LIFE is rockin’ for Redditch teenage music maestro Stuart Woolfenden.
The Church Hill youngster, fresh from playing a summer of songs at local festivals and celebrations has now seen his self-penned song ‘I’ve Seen It All’ played on BBC Radio 6 by Tom Robinson and is to feature in a BBC Hereford & Worcester introducing session to be aired on November 14.
But despite all this success the Tudor Grange Academy student is keeping his feet on the ground and his eyes firmly fixed on going to university next year – to study Maths.
“I’m working on my ‘A’ Levels and then I’m hopefully going to university but I’ll still be doing my music,” said the 17-year-old.
“I’ve still to decide whether to go down the music route or the maths – we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
He was six years old when his parents bought him his first guitar for Christmas, but it was another five years before he picked it up and actually started playing it.
By the age of 13 the fearless youngster was on stage at school and singing his own songs, to the amazement of teachers.
“I’ve been playing ever since, going further afield to do gigs and practicing every day, it’s quite inspirational to hear artists say they only got where they are today by practicing, so that’s what I do,” said Stuart.
He counts The Clash and Manic Street Preachers as key influences but one thing you won’t find in his canon is love songs.
“I’m not political but I feel my music is quite socially aware, and I try to write from my own experiences – as for love, there are a million other subjects you can write songs about,” he said. “I just sit and make my music and throw it up onto SoundCloud.”
It was from doing just that that the BBC got involved and a song was picked up by Radio 6 Music and Tom Robinson – of ‘2 4 6 8 Motoway fame’.
“He tweeted me to tell mere they were going to play my song which was really really cool,” said Stuart.
And in case he gets too carried away mum and dad Donna and Tim Woolfenden keep him on the ground.
“They’re very critical, but in a good way, they are really honest and if I write a song which isn’t very good they’ll tell me and not pretend – it keeps things balanced,” he said.
• November 7 – Stuart plays the Black Tap Brewery Pub in Church Green East.
• November 14 – Stuart features in a BBC Introducing session.
• December 5 – Stuart opens for The X Factor’s Ray Quinn at the Kingfisher Shopping Centre’s Christmas Show.
You can Stuart’s performances filmed at the Redditch Standard office below: