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Hi! I’m Cory Lawrence and I need your help to get on #TheRoadtoAbbey

I am looking to raise £22,500 by February for my place on the highly exclusive Advanced Diploma for Music Production and Sound Engineering at the Abbey Road Institute, Music Production School.

My journey to this point has not been typical by any stretch of the imagination. It has involved many curveballs, many challenges and some amazing opportunities that I could not be more grateful for. When you read my story, I want you to recognise that the journey I have been on has brought out many different sides of me. I started off as “Community Cory”, doing what I could to help others and growing into someone who uplifts the community. I then became “Cambridge Cory”, somebody who everyone looked at as inspiring because of their academic achievements. My experiences led me to evolve into “Creative Cory”, as I found new ways to use my musical talents and community focus to uplift others in a way that helped me to overcome challenges in my personal life. Ironically, these experiences led me to become “Corporate Cory”, where I used my time in banking to continue developing my creative side whilst earning a living. You are now seeing “Crowdfunding Cory” - somebody who is asking the community for help to change my life in a way that will hopefully lead to me impacting many others in the process.

My Background

In September 2009, I started secondary school at Whitmore High School. I was the only person from my primary school to attend. I quickly found my feet; I was a member of the debating society, football team, rugby team, athletics team, school council, jazz band, samba band and more, took part in public speaking and debating competitions throughout. Music class at school was my first introduction into music production. Amazed by the technology, I took this knowledge outside of school and spent years learning more about music production, creating my own compositions and arrangements with free software I could find. Aside from music production, I continued to play trombone in the school's jazz band. At the same time, inspired by YouTubers Kyle Landry, Marc Papeghin and more, and having the determination to learn my dream instrument, I saved up and bought a 61 key keyboard. I practiced after school almost every day for 2 years, keeping the hobby to myself. Christmas and birthdays would be spent asking for Final Fantasy music books. I learnt to play, not by using tutorials, instead finding sheet music from games and working through them. If I encountered a tough piece, I would find an easier piece with similar techniques and would try to work my way up. Eventually I saved again for an 88 key digital keyboard.

Community Cory

Around 2011, I was introduced to Harrow Youth Parliament. I decided to become a member and grew to love my time there. The aim was to improve the local community. I lobbied councillors and MPs, acted as deputy chair, attended British Youth Parliament events, hosted an AGM with Harrow Council, set up campaigns related to knife crime, stop and search, littering, worked in a youth café and more. Alongside this, I continued to do as much as I could within school. I built a reputation as someone students could go to for help, advice and support. This reputation followed me from school all the way up until now. In August 2019, I was invited to become a governor of Whitmore High School, holding the school to account and providing a voice for young people. I spent years tutoring students, voluntarily teaching music to people all around the world and driving my community spirit. In May 2016, I gave a speech to young people at Westside Young Leaders Academy, a charity aimed at producing successful young leaders. I also became Stephen Lawrence Scholar by this point, a scheme that was designed to address the underrepresentation of black men from low-income households at large city firms.



Cambridge Cory

In 2014, I applied to study law at university. When I got the offer from Cambridge, it always seemed as though everyone else was more excited by it than I was. I eventually came to realise the significance of someone from a comprehensive school and an ethnic minority background getting into the university of Cambridge. Given the mountain of influence and sense of responsibility, I decided to attend Cambridge.

I started university in October 2015. As much as I tried to integrate, join societies (jazz band, football team, Labour club, gaming, anime), get to know people and attend events, finding people to connect with was near impossible. This quickly had an impact on my mental and physical wellbeing. In April 2016, the crippling isolation and sense of not belonging became too much. I intermitted and was diagnosed with high functioning social anxiety. Physical injuries were also significant throughout. The entire 3 years was largely a battle on my own. To the outside world, I put on a stern face to mask the issues. It took around 8 months to reveal what I was experiencing to anyone. My first year exams were postponed to October 2016. I returned home and used the time to reconnect with the community.

Cambridge does not allow students to work while studying so living costs were difficult. I became a Cambridge Ambassador in 2018 as a way of earning some money while studying. This involved giving a speech to around a thousand prospective students. I also began to plan my huge future goals related to music, education, the community and coding. I decided I would try an alternate route of getting a job, enhancing my music skills and equipment, and perhaps eventually moving to music full time. This enabled me to overcome the initial financial barriers of entering the music world and develop the necessary skill to secure a place on the course at Abbey Road.

