse of Asian girls was happening not just a million miles away, but right here on my doorstep.  I knew I had a wealth of resource at my fingertips– professionals such as lawyers, IT experts, secretaries, all of whom were passionate about helping others and were willing to give up their lunchbreaks to do so.  We weren’t experts in the field of domestic violence, far from it, but we had a basic skill to offer – the skill of listening, of being present.

Having asked the charity what they needed and having enlisted support from my law firm and my peers, the “Newham Asian Women’s Project Advice Surgery” was born.   Each week my colleagues would travel two stops on the Jubilee line to lend their ears to and give basic advice to the women of Newham.

Before we knew it, word spread like wildfire around the local community and women, often with their children, were lining up for advice on all sorts of issues.  It was often so simple.   One young girl ran in and told me she had been beaten up by her boyfriend.  She just wanted to enlist on a journalism course so that she could learn how to write well and tell her story.  We heard her aspirations and pointed her in the right direction.

Another lady was living in fear of her stalker ex-husband who was subject to an injunction but she still did not even dare to take her child to the local playground in case he showed up.  When we suggested she go further afield and take a trip on the Jubilee line to London Zoo she looked at us as if we had suggested going to the Moon.  She didn’t know how to use the tube.  But when we showed her a tube map and explained how to get there, her face lit up with an empowered sense of liberation – a whole new world of possibilities outside Newham had been presented to her.

Just by being present and engaged for one lunchtime a week (often less of a commitment because we had devised a weekly rota), we were able to instil a sense of self-worth into victims of abuse and remind them that they do have a voice, they do have a choice and that no-one could tell them otherwise.

The more complex issues were referred back to the charity but even in those instances we were able to use our basic professional skills to interview the women, elicit information, identify red flags, make phone calls to specialist services and point them in the right direction.  This saved the charity valuable time.

10 years later, now with clients of the firm involved and thanks to the dedication of colleagues who kept it going when I left the firm in 2011, the advice surgery is still going strong.

Call to Action

What I have learnt is that if there is a social issue that disturbs us, we don’t have to wait for government to take action, for students to take to the streets or for celebrities to tweet.  And we certainly don’t have to feel like our only option is turn a blind eye.  If I hear about something awful and find myself constantly thinking about it as I try to proceed with my day, that is my call to action.

This happened recently when I saw on the news a beautiful Eritrean girl who was languishing in the notorious refugee camp of Calais, “The Jungle”, having been trafficked for thousands of miles across Africa.  She had so much hope, promise and defiance in her eyes, I couldn’t forget her.  The obvious next step was to brainstorm with my peers about the issues faced by victims of trafficking and to partner with a charity who might welcome some different skillsets and a few extra pairs of hands.

Unleashing the Power of Presence

There is so much we can do just by asking a charity or other expert on the ground what they might need (to ensure we are a bonus, not a burden) and offering to spend precious face-to-face time listening to and engaging with victims of poverty, trafficking, domestic violence, the elderly or disabled, whatever the issue may be.  This is how we can unleash the power of presence, a weapon too often forgotten in an age of smartphones and social media.   This is the offline revolution.  This is the power of that is within each of us to drive forward social change.

The Daytrippers Team:  Thank you Maya for your contribution and we wish you the very best.

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5 Minutes With … Freestyle Footballer Colin Nell

Professional Football Freestyler Colin Nell

Professional Football Freestyler Colin Nell

Media Entertainer and Football Freestyler, COLIN NELL recently performed at the Daytrippers Pan-Disability Football Tournament where he wowed the kids and adults alike.  He is undoubtedly an incredible talent; but what sets him apart from other expert freestylers is his desire to also help others and his innate ability to make people and children feel at ease.  The Londoner began his career in 2000 after being spotted by Nike Executives and the rest is history.   A quick google search brings you to his countless advertisements, videos, performances and promotions.  He is a resounding success and headed for more.  Do check out a few performances from Mr. Nell HERE and prepare to be impressed.

We Are Daytrippers are very happy to have his contribution in the 5 Minutes With section!

The Daytrippers Team:  Did you have a role model or mentor as a child?  

Colin Nell:  Growing up I used to really look up to sporting heroes. My first hero mentor was my father as he always played sports and encouraged me to do my best.  I always wanted to show him how good I was, however, the older I got I found many others to look up to. Firstly, Zinadine Zidane who I met in 2013, there were others such as Prince Naseem Hamed (boxer), Linford Christie (athlete), and also Muhammad Ali. However, even up to date I draw inspiration from so many influential people who I like to model myself on.DANCING WITH FIREFLIES_preview (2)

The Daytrippers Team:  What is your creative talent?

