WeAreTheCity are proud to announce Jermain Jackman, Elle Yaya, Southend Vox and Jaspreet Kaur as our special entertainment for the Rising Star Award’s Ceremony

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WeAreTheCity are proud to announce singer Jermain Jackman, singer-songwriter, Elle Yaya, the Southend Vox Choir, and poet and Rising Star alumni, Jaspreet Kaur as our special entertainment for the Rising Star Award’s Ceremony.

Given the circumstances, the team at WeAreTheCity are once again having to do things a little differently with our awards. We will be holding a virtual awards evening for all winners, sponsors and judges on the evening of 15 July 2021.

Over the course of the award’s ceremony, our attendees will hear from inspirational speakers and entertainers, who will all be endeavouring to create a truly magically experience. While we cannot give our winners the true physical experience of one of our award ceremonies, what we have planned will be an evening to remember!

Hosted by Julia Streets, CEO of Streets Consulting, we will also be joined by Dr Heather Melville OBE CCMI, Director, PwC and Chair of CMI Women, who will be delivering the open keynote; and our education partner, Niki Mullin, Associate Director, Oxford Said Business School.

Find out more about our speakers below:

Jermain JackmanJermain Jackman

Jermain Jackman is a talented English singer who rose to fame on the popular BBC singing competition The Voice UK. A passionate political activist, Jermain is a performer with big dreams and an even bigger talent.

At the age of 11, he was spotted by the Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn at a school talent contest that the former Labour leader was invited to judge. Corbyn asked Jermain to perform at Labour rallies with the two forming a double act. Jermain’s success saw him eventually enter and win the third season of the hit BBC talent show The Voice UK.

After The Voice UK Jermain tested the waters with an EP of collaborations entitled Jermain Jackman Sessions. Released as a free download, he was buoyed by the response prompting him to develop a full album. His debut album, Jermain Jackman was released in 2015 featuring his debut single “How Will I Know”.

Since then Jermain has balanced his performance life with his studies in politics at the University of Leeds. An active political figure, he harbours ambitions of becoming an MP and is a role model to generations of future politicians. Jermain is an act unlike any other. A talented singer and active political youth, Jermain is wise beyond his years.

Elle YayaElle Yaya

Having signed to Paul Epworth’s label at the tender age of 15, ELLE YAYA is an intriguing artist with a story to tell. Her drive and ambition saw her skipping university and heading to London alone to pursue her dreams, collaborating with the likes of Vince Staples, Glass Animals and Clams Casino along the way. However leaving home and the cushion of her supportive family for the arms of the unforgiving music industry proved a struggle. Having spent nearly two years in recovery for drug and alcohol addiction, the 24-year-old has experienced more self-sabotage and darkness than many people would experience in a lifetime.

Though written during her chaotic days, her innate and consistent ability to curate deft R&B Pop fusions has helped her process her past, resulting in the spectacular debut full length ‘Pharmacy’. With undeniable vocal delivery and razor sharp lyricism, if it’s gritty, passionate and captivating music you’re after, there should only be one name on your lips

Jaspreet KaurJaspreet Kaur

Jaspreet Kaur, better known as Behind the Netra for her poetry, is an award-winning spoken word artist and writer from East London. She is also an educator and has taught History, Sociology & Politics in secondary schools across London. With an academic background in both history and gender studies & a passion for social justice, Jaspreet has been committed to using her writing and spoken word to tackle gender discrimination, mental health stigma, the postcolonial immigrant experience, & taboo issues within the South Asian community.

She has performed at a number of events including performances – the Service of Celebration at Westminster Abbey, Theatre Royal London, Oxford and Cambridge University, London City Hall and the House of Lords.

Jaspreet has been awarded the Asian Women of Achievement Award for her work in Arts and Culture, the ‘WeAreTheCity’ Rising Star Award in Education.

Southend Vox ChoirSouthend Vox

Southend Vox is a dynamic and captivating not-for-profit community choir that loves to entertain! Founded in 2009, the choir was established to create a modern and unique approach to choral singing in the Southend community. Starting out with a handful of singers, the choir today consists of nearly 50 members from in and around the Southend-on-Sea area. Vox sing an eclectic mix of pop classics, show songs, spirituals and contemporary pieces, and have performed at a number of prestigious venues including Union Chapel and most recently, The Royal Albert Hall. Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, rehearsals have moved online and their performances have become ‘virtual’ – they’ve even won their first ‘virtual’ choir competition! Southend Vox are thrilled to join the WeAreTheCity Rising Stars award and we hope you all enjoy the performance!

Heather MelvilleDr Heather Melville, OBE CCMI, Director, PwC and Chair, CMI Women

Having held a number of senior positions across a range of high profile organisations (RBS/NatWest, IBM, Daiwa Europe Bank and, most recently PwC), Heather has established a purpose values driven reputation, together with a gentle, focused yet persuasive style that is known for supporting both individuals and businesses to be successful.

Her most recent appointment as Director of Client Relationship Programmes (a programme specifically designed for C Suite clients) and Head of People Business Networks, has provided the firm with a strong foundation to continue to engage with our 65,000 clients, 22,00 alumni and 22,000 employees through a clear vision and strategy that brings them together to solve critical business problems.

Heather is also very passionate about the progression of both female and BAME talent from the early entrance into the education system, right through to that very first role they may have secured in the corporate workplace.

In 2017 Heather was awarded an OBE for her services to female entrepreneurs, diversity in business and gender equality. In July 2019 she was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Portsmouth for her contribution to Diversity in Business.

She is the Chair of CMI Women, Trustee and board member of Enfield Enterprise, Patron of Women In Banking & Finance and in a personal capacity has contributed to ongoing independent reviews for the Labour Government re creating an inclusive culture. In 2020 Heather became a member of the PwC Colour Brave Charity Committee.


In May, WeAreTheCity announced the winners of our 2021 Rising Star Awards.

The list of winners showcases remarkable women within the UK from across 20 categories representing different industries and professions. Those highlighted include Alice Hendy, who founded R;pple Suicide Prevention after the tragic loss of her brother, Josh, in 2020; Asha Mohammed, an award winning second year junior doctor and an activist who has made it her mission to tackle gender-based violence with a specific focus on female genital mutilation; Jennifer Ogunyemi, Founder of Sisters In Business, which focuses on changing the narrative of the Muslim business woman; and Samantha Gould, Head of PR, NOW: Pensions, who is passionate about creating a fairer UK pension system for herself and her young daughter and future generations.

The awards were entered by over 1,000 individuals and were judged by a panel of 51 independent judges. Over 40,000 public votes of support were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees from 115 countries.

The 2021 awards are headline sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada. Category sponsors include an array of leading FTSE 100 companies and industry leaders: 3M, Accenture, Barclays, Bloomberg, British Army, Cancer Research UK, C&C Search, Citi, CMI, Elysian Search Consulting, Goldman Sachs, GSK, Highways Sector Council, HSBC, Lloyd’s, National Grid, Northern Trust, Oliver Wyman, Oxford Said Business School, Reed Smith and Sage.

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About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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