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We spoke to him to find out more.

What is it about Phil Collins that really inspired you?

I think the thing with Phil Collins is that he wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s gone through situations in life, and he’s not ashamed to talk about them. He can put across in the power of song how he feels. I think older people are more cynical towards Phil Collins than younger people; there are a lot of younger people who love Phil Collins.

‘˜You Can’t Hurry Love’ is one of my favourites of all time.

He invited me to Earl’s Court in ‘97. I sang in front of him and he endorsed me as his number one tribute in the world. He said it was ‘˜spooky, frightening, and flattering.’ No ones had that from Phil Collins.

What would Phil Collins, on the streets today, say to a kid carrying a knife?

Well, I can’t speak for Phil, but I know that he’s a compassionate man. I think he’s seen the things that have gone on.

So tell us about the single, is it all taking off?

Yeah, mate we’re going for number one. This is no little jingle on a charity record, this is a movement, this is going to be a pure, grassroots, organic move, of the people for the people from the people to the people. We’ve brought all these kids together, and the message is very definitive, we’re saying ‘˜no guns, no knives, no loss of lives’.

What do you think is missing from the lives of today’s youth that leads them to violence?

These kids grew up in a fatherless generation, without role models and men being men instilling discipline, love, affirmation, acceptance and approval into them.

What was the inspiration behind the single?

I was in America, and I got a phone call from back home, saying that my house and car had been robbed. So I came home with a lot of anger, bitterness and frustration in my heart, because the very people that I’d been trying to reach, trying to help, are the very people who stole from me. And so I felt challenged, in my quiet time and that, to go into the schools in the area, and share my story.

Obviously because of the ‘Stars in Their Eyes’, the Phil Collins, getting what you want in life, fulfilling your ambitions, dreams and desires, yet still having that emptiness in your life. I got expelled when I was fourteen, I had a bad time with my Mum and Dad, I wanted approval, acceptance, affirmation. I joined a gang, we took drugs, and we did mad things, robbing cars and all that.

I ended up getting a full-time job and getting my head together. But all of a sudden, my mum died. My mum died in my arms, so suddenly. I went into my house and she was there on the floor, I had to give her the kiss of life and she died. So that took me down another downward spiral, trying to come to terms with it, getting involved in drugs again.

I found my hope in my singing, being given my opportunity, with ‘Stars in Their Eyes’.

Who would be the ideal role model for young people?

Just ordinary people who stand up against injustice, racism, violence and gang culture. Obviously they’re not going to bring their loved ones back, but they’ve stood in the face of adversity, and been a voice.

Who would you say exactly is ‘˜the voice’?

You. Me. Everyone is the voice. It’s about engaging and empowering the young kids of today to be the voice of tomorrow, changing and transforming hearts and minds, and giving them an opportunity to fulfil their destiny.

Was your conversion to Christianity a catalyst in starting the project?

I’ve always believed that manipulation, exploitation, racism and bullying is wrong, I believed in equality. We’re all God’s creatures. We’ve all got the same blood ‘“ black, white, yellow ‘“ we’ve all got red blood! I’ve always had that mentality, so when I became a Christian, it all fell into place.

Tell us about your conversion to Christianity.

I was brought up with a faith, but it was a nominal, Catholic faith, and I lost it because of the things that I went through. It was like, ‘˜how can there be a God if this is happening?’ And when I was 29, at the bottom of the rung of my life, I was going to commit suicide, I was going into the back of a truck. I was gone. I heard a voice, and the voice said ‘˜Liam, call your friend, and ask him about me’. And that’s what I did, and now I want to give back. If you talk spiritually, it’s like Satan is going round and he’s stealing our children.

In a literal sense, you heard a voice?

Yeah. It changed my life forever.

Wow. What would you say to a kid who has prayed to God, but has had no answer?

Just keep believing.



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bro interview but someone gets -1sp. point for this abomination: “I was bought up with a faith”

Posted by isaac on March 30, 2009 at 2:31 am

Role Model This guy is totally right, regardless of his faith, he can tell there’s something bad going on, and it needs to be sorted. I hope his work impacts others to do the same and go forward in helping us (youth) be all the best we can be.

Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 2009 at 3:52 pm

ARRRR Phil Collins, i loved that monkey advert..

Posted by biggsy22 on April 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm

This guy cannot be for real?

Posted by Ian on May 14, 2009 at 12:50 am

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