Colin Nell:   I would like to think I have many talents however most obvious is my freestyle football skills. The best way to cultivate it is to work hard and perfect this craft in as many ways as possible. This can be done through eating well and training to stay in shape, mentally staying focused and having a goal I would like to achieve with it – and finally having a lifestyle balance that allows this be worked into my daily routine and life. One must always have a goal or target to aim for or his work is never fully reached or obtained!

The Daytrippers Team:  What motivates or inspires you to be creative?

Colin Nell:  I have to say that I draw inspiration from so many people such as speakers, leaders, sportsmen and also my family. I have a desire to achieve so many things and often look towards those who have done something that has never been done before them such as putting the man on the moon, the tall sky-scrapers we see everyday and also the advances mankind has made.  Seeing my family and friends enjoy my success and the fruits it brings spurs me on the achieve higher everyday.

The Daytrippers Team:  Have you had experience with disabled or terminally-ill people?

Colin Nell:  Yes I have worked many times with the disabled; mainly in a sporting environment in London, Jersey and all over the UK. I have also run freestyle football sessions for terminally-ill children at UCLH hospital in London which was very rewarding for me and the patients.

Colin Nell working with Daytrippers kids in 2014

Colin Nell working with Daytrippers kids in 2014

The Daytrippers Team:  Do you have any advice for children who are currently facing difficulties?

Colin Nell:  I would say that we should all keep the faith always. We constantly get tested and face many difficulties however we must also think of those who are less fortunate then us. Showing patience and gratitude for what we have also helps massively. Many times in life we find it so hard to make sense of the world we live in however after every hardship always comes ease. Life is far too short and we must make the most of every second we have as we have one life and must live it well!

The Daytrippers Team:  Would you share a challenge in your life?

Colin Nell:  Back in 2004 I went to play football in Barcelona on trial for Columbus Crew FC an American MLS team. Whilst I was there, an unfortunate fall out with the management where some disagreed that I should have been invited to play. Whilst I was there I also became sick from Hepatitis A through seafood which wasn’t cleaned properly. I ended up leaving early to come home due to sickness which took 2 weeks in hospital as well as no football team to play for. This also effected me with freestyle football as Vodafone UK wanted me to shoot a commercial for them which I also lost out on because I was ill. I was very down and of course ill at the time however I quickly learnt in life that I had to be patient and also mentally stronger as I believe everything happens for a reason. My faith as a Muslim and support from my family and friends helped me so much and I will never forget this. I had to come back stronger and later on I am pleased to say that I ended up bettering myself and had bigger and better opportunities!

The Daytrippers Team:  Who is currently your role model?

Colin Nell:   My current role model is the Prophet Muhammad. As a Muslim I use his example in many ways to help improve my lifestyle – however ones that are still living; Sir Jackie Stewart (motor racing) who has become a very good friend, Muhammad Ali (boxer) who has had an amazing career and been through so many hardships. That would be great to meet him one day.

The Daytrippers Team:  Thank you so much Colin.

Colin Nell freestyling in front of Tower Bridge

Colin Nell freestyling in front of Tower Bridge

Connect with Colin Nell: http://www.colinnell.co.uk

 

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Word of Advice: How to silence your inner-critic

Mindfulness expert Stacy Kesten

Mindfulness expert Stacy Kesten

STACY KESTEN is an American filmmaker, artist, actor and meditation student who resides in Studio City, Los Angeles with her Film and T.V. editor husband Brian Ging.  Stacy is dedicated to the study of Mindfulness and Meditation at UCLA because she has witnessed firsthand the varied benefits in those who have practiced for a long time.  She hopes to demystify the learning curve and help those who wish to begin a practice of Mindfullness and Meditation.

 

Stacy shares her advice about handling stress with We Are Daytrippers:

Just living in modern society is stressful.  Add being a parent to that equation and the potential for stress increases significantly.  Top that off with being a parent of a special needs child and the word “stress” takes on a whole new meaning.  So how does one handle this particular version of stress?  The kind of stress so few others experience or even understand?  I would like to suggest Mindful Meditation.

