Classical composer Okiem wants us all to reconsider how we view the genre, especially after its increased popularity following the Royal Wedding in 2018.
The pianist known for his cinematic classical style has worked with John Legend, Craig David, Tinie Tempah, Jessie J and is a big advocate for diversity in the classical music genre, describing it as very white at the moment.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk he said: Well, Simon Webbe from Blue and Javone Prince the comedian are fans of the genre and my music.
Famous people always want to get selfies with me because they have never experienced music like that and its funny because I wanted selfies with them first, to be honest.
Jack Wilshere, I played at his wedding. Danny Welbeck came up to me there and asked for a picture. So these football players are really into this kind of music. Aston Merrygold [former JLS singer] is a fan as well.
The musician, real name Okiem Warmann, said that the lack of diversity in classical music is as plain as day as he discussed whether or not the scene will stay dominated by the white middle classes.
The 34-year-old said: It is noticeable and very hard to miss
I feel that changing in a big way, and I am happy to be a part of that change to make classic music more accessible, as it is very white at the moment.
The Londoner is passionate about the diversity in classical music, and believes that, with increased visibility of black men and women, things will soon of change and the likes of Danny Welbeck will continue to be fans.
Referring to cello player Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who played at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for a global audience, added that seeing is believing.
I think people just need to see it. Just to see it visually as a start is a massive thing. The more they see it theyll know, he said proudly.
Its just going to take a bit longer.
Okiem will be playing at Qualingos on Monday 3rd June.
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