The skyrocketing career growth of Julia Wyszkowska (21), aka Jelia, is a testament to the opportunities True Cadence (TC) provides beyond the programme.
Since joining TC in March, Jelia has undergone a significant transformation. In a short period of time, she has quickly advanced from a participant to a Project Management Assistant and Workshop Facilitator. With True Cadence nurturing her passion, she has been pushing the limits of what she could achieve ever since.
When Jelia shifted from BMus Popular Music Performance to BMus Songwriting, her studies no longer offered the same amount of performances she had previously available. After actively searching for opportunities that would develop her performing skills, the advertised Expression Project piqued Jelia’s curiosity. Not only would regular live performance workshops boost her stage confidence, but she would also get a chance to work with industry professionals who would provide guidance on her musical journey.
Shortly after Jelia joined the Expression Project, TC encouraged its participants to consider the role of Project Management Assistant. Without hesitance, she sent an application that included her previous project and event management experience. Eventually, she seemed best fitted for the role. “As an organisation, we always look internally first”, TC’s Founder Manny Ebokosia explained, “we want to give young people an opportunity to work in an industry they feel passionate about”.
Jelia fully committed to her managing and participating duties, on top of spending long nights in the studio, writing for other artists and doing her own side projects. After immersing herself in work six days a week and successfully delivering a songwriting workshop during “The Great Get Together”, discipline and time management became Jelia’s second nature.
However, Jelia was confronted with a dilemma – How can she participate in the same programme that she also works for? And how should she behave towards the manager and participants?
“I was trying to figure out my position – Manny viewed the participants as a founder and facilitator, whereas I looked at them as my peers, so I had to separate how I felt as a participant and what was best for the project”.
The role conflict required Jelia to approach the participants from two perspectives. By ensuring they completed their tasks while bonding with them as their colleague, she showcased professionalism. “It was hard, seeing both sides. The work goes first, but at the same time, I was trying to act evenly towards them as they were participants on the programme just like me to avoid power imbalance issues.”
When True Cadence noticed Jelia’s songwriting talent, Manny gave her the opportunity to head the songwriting and sound recording programme We Create. It was the first time that TC’s founder took a chance on a participant to be a facilitator. “I was really happy when Manny told me I would be facilitating this whole programme myself. I guess he really believed in me.”
Manny’s trust and support encouraged Jelia to believe in achieving things that surpassed her experience: “I knew I would be doing things that I have done before in different events: I did teach children before, I did do programmes, events, singing, writing with others, so why would I not be able to do that [We Create]?”
Designing We Create for young children pushed Jelia’s imagination, making her reflect on her own childhood: “The biggest struggle was remembering how it was to be their age… At first, I was a bit too strategic with the tasks I was giving them, but when I saw how much the kids enjoyed some fun exercises Manny gave them at the beginning of the first session, I knew I had to adjust the plan to what they liked to keep them engaged”.
True Cadence gave Jelia a platform for nourishing her talents, taking a step closer to turning her passion into a living: “Now, I can say that my income comes from music, I learned how to write and facilitate a programme, and I met a lot of nice people from the industry that I would not have otherwise.”
Other recent achievements of Jelia include her nomination for Original Track Award (Solo) by Youth Music for her debut single, “Each time you fall”, due to her participation in True Cadence. “I was in the daily Zoom meeting with Manny when we both got nominated, Manny for the Inspirational Music Leader Award category, and I for the Original Track Award (Solo). We received notifications simultaneously, so we just stopped the conversation and shared our excitement.”
Looking ahead, True Cadence counts on Jelia being on board; currently, she is already co-designing the agenda for the next We Create and Expression Project based on her experience. Manny expressed confidence in Jelia’s ability to facilitate We Create, possibly even without his assistance: “As Jelia develops with True Cadence, she is someone I see potentially running the programme without my involvement”.
All these accomplishments result from Jelia’s hard work and determination as much as from True Cadence’s investment, trust, and belief in Jelia’s potential. For True Cadence, it is not the quantity of numbers that matters but the quality of positive impact and changes you can make over someone else’s life – and for dedicated artists like Jelia, there are still many more to come.
The “Ghost Girl” song was written and recorded on the “We Create” programme by 8-10-year-olds (TC Juniors), facilitated by Jelia.