Separately I carried out my first major piano concert at this point. A wedding, playing a piece while the bride and groom walked down the aisle. This was the culmination of years of dedicated self teaching and hard work practicing piano.

The struggle of university ended in one of the most difficult periods I have experienced. Mental health challenges led to a situation where I could only revise 1 day for each exam but managed to graduate with a 2.1 (in Cambridge, only final year exams count). It gave me the mentality that if I could get through that, I can get through anything.


Creative Cory

In 2016, I created a Soundcloud and used it to upload my piano covers of, largely, Final Fantasy pieces. The first was a piece called Theme of Love on 28 Aug 2016, a piece that has now become my signature piano piece. Encouraged by a best friend, Kaushal, I decided to start uploading content to YouTube late 2016 using the same name as my Soundcloud, Everything Fantasy. This culminated in developing and supporting a community of gamers and creatives all over the world. Spending years creating content, voluntarily working on music projects and educating hundreds of people collectively and 1-1. I realised the effect music was having. I was able to connect, motivate and inspire people all over the world.

In August 2020, Everything Fantasy hit 1000 subscribers. Up until Nov 2020, all music work I did was free, educating was and still is free, my music was distributed free of charge and years were spent entertaining and uplifting people through Everything Fantasy.



Corporate Cory

After university, I immediately did an internship at Goldman Sachs for 3 months. After 3 months, I secured a full time position in Compliance which started in March 2019. I used the time between the internship to finally recuperate, tutor people to get into top universities, provide motivational speeches to year groups at Whitmore, play football again for a team, work on music and continue to do projects. Financially, my time at Goldman’s was primarily spent reinvesting back into music (equipment, software, hardware, instruments, instrument lessons, and much more), and paying off high outstanding Uni debt.


Crowdfunding Cory

In March 2018, my final year of university, I found out about the Abbey Road Institute’s open day. I attended and was amazed by the experience. While incredible, I lacked the funds to be able to do the course. I also knew my experience in music production was limited. The course requires experience.

In response to the George Floyd events, in October 2020 Abbey Road decided to offer a scholarship for the same course I was drawn to in 2018. I applied and reached the final shortlist of candidates. For the initial Abbey Road interview, I had to perform a piece for the lecturer. That piece was Theme of Love. While I marginally was not selected as one of the 2 candidates gaining the scholarship, I was offered an unconditional place on the course which expires in 1 year from April 2021 (October and February are the only available start dates). Abbey Road has confirmed my start date for February 2022 due to lack of availability for October. Thanks to everyone's support so far, I have been able to enrol and confirm my place, giving me more time to pay the remaining course fees. 


I have spent the past 3 months planning and organising this campaign with my friends to ensure that those who participate in this campaign understand exactly who I am. It has involved sacrificing many weekends, nights and co-ordinating with many people to create this campaign. Doing a campaign like this takes me completely out of the comfort zone of “Comfortable Cory”, the side of me that values security and safety over risk taking. I have never done anything like this in my life before because I find it hard to ask for help, however I believe this is a necessary step to help me create music that inspires the world.


Final Words

I am launching this crowdfunding campaign because I want your help to change my life forever. I have always enjoyed creating music but believe now is the time to act on this. Creating music for my fans on my YouTube channel Everything Fantasy has given me so much joy and has really helped me through my darkest days. You are not just donating to help somebody get into a music school. You are donating to give somebody a chance to create music and support the next generation of young people who wish to pursue their dreams too. I intend to give back to young people across the country, and the world, with my newfound set of skills and experiences in the future. I believe this future will start at Abbey Road and, by supporting this campaign, you can make that future possible.

Cost Breakdown

  • Course Fees: £14,445.00
  • Travel: £2,532.00
  • Living Costs: £2,400.00
  • Music Costs: £3,200.00
  • Total: £22,577.00
What a Donation Would Do
  • £5 would get me 40mins of the course
  • £10 would get me 1hr 20mins of the course
  • £15 would get me 2 hours of the course
  • £30 would get me half a day of the course
  • £60 would get me a full day of the course


  • Andrew Hoff
    • £1,117 
    • 1 yr
  • Tutoring
    • £5,500 (Offline)
    • 1 yr
  • Music Commissions
    • £1,285 (Offline)
    • 2 yrs
  • Tashan Dwyer
    • £10 
    • 2 yrs
  • Kahema Mungili
    • £10 
    • 2 yrs


Cory Lawrence

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