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Young Nekoda’s God-given talent

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Sharing the joy: Nekoda Bascome wants to use his talent for singing to spread the word of God (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Budding singer Nekoda Bascome was overcome by stage fright the first time he got in front of an audience to perform.

Prayer was the one thing that made it easier.

The 13-year-old will be showing off his vocal chops tonight at his largest show to date — opening up for internationally renowned gospel singer Anthony Brown.

The Grammy Award-nominated entertainer and his band, best known for their hit Worth, will be headlining The Inspirational Gospel Concert tonight at Heritage Worship Centre.

“It’s kind of crazy how it all happened,” Nekoda explained. “Glenn Blakeney [the founder of HOTT 107.5] and his wife, Gwen, had called my dad because their grandson happens to play cricket with me.

“Mrs Blakeney asked my dad to drop off her grandson at the house one day. That’s when she asked me if I would be interested in singing for the event. Of course my answer was yes.

“I was kind of surprised because I didn’t think I was going to get this opportunity, especially at this age. I’m only 13 years old. But I’m excited because Anthony Brown is quite famous and this could help with my career later on down the road.”

He admits Worth is one of his favourite songs.

“It reminds me of all the good things God has done for me and that I have to praise Him by spreading His word,” he said.

Nekoda has attended Christ Church in Devonshire for most of his life.

According to his father, Nelson Bascome Jr, it was clear he had talent quite early on.

“Nekoda has always been a musical youth,” Mr Bascome said. “So much that he attended Kinder Music classes as a toddler.

“His mother and I both come from affluent musical families that have internationally renowned talent, so genetics has a lot to do with it.

“As he got older he always sang — be it Sunday school songs or every song that came on the radio, verbatim.

“He had a gift at memorising words after only one or two chances at listening to them.

“He sang along all the time always keeping good pitch, so I knew he had talent.”

It took Nekoda a little longer to catch on.

While auditioning for a fashion show at Harrington Sound Primary School five years ago, one teacher was pleasantly surprised by his vocal range and abilities.

“The teacher asked if I could sing and soon after auditioning for that event I got picked,” the teenager said.

“Before that I thought I might have a little bit of a good voice. I would always sing in the car and stuff but it wasn’t until that audition that I actually found out from other people that I could sing. I was 7 or 8 at the time.”

He ended up singing Adele’s Rolling in the Deep to a gymnasium full of people.

“I was nervous and shaking a lot,” he confessed. “The only way I got through it is by praying beforehand.

“I prayed that I would do well and wouldn’t mess up. Then I just kept my eyes at the back of the auditorium as I sang and because I wasn’t looking at the people directly it helped me feel more at ease.

“Afterwards people were coming up to me and telling me I had a great voice and I should keep on going with it.”

Nekoda is hoping to pursue a professional singing career once he’s older.

In the meantime he’s enjoying performing at churches around the island and pointing more people towards Christ.

“I’m proud to be a creation of God,” the teenager said.

“I also love going to church to worship Him for what He’s done for me and how He has helped guide me to be active in my faith.

“Worshipping through music and dance has helped spark my decision to sing. My ultimate goal is to use that talent to spread the gospel to the wider community.”

The youngster said he learnt to rely more consistently on God after losing his grandfather, former Government minister Nelson Bascome, in 2009.

“During that time God helped me realise it would all be okay and that my Poppa was in a better place now.”

He encourages other young people to believe in God and “trust in Him whatever you do”.

The Whitney Institute student will be singing two inspirational songs tonight at 6.30pm.

Tickets to the show, $75, are available from 27th Century Boutique and HOTT 107.5.

In praise: Nekoda Bascome (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Amazing talent: Nekoda Bascome (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Star attractiong: internationally renowned gospel singer Anthony Brown