At the February 2017 Rare Studio showcase, we announced something very close to our heart. In partnership with Rare, we launched the ‘Michael Molloy Scholarship’, in honour of the young Liverpool musician who tragically lost his life in a coach accident returning from Bestival.
This is a new initiative to give big opportunities to Liverpool’s young musicians, giving them a headstart in the industry. We were pleased to award it last night to Rare’s Deana Walmsley and Charlie Airey, two exceptional musicians who exemplify the brilliant talent our city has to offer. The scholarship will take them to Los Angeles, to meet some of the industry’s top professionals and record in some of the famed city’s best and most equipped music studios.
It was an emotional night, and made extra special by having Frances Molloy (Michael’s mum), and his brothers Joe and Liam in the audience – all good friends of ours.
We’re unspeakably proud to be honouring Michael by leaving a lasting legacy to Liverpool’s young musicians for years to come. Michael was passionate about music, and dedicated his short life to songwriting. If he was still around today he would undoubtedly have gone far as a musician. Nevertheless, we are confident that the young musicians will carry the light of Michael throughout their careers, and we’re honoured to be playing our part in that.
Shine on Michael.
Here is the speech that Paul delivered to the packed room, announcing the scholarship and paying tribute to Michael Molloy.
“RARE is built on dreaming big. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone and making yourself remarkable.
One young man who dreamt big and was truly remarkable was Michael Molloy. Michael was a talented local musician and songwriter, whose dreams propelled the way he lived his life. Michael was a born artist, it was in his bones and like many of you, he worked his talent, never ever satisfied with himself, or others doing just ok. Perfect was the only ok for Michael.
His passion, commitment, style and talent radiated not just onto those who knew and loved him, but those who caught a glimpse of him playing his guitar, heard one of his unique riffs, listened to one of his heart-felt before his age lyrics.
He was a true musician, never every compromising his art for taking the easy way. For Michael, the right way was the only way; hard work, graft, passion and commitment were the only ingredients in Michael’s artistic palette.
Nearly four and a half years ago Michael was tragically killed in a coach accident on the way back from Bestival – but this did not stop his dreams being realised.
So powerful were Michael’s dreams and ambitions, they were etched upon the hearts and souls of every person he came across; his family, his friends, his fans — even those he’d never met would share a common purpose with him.
His single ‘rise and fall’ entered the UK top 40, has been played in front of hundreds and thousands of people world-wide at festivals and concerts, and has quietly comforted those who have needed somebody in times of trouble and in triumph.
That’s what happens when you dream big, it becomes a forever dream, one that death, time or anything else for that matter can ever destroy. It becomes a unified dream which unites people so that the dream becomes a collective one. One that everyone owns, wishes for and works towards together.
Today, we honour Michael’s dreams, we salute his legacy and we celebrate the unrivalled commitment he had for music in every form. Tonight we celebrate how someone so young achieved so very much.
I’m proud to announce that RARE and my company, Agent, have joined forces to create a new opportunity fund at the school – the Michael Molloy Scholarship – which will, year on year, celebrate the legend that is Michael Molloy.
Each year we will grow the scholarship by fundraising and working with partners to help make dreams come true so that through Michael we can witness the dreams of RARE’s musicians be realised.
The scholarship will provide chances and experiences for RARE’s young people who epitomize the skills, commitment and fervent love of music, really taking their talent to the next level.
Each award will be different but you can be certain it will put the recipients through their paces, exposing them to some of the best experts in the field, in the best studios around the world.
And we will be expecting great things – you will have the legacy to uphold and Michael’s memory to commemorate.
I am proud to announce that the first ever Michael Molloy Scholarship goes to two musicians who we truly believe have got the biggest and brightest futures ahead of them.
They have shown exceptional growth not only in their musical ability, but also in their ability to believe in themselves. These two people will be going later this year to LA to go into the studio to write and record.
It will be an opportunity for them to really shine – in the words of Michael, ‘Unload light at night, we will rise not fall.
They will go to Deana Walmsley and Charlie Airey’”