Tosh Wanogho-Maud & Nick Gardner

It's summer in the city and we caught up with our friends Tosh and Nick, two extremely talented people making moves in the theatre and music industries respectively.

Tosh is a leading light in musical theatre. He has lived and breathed London's West End for most of his life, appearing in many top shows. He is currently starring in 'Aint too proud', the theatre production about the life and times of the celebrated 60's Motown band The Temptations.

At the age of eight Tosh was catapulted into theatre's world of fame by winning his first leading role as Simba in the Lion King. Tosh's mother was a model and a dancer, and he grew up surrounded by the whirl-wind excitement of her art and performance career. So, before he can even remember performance was his future destination and dream goal. With his mother by his side to guide him, along with a little bit of luck his aspirations very naturally and speedily became a reality.

It all started when Tosh was enrolled at his local village performing arts club in Kent- Bright Light Academy. What started out as a once a week, Saturday club session quickly turned into classes during the week too as his natural talent and enjoyment grew. The school happened to open an agency just at the time when Andrew Lloyd Webber was looking for young actors to perform in his new show 'Whistle Down the Wind' which was opening at the Aldwych Theatre. It just so happened that the casting team came to this particular, little village performing arts school. Tosh was put forward for a part and got it, and really, although it's a horrible cliche, the rest is history! Tosh didn't stop working and his career kept growing from then, with his part as Simba following in hot pursuit.

"I was very lucky to have people around me who believed in me".

It was around this time that Tosh met Sylvia Young, who ran the Sylvia Young School for young actors, she immediately offered him representation. It was a natural progression for Tosh who knew this was the path for him and Sylvia, as the owner of the biggest young performer agency, was the one to open the doors.

"You go through an awkward period where you're no longer a child actor and you're not cute anymore, you get gangly and spotty and your voice is breaking and none of the casting directors know where to put you anymore".

It was at the age of 13, a transitional period in his career when he was no longer a child actor but also not quite an adult actor either, when he decided to take a few years out from the spotlight to train. He spent 2 years at the Brit School and then on to Bird college for 3 years, both top performing art colleges in and around South London. He trained intensively in dancing, singing and acting, a reflection of his hunger for success and impressive attitude towards hard work. In true form he came straight out of school and back to theatre touring the UK and Ireland in the leading role in the show 'Five Guys Named Moe'. Since then, for the past five to six years he has been nonstop, either on set doing something for T.V; notably he was in the Sky One series, A Discovery of Witches and also Netflix's Bridgerton, or in the West End performing.

" The West End is a lot less glamorous than most people think. These theatres take a lot of up-keep and it's really expensive to keep a theatre from falling apart, so behind the scenes it's far from glitz and glamour".

When we chatted to Tosh, we asked about his dreams for the future, years after his first urge to act. Tosh describes how he was inspired by old school black comedians like Eddie Murphy and Boney Mack, if there was a dream role out there for him it would be playing one of these two in a bio-pic.


Nick has been musical too from a young age. He wasn't sporty at school so found himself floating around the music and drama departments with "one foot in that world but never fully immersed in it". He found that he didn't quite fit into either the "music kid" or the "choir kids crowds", so this pushed him to experiment with music both vocally and instrumentally, and ultimately to create his own music style at school.

"I broke my wrist in the first week of secondary school and had to pick something to do while I couldn't do sport, so I went to the music school and with one hand taught myself to play chords on the piano".

He found that once he could play the piano that then facilitated his singing and vocal exploration. He began to write music and record covers of songs he liked. Once Nick left school he began looking for ways to get his musical talent out there. It's then that he discovered YouTube, which at the time was in its relatively early days. Nick became one of the first to find real success with his own YouTube channel, and was one of the first "Youtubers" of note.

"I remember seeing Adele performing 'Someone Like You' on Jools Holland and thinking then and there it was going to be the biggest song in the world. so I learnt it overnight knowing that I had to get a version up pretty soon if I wanted to get traction with it."

Nick's cover of Adele's 'Someone Like You' twelve years ago was only the second one published on YouTube. So, when Adele performed her hit a couple of months later at the Brit Awards, anyone searching for that song came across Nick's YouTube video. Things then moved very quickly for Nick; his video was receiving millions of views and talk of his vocal talent amongst the YouTube channels was creating a stir within the industry. Nick was flown out to LA by Jimmy Lovine and a record deal with Interscope quickly followed. Nick was young and ambitious, so all of this came at the ideal time for him, he quickly moved to LA where he began work on his own record and joined Maroon 5 as their support act on their European arena tour. After changes within his team at Interscope Nick decided to move back to the UK and during the pandemic began to re-establish his own musical career. The last couple of years for Nick has been about re-building his music career on YouTube and working behind the scenes on his music writing. He's been writing both for himself and for a musical in collaboration with his partner, Tosh.

Both Tosh and Nick have plans to head back to LA in the near future, with ambitions of starting their own production company and producing their own theatre musical. So we intend on watching this space, and we hope you do too.

To follow Nick and Tosh head to their Instagram, Tosh - @t0shee and Nick - @iamnickgardner