Leo wins final of The Factory at Roadmender

The Factory Final, The Roadmender, Northampton, 02.04.16 NNL-160404-091741001

The Factory Final, The Roadmender, Northampton, 02.04.16 NNL-160404-091741001

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Leo Robinson will play on the main stage at this year’s Northampton Music Festival after winning the final of The Factory at the Roadmender on Saturday.

The rapper saw off competition from six other acts to take the top spot of the annual contest which seeks to champion young talent from across the county.

Robinson joined Seafarer, Robyn Wilson, James Pitman, Y-Fi, Lake Acacia and Victoria Rose who had all made it through last year’s heats and a semi-final in February.

All performed on the venue’s main stage before a winner was chosen by a panel of judges, with audience members also casting votes at the end of the night which helped contribute to the overall decision.

Speaking shortly after being announced as this year’s winner, Robinson said: “It feels amazing to have won. I’ve been trying for three or four years to win this competition.

“The first two years, I didn’t make it to the finals so to be here now is amazing and also to be the only rap act here and to have won.

“I was part of the Northampton Music Festival last year on the Introducing stage and now I’ll be performing on the main stage.

“My ambition was to be on that stage in three years and I’ve done it quicker than I hoped.”

Robinson is currently working on a new EP with his DJ Charlie Borthwick which he hopes will be out later this year.

The Factory is hosted by Northampton Music 365. It was started by Rotary Becket in 2004 and formerly known as the Y Factor.

Project director Jo Burns-Russell said: “It’s been great to see so many incredibly talented young people perform. The professionalism on show has been amazing.

“Leo is a hugely deserving winner. What’s great about him is that he’s been involved for three or four years now.

“In that time we’ve seen him transform from someone turning up and playing off a phone and being really nervous to this incredible performer we’ve seen tonight. It cements what the whole project is about.”

Second place went to Y-Fi with Victoria Rose taking third.

Other prizes included instruments, promotional material and the chance to be on a forthcoming compilation album.

Project manager Yoshe Watson said: “All the bands who performed were excellent, the way they have worked together and the way they have worked with us and developed through the showcases.

“It’s been great and we’ve seen improvement from all of them.”