Get ready for Youngsta rap

Trafford College student is set to top the charts

Steve Hook

Meet Youngsta, the latest signing to a boy band being created by Nigel Martin-Smith, the guru behind Take That.

The 18-year-old Trafford College student, who has been named the fifth member of the more street credible alternative to the parent-friendly boy band, is more sensible than his moniker might suggest.

Youngsta - aka Chris Evans - was studying a three-year music producer course at the college's rock `n' roll hothouse the Music Base when he was signed to join what promises to be a new chart sensation - Asbro.

The band's music will not be aimed at the same audience as those who might still have such Take That classics as "Back for Good" and "It Only Takes a Minute" discreetly lurking on their MP3 player. Martin-Smith said it would be "more Ramp;B, soul and hip-hop", with lyrics about serious issues affecting young people but generally only discussed publicly by besuited adults, such as knife crime.

Despite the band's ominously delinquent-sounding title, Chris said his big break would not stop him completing the final year of his college course.

"I've been doing the course for two years, so I want to finish it. I want to know about production, management and the business side of things," he said. "It's not just about performing. The course means you've not just got a plan B, but a plan C and D as well.

"Our music is about positive messages. Real music, which our age group can understand - but making them think about things.

"I didn't enjoy school, but the Music Base is so laid back. There are lots of tutors who have helped me and it's just a really good place to do things."

The Music Base was opened last year by two of the city's biggest stars: Peter Hook, the former New Order bass player; and Mani, bassist with Primal Scream and previously the Stone Roses.

Jacqueline Hewitt, head of the Music Base, has worked closely with Chris alongside his tutors Mark Acton and Steve Barlow.

The other band members, whom Martin-Smith believes could become household names when the first single goes out next year, are Lewis Conroy, Dean Kelly, Jayme Kontzle and Craig Worsley.

Chris auditioned after an appeal went out in the Manchester Evening News - precisely the approach that led to Robbie Williams becoming the fifth member of Take That.

Leading article, page 4.

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Steve Hook

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