Tokio Myers won the 2017 season of Britain's Got Talent, wowing audiences with his epic, electronica-tinged post-classical piano performances in which he mashed up Debussy with Ed Sheeran and Rag 'n' Bone Man.
Born Torville Jones on April 6, 1984 and brought up in Kilburn in central London, he grew up on his Jamaican father's record collection; then, taking up piano as a child, he fell in love with classical music. At the age of 11, he was witness to the fatal stabbing of his school's headmaster, Philip Lawrence, outside the school gates -- an incident that garnered enormous media attention. He later credited his school's music teacher with keeping him from falling into gang culture. As a teen, he fell in love with electronic dance music. Upon leaving school, he won a full scholarship to the prestigious Royal College of Music; he graduated, but was dissatisfied with the institution's conservatism and rigidity. A chance studio encounter with Mr. Hudson led to him going on tour with the singer straight out of college, supporting Kanye West, the Police, and Amy Winehouse, who encouraged him to pursue a music career. He worked as a session keyboardist for several years, but became disillusioned and quit the industry. Busking in shopping malls to make ends meet, he set up a studio and began to make his own music with little regard for genre boundaries, fusing classical, pop, and dance. In 2017 he auditioned for Britain's Got Talent, his unique musical style and performance flair powering him to victory. Signed to a joint deal between Simon Cowell's Syco Music and BMG, he co-wrote and produced his debut album with film composer Guy Farley. Titled Our Generation and released in November 2017, it debuted at number four on the official U.K. album chart. ~ John D. Buchanan, Rovi