With a record label deal and ambition to be Britain’s first singing black Prime Minister, Jermain Jackman was a perfect choice to inspire Lynn students yesterday.
Still only 20-years-old, the winner of last year’s BBC singing competition The Voice was able to relate to students when he gave a talk and performance at Lynn’s King Edward VII school and the King’s Lynn Academy.
The visit was organised by the College of West Anglia, which sponsors both academies, in an effort to promote its National Citizen Service (NCS) programme for 15- to 17-year-olds.
Jermain, who releases his self-titled debut album next month, completed an NCS programme in London in 2011, when he was contemplating what to do with his future, and he is now an NCS ambassador.
Dubbed “the singing politician” by The Voice judge Sir Tom Jones, the singer received his NCS award from David Cameron at Downing Street two years ago – and warned the Prime Minister: “Watch your job because I’ll be taking it soon.”
An active member of the Labour party in Hackney, East London, where he lives, Jermain received the award after campaigning for homeless people.
The singer, who was mentored by judge Will.i.am on the third series of the show, credits the NCS programme for giving him the confidence needed to sweep to victory.
He told students: “Doing NCS was one of the best times of my life. I did abseiling, canoeing, rock climbing; gaining the skills needed to go out on TV and sing in front of millions of people and chill with Will.i.am without getting starstruck.”
He encouraged students to sign up for the programme to not only help them achieve their goals, but to make them stand out from others when applying for university.
After his talk, Jermain gave a performance of Louder Than Words from his album, which he spent a year writing his own material for.
Principal Craig Morrison, who leads both King Edward VII and the King’s Lynn Academy, was delighted students got the opportunity to listen to Jermain.
He said: “We always try to make things memorable for our students, and I think this will stay with them forever.
“They were able to relate to Jermain. They have to listen to us teachers every day, but with him they sat up and listened.”
Jermain’s album is released on March 23 but is available to download on iTunes now.