Singer, dancer, volunteer, events manager and all-round good guy Truchio Powell tells Shelley Carter why he’s determined to give inner city kids a break
If you’ve ever been to a black tie event in Birmingham you’ve probably had the pleasure of witnessing the huge talent and immense energy of vocal group Elements of Song. As lead vocalist Truchio Powell was instrumental in forming the soulful, feel good group made up of young students from Aston Performing Arts Academy (APAA) where he teaches on a voluntary basis with his twin brother Pelego and founder Anji Daniel. As creative director Tru is responsible for teaching vocal harmonies and choreography plus overall project management of events. Of the academy Tru said: “APAA gives inner city kids an opportunity to get involved in all types of music that they wouldn’t naturally encounter. It makes a massive difference to their lives.”
PASSION AND PURPOSE
Thanks to the generosity of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) and Birmingham City University (BCU), the academy has access to incredible facilities and instruments. Still young himself Tru is determined to level the playing field for the kids at APAA and give them an opportunity to shine. “Why shouldn’t they have that chance? Students leave APAA with a passion and a purpose along with a fantastic work ethic.” Tru caught the performing bug early in life and at around eight-years-old started performing with Pelego in front of church congregations and school peers. The boys soon built up a reputation winning talent contests and dance competitions. Post GCSEs both brothers went on to excel at Joseph Chamberlain College studying Performing Arts and Theatre Studies. Tru joined the team at Aston Performing Arts academy in 2010 and has found it incredibly rewarding. Elements of Song is probably the most visible aspect of APAA, but it makes up about 30 per cent of what the academy does. Seventy students ranging from six to 24 years benefit from Tru’s talent, infectious enthusiasm and the academy’s inspirational agenda. Many go on to study for degrees in musicianship or drama despite their disadvantaged start in life. Formally part of the team at Marketing Birmingham, Tru is one of those characters about town that everyone knows – when he’s not being mistaken for his twin that is! He has the ability to brighten up the dullest function and when he performs he looks like he’s having the time of his life which rubs off on the rest of the group and the crowd he’s entertaining.
Tru’s passion to inspire kids and boost their chance of fulfilment doesn’t stop at the academy though. His nurturing nature means that his house is rather crowded. Tru and his wife have four children – one biological and three foster children. Four children under the age of 11 teamed with running a successful events business, teaching at the academy and performing with Elements of Song is a tall order. “Yes I’m busy, but I just think it’s crucial to give kids a chance in life. It’s really important.”