Raphael Oyelade, known to his friends as Raph, is the vocalist who sings My Last Song I Sing For You.
Raph was born in Nigeria in 1990. He contracted polio when a baby, and as a result walks using crutches.
In 1993, his family came to London.
He was brought up in Brixton and joined the choir of his local church, St John the Evangelist, when he was 10. By the time he was 16 he was head choir boy.
He went to his local school, Archbishop Tenison's in Kennington, and left with three A’ Levels. He is now in the second year of his Astro Physics degree at Lancaster University.
Kevin Huggett is Raph’s tutor at Lancaster University and also the university chaplain : “I’ve been very impressed by Raph. The first time I played some music with him I literally had to stop playing just to listen, I was so taken by the quality of his singing.
"He's very determined to succeed. He has some very strong natural gifts and completed his first year of University education with flying colours.”
Raph joined the South East London Army Cadet Force when 12 finishing as Company Sergeant Major, marching at the head of the cadets on crutches.
Lt. Colonel Mike Neville National Training Officer, Cadet Force Music, who recruited Raph said: "Raph was an inspiration to the other cadets and demonstrated that any disability can be overcome with grit and determination."
Raph has also completed the outward bound stage of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Medal award which included a four day expedition on foot (and crutches) over Dartmoor National Park.
During his summer vacation, Raph went back to work at Tate Britain and helped curate A Sense of Perspective, and negotiated an exchange scheme with the Kiasma Gallery, Helsinki.
During this vacation, he also taught local children maths at the Caribou community centre in Brixton.
Raph at Lancaster uni
L.Kay Oloyede (who runs Divine Keys), his choir master and musical mentor at Lancaster, says:
"Raph overcomes challenges and strives to be better at what he does. He has natural leadership skills.
"This is evident in the choir, where he learns his part and then takes it to the rest of the group helping them to understand and grasp what is to be sung."
Raph and Kids Company
Raph has decided to donate proceeds from the sale of My Last Song I Sing For You to Kids Company, a London-based charity that helps vulnerable and homeless children.
He said: “I’m pleased that money from my song will help the most vulnerable of children, the homeless, get a better chance in life. Kids Company does wonderful work to support these children and I hope people will buy the song even if just to increase the number of kids it helps.”
Raph and Spirit of London Award
Raph was nominated for a 2010 Spirit of London Award. This is a scheme to recognise the achievements of young Londoners set up by the parents of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor.
Raph attended the award ceremony at the O2 in December 2010 and his achievements, and his peformance singing My Last Song I Sing For You were recognised by the judges and those who attended.