I know what you’re thinking: “with all of the demands of balancing life and the responsibilities of being a parent to a child with special needs, who has time to meditate?” I get it.  It seems counter-intuitive.  There’s always so much to do, and if, by some alignment of the stars, you have 20 minutes to yourself, then, well, there’s still always something else to do.  I understand.  But here’s my question:  What is the quality of your life and your parenting experience, when you don’t take care of yourself?  How much time is wasted and lost when your day feels scattered and harried?  What I’m suggesting is that in order to take better care of your child, I urge you to also make yourself a priority.  It is absolutely essential to partake in self-care activities that not only calm you, but also give you the opportunity to find inner peace so that your life may be more balanced.  If you can find that balance and calm, you will be a better model for your children, and they will pick up on your improved energy which will in turn help their balance and calm as well.  It’s a win-win!

In my meditation groups and classes parents often express that they experience guilt when they steal away for 20 minutes to meditate.  somehow, it seems like a “selfish” way to spend their time.  I would like to submit that nothing could be further from the truth.  The reality is that there is no kinder gift we can offer to our family, our friends, and the world around us than the recharge we get by spending a few quiet moments alone, taking care of ourselves.  When we take time to meditate we find more patience, clarity and presence. We also learn to cultivate more compassion, both for those around us and for ourselves.

As parents, it’s so easy to let the “inner-critic” take over.  In case you’re not familiar with your inner-critic, allow me to introduce you to mine.  My inner-critic is that nasty voice inside my head who shouts mean things; “you’re a bad parent” or “You’re not doing enough” or “you can’t do anything right!”  Most of the time we allow these voices to run rampant and unchecked because we are unconscious of them.  However, if we can become aware of them, they begin to lose their power over us – and one of the most effective ways to become aware of this toxic chatter is through meditation.  you can practice meditation wherever you are – whether you’re out for a walk, riding the bus, waiting at the doctor’s office, or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting.

If you’re willing to give it a try, you might be asking HOW does one meditate?  Do I burn incense, sit on a Tibetan pillow cross-legged and chant Ohm?!

It’s much simpler than that actually.  

Here are a few steps:

1. Find a comfortable position, preferably sitting in a chair or lying down.

2.  Take three deep slow breaths – Inhale and Exhale, Inhale and Exhale, Inhale and Exhale.

3.  Now, allow your breathing to return to normal, and just gently observe your breath.  Try not to control your breath.  Try to just notice it.  You can focus gently on any of the following:

  • The feeling of the air coming in and out of your nostrils.
  • The feeling of the rise and fall of your stomach, chest or shoulders.
  • The feeling of the air filling your lungs.
  • Any coping mechanism that helps you feel aware of your breath.

4.  When you noticed that your mind wanders off (which it most definitely will) gently, and without giving yourself a hard time, bring your focus back to your breath.

5.  If you would like to try it, here is a great guided meditation to get you started: BEGINNERS GUIDED MEDITATION

That’s it!  Meditation is as simple as that.  I’m not saying it’s easy, but the key is to be kind and patient with yourself.  The more you practice, the more you will see benefits.  Over time, parents often report increased patience and compassion towards their children (and themselves) among many more benefits.  As you learn to focus on the present moment, you will also begin to learn what is worth giving your attention to and what is not (no thanks, inner-critic!) which is sure to simplify your life.  If I have managed to peak your interest, just start off with whatever level or time seems do-able.  Should you find a few free moments, do take time to take care of yourself, so that you can, in turn, take care of others.  I can’t think of a better way to invest a few minutes of time.

mindful-quotes-1

 

Follow Stacy or ask her questions @MindfulnessGal

Follow her blog: http://www.mindfulinspirations.com/

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The Daytrippers Team: “All I had to do was dare to ask”

Charlotte Munn from The Daytrippers Team describes how she discovered Celebrity Ambassador Kurt Yaeger.

Professional BMX rider and actor, Kurt Yaeger.

Professional BMX rider and actor, Kurt Yaeger.

Last year I went to Love Box and saw the very talented London based DNB band; Rudimental. I came back from the festival with one tune in my head; “waiting all night”.

The memory of the festival is resumed in the song for me. I hadn’t seen the video and had no idea what it was about until I sat down one day and watched it.   It revealed the accident and story of Kurt Yaegar, pro BMX rider, actor and now one of Daytrippers’ Celebrity Ambassadors(!!), it highlights how he overcame everything that the doctors told him; how he came about getting back onto BMX after breaking his back, pelvis and losing a leg (imagine!); and more incredible … he still rocked at it!

