One of tonight’s eager wannabes on Britain’s Got Talent has revealed that he endured a very traumatic experience when he was a child.
Tokio Myers will be seen on tonight’s show going down a storm with the audience and the judges after performing a medley on the piano.
But behind his joyous smile, he is hiding the trauma of witnessing a vicious crime.
When he was just eleven years old, the talented young man watched the brutal murder of headmaster Philip Lawrence (below) at St George’s School in Maida Vale.
The dad of four was stabbed during an altercation with Leacro Chindamo (below) when trying to save a pupil from a gang and died at the school gates back in 1995.
His murder brought about the introduction of metal detectors and more stringent security rules in schools.
Tokio Myers says he remembers the brutal incident like it was yesterday.
“I was in the music room practising piano when the door gets kicked open and my teacher drags me off the stool.
“As I’m carried out I see my headmaster coming into the atrium next door.
“I see him collapsing, I see blood, and my music teacher [Mr Morgan] is covering my eyes.
“He escorts me out the back and just says, ‘Just go home, go’.”
Tokio, a former session pianist, who has previously worked with Kanye West and Amy Winehouse, says he owes a lot to the music teacher who tried to protect him that sad day.
“I’ve grown up in rough backgrounds and estates and schools, so you do grow a thick skin, but it’s the support of people like Mr Morgan and a good family around you,” he says.
“Looking at the people I grew up around, I’ve had people I went to school with who are no longer here today because they’re either literally dead or in jail. It’s still going on.”
He says that by embracing his passion for music he has kept himself on the straight and narrow unlike so many others he grew up with.
“Music and having that thing kept me out of a lot of trouble,” he told the Mirror. “I could have probably ended up in gangs, or been dead or in jail or whatever.”
He also says that in some way witnessing Phillip’s murder 12 years ago has bonded him and Mr Morgan for life.
“Ever since that day I just feel like me and [Mr Morgan] had some kind of bonding, not just through music, but that moment,” he says.
“I don’t think he’d seen anything like that, I hadn’t seen anything like that. It resonated between the two of us.
“He’s not just a teacher, he’s an amazing guy and man and friend. He was a massive, massive influence.”
See Tokyo’s performance on BGT this evening.