Friday, August 2, 2019 Isata Kanneh-Mason on her number one album and sibling rivalry

Romance: The Piano Music of Clara Schumann
Isata Kanneh-Mason
Decca Records

Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason on her number one album and sibling rivalry with Royal Wedding cellist Sheku

Lizzie Edmonds

July 31, 2019

The older sister of royal wedding cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason today said a “sibling rivalry” helps drive their success.

Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, 23, is celebrating her chart-topping debut classical album Romance, just months after she was signed to Decca Records — which also represents her 20-year-old brother.
The pair had appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2015 along with four of their siblings as The Kanneh-Masons.
Sheku then became the first black artist to win the BBC Young Musician of the Year. He has also performed at the Baftas and stole the show at the May 2018 wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Meanwhile, having taught herself the piano as a child, Isata was spotted aged 17 by Elton John, with the pair playing a concert together in Los Angeles in 2014.

The star later offered to pay her £9,000-a-year tuition at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

After the Britain’s Got Talent semi-final, London-based Isata was offered a record deal, releasing her debut to acclaim earlier this month. The siblings, both students at the academy, often perform together, sometimes with their younger violinist brother Braimah as The Kanneh-Mason Trio.

Speaking to the Standard, Isata said her growing success was definitely a “motivator” for her younger brother.

“There is a sibling rivalry between us,” she said. “But I think now that I have an album out ... it has helped Sheku in that he is not the only person in the family who is in that position.

“He is less alone but more motivated. When you have other people doing the same thing as you, who are close to you, you feel more motivated.”

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