We tweeted him saying that we thought the video was great and he thanked us. I didn’t think much of it but then my colleagues encouraged me to write to him about Daytrippers to see if he would be interested in meeting us and to discuss a future BMX/Urban project we had in mind. He came to the UK and agreed to come and meet us!

Daytrippers was represented by Marlene (the French bulldog), Leila (Charity trustee) and myself. Kurt came with his British friend James and Huy, both BMX riders.  It was awesome that Kurt took the time to come and see us, he was so genuine and even thanked us for the work we do for disabled children. All I had to do was to dare to ask!  He is a great inspiration for the kids we work with and gives out a very significant message “to never give up on your dreams” even if there are limitations to what you can do physically and mentally you can overcome them through perseverance, compassion and encouragement.

We were so happy that he joined the Daytrippers Ambassadors programme and were thrilled when he told us he would be there for our London Zoo special children’s day weekend in May 2014.  We were ecstatic to see him there representing Daytrippers and he met all the 2014 Young Ambassadors; he even showed Dylan how to pop some wheelie’s in the wheelchair he’s been temporarily using.

Daytrippers Ambassadors Kurt Yaeger and Dylan Wilson

Daytrippers Ambassadors Kurt Yaeger and Dylan Wilson

What still amazes me to this day is how it all evolved from one little tweet into Kurt’s involvement as a role model for Daytrippers Kids.   You never know what can happen if you dare to ask.

 

 

 

Here’s the video that inspired Charlotte:

Stay connected to Kurt Yaeger, Rudimental and Charlotte:

Kurt:  @kurtyaeger

Rudimental: @RudimentalUK

Charlotte: @munnskies

Read more about Kurt’s visit to the Zoo:  http://daytrippers.org.uk/2014/05/20/moustachioed-teenager-who-charmed-us-all-at-london-zoo/

 

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5 Minutes With … Coldplay’s Will Champion

English musician, Will Champion

Will Champion, English musician

We Are Daytrippers proudly features the Rock Star drummer and dad, Will Champion. The 5 Minutes With section is about highlighting proper role models, mentors and creatives. We believe Will fits each category. He happens to also be a neighbour of Brook Morrison from the Daytrippers Team. The last time Brook had a brief conversation with Will, she was at a party hosted by Superman Brian Eno. Will was telling her about the types of people who pop into Brian’s regularly organised singing group (to which his lovely wife belongs): “Yeah, you never know who will show up. Paul McCartney was there once.” Brook thought it was humble and cool of him to be part of this incredibly well-known band, yet still show enthusiasm about other rock stars and seem so human. This year Brian and Will worked together on an album with Karl Hyde called Someday World, and he spent the summer on the world tour with Coldplay. Sure, he is a busy and talented musician, but we get the sense his real love is time spent with family.

The Daytrippers Team:  Who was your role model as a child?

Will Champion:  My role model as a child was probably my Dad.  An obvious choice but together with my Mum they made me feel as though anything I wished to know, they could help me to find out. We were surrounded by books and music in our house and it was a fantastic environment to grow up in.

The Daytrippers Team:  Do you have a role model or mentor today?

Will Champion:  We have been so lucky to work with some of our heroes and people from whom we have so much to learn.  Working with Brian Eno was a fantastic experience as he has produced some of the most wonderful music in my lifetime.  As a mentor, he inspired us to not be afraid of experimenting and expressing ourselves in new and unexpected ways.

The Daytrippers Team:  What is your creative talent and how do you cultivate it?

Will Champion:  I play music for a living which for me is a dream come true.  I grew up playing instruments in a house filled with music.  I was lucky enough to meet a group of like-minded people at university and have not done anything else since!

The Daytrippers Team: Do you have any experience working with disabled people?

Will Champion:  I have seen the benefits that music and creativity can have on everyone, not least those with disabilities.  It is an outlet that everyone can use, you don’t need training or proficiency for it to be fun and ultimately, music brings people together.

The Daytrippers Team: What motivates or inspires you to be creative?

Will Champion:  Working in music allows me to say and do things that wouldn’t be able to do in any other way.  It helped me find a ‘voice’ through which I could understand and communicate things and now it allows me to help other people, make people happy (or sad!!) and to create something that will be around long after I have gone.  I owe my whole life to music.

The Daytrippers Team:  Thank you so much Will.

Stay updated:

http://www.coldplay.com

http://www.enohyde.com

Oh yeah, and check this out:  He sings too – we found this footage:

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