AN ENTREPRENEUR from Chester is fulfiling a lifelong dream by championing unsigned talent and raising money for charity at the same time.
Leonie Hallam, 49, from Waverton, launched her company Aardvarker in November 2010 after a successful career in events management.
She said the idea behind the venture was to come up with new and innovative ways of supporting creative talent and helping good causes.
“I wanted to put my organisational skills to good use and give unsigned recording artists the chance to shine," said Leonie.
“At the same time I also wanted to raise money for charity. I was confident that it was something I could do successfully.”
The first artists to receive help from Aardvarker are songwriters Justin Gregson and Alex Wright, now known as The 9ines.
Having met at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, the pair now split their time between London and Merseyside.
Leonie encouraged them to form a group and they are releasing two singles this summer in aid of charity.
“The first single, ‘Walk Tall’, was released last month and has gone down really well,” she said.
“It’s a motivational song and it’s really popular with schoolchildren.
“The follow up ‘Be Free’ is out on 24 July. We’re also planning on recording an
Leonie said at least 15p from every download of the songs would be donated to charity.
Her chosen charities are the National Autistic Society and LAM Action, which supports sufferers of the rare lung disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM).
“The two charities are very close to my heart,” she said.
“One of my closest friends has LAM and I was amazed at how little support the charity received.
“My 12-year-old son has Aspergers Syndrome so I am very aware of the excellent work carried out by the National Autistic Society.”
Leonie said she was keen to hear from musicians, artists and creative individuals who were interested in collaborating.
Further information about Aardvarker is available online at www.aardvarker.com.
‘Walk Tall’ and ‘Be Free’ by The 9ines can be downloaded from iTunes, HMV and Amazon.