Sylvia Young turns pop svengali
Sylvia Young with actress Eva Longoria
She established the national theatre school that trained chart-topping pop stars from Amy Winehouse to the Appleton sisters.
Now Sylvia Young has gone one step further and set up her own record label, Seymour Place Music, and formed a British band made up of four of her students.
But she insists media comparisons with music mogul Simon Cowell are well wide of the mark.
“It’s a load of rubbish,” she insisted. “I have never compared myself to him or his professional label.”
Alumni of Ms Young’s school include Rita Ora. Their teacher is hoping the new band, called EverYoung, can follow in their footsteps. Their debut single, You Got Me, will be released next week.
“We’re going to wait and see how this band develops and hopefully we can make it a success,” she said. “This group have a tremendous amount of vocal talent. I wanted to give them a chance to do something.”
One of the band members is 18-year-old Eyal Booker who left JFS to pursue a music career.
“We’re travelling around the country trying to establish a fan base,” he said. “We walk into schools and gigs as nobodies, and then we leave with girls screaming and crying. It’s pretty crazy and a dream come true to see fans singing back your lyrics. I’m having the time of my life.”
Eyal, who interrupted his performance schedule to observe Yom Kippur at Bushey Synagogue, added: “I didn’t expect to be in a pop band. I thought I would go on to finish my A-Levels at JFS — I was at the Sylvia Young school part-time because I loved singing.
“But now I wouldn’t want to do anything else – it’s such a buzz. And Sylvia is a great manager. She shares her knowledge. You know that she’s talking from experience.”
Ms Young set up her theatre school in 1981. Thousands of youngsters harbouring dreams of a showbusiness career have passed through its doors. “Years ago, our students wanted to go into musical theatre — but now a lot of them want pop careers,” she said.