Andrew’s ‘East Ender’ song makes it to Open Mic UK London finals

It has taken Andrew Estephane half-a-century to be recognised as a songwriter with a number about his life in London’s East End when he was living rough.

The 50-year-old has refined his songwriting skills at Crisis Skylight homeless centre in Whitechapel.

He learned this week that he has made it through to the London regional finals of the ‘Open Mic UK 2012’ national talent competition—with his song ‘I’m an EastEnder’.

“I grew up in the East End and this song is about communicating that culture and way of life,” he said. “The feedback and encouragement the staff at the centre have given me has really pushed me on.”

The lyrics are against the backdrop of the summer of sport with the 2012 Olympics which he originally penned with guitar accompaniment—but now it has a whole new arrangement with the help of music tutor Chris Jeep at the Crisis Skylight centre.

Andrew—known on stage as ‘Mc Dekey’—went to Stepney’s Sir John Cass Foundation School as a kid, then got involved in the local night-club scene including Crisis Skylight London, Streetwise Opera and Mile End’s Member leisure centre.

Things are really looking up for Andrew, who has just moved into his own flat in Stepney Green. He is now set to perform at the O2 Arena to a professional panel of judges. His song is online:

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