Vital Signs

Vital Signs are a hip-hop collective who combine music together with powerful, personal stories of hope and transformation to communicate the Christian faith in a relevant and engaging way. Speaking from first hand experience Vital Signs are able to deliver lessons and creative workshops around themes such as choice and consequence, drug awareness, purpose and identity, and forgiveness.

 

Nick Shahlavi

Nick started to use drugs from the age of 12 onwards, fell in with the wrong crowd, attempted suicide several times when he was 17 before having an encounter with God. After attempting to do right for several years, Nick fell back deeper into crime where his drug addiction grew worse and he began to deal drugs as well. At age 25, Nick was invited to a Manchester church where he encountered God for a second time. This time it changed him forever and he became a Christian. Determined to connect his new found hope with others caught up in the drugs world through his music, Nick has since been working in a variety of prisons around Greater Manchester delivering a music production course for the Reflex project.

 

Marvin Gilbert

Marvin grew up on the Racecourse Estate in Sale, notorious for violence and crime. He learned at an early age that the decisions he made there would have an effect on his future. Anger issues and insecurities led him into fighting and getting into trouble in his neighbourhood and school. He later started carrying weapons for protection and was associated to certain gangs because of his affiliations.
He fell in love with hip-hop and began to watch his dad operate in a music studio in the basement. This was Marvin’s way into learning to beatbox, write poems, raps and short stories – and his interest kept him from falling deeper into the streets, gang culture and crime. He later gained employment with Trafford Council Youth Service as a Project Worker, where he engaged with young people missing from home as well as vulnerable young people involved in sexual trauma and abuse.
In 2012 Marvin became a Christian, after the death of a close family member caused him to reflect on his life so far. Now as part of Vital Signs he is engaging young people through music to show them that although life can be unfair, there is still hope through a relationship with God.