Rising highs for popular music artists

Students and alumni from our Popular Music Department are experiencing some incredible highs.

Recent graduates Porij and Piri & Tommy made their Glastonbury débuts last month, while singer-songwriter Bonnie Kemplay was one of five female singers supporting Adele’s recent sold-out concerts at Hyde Park.

BBC Introducing

Tom, Jammo, Tommy and Eggy make up four-some Porij whose latest sing, Lose Our Minds, was debuted on BBC Radio 1’s Future Sounds. They made their mark on Glastonbury’s BBC Introducing Stage on Sunday 26 June. How as it? ‘Unreal’ according to Eggy. ‘It was like an actual dream, an actual daydream of mine. I’ve had that dream in my sleep and then we just lived in. I can’t believe it, it was beautiful.’

BBC Music Introducing supports the most exciting unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar music across the UK. Launching at Glastonbury in 2007, there are now over 200,000 artists uploaded to the platform. The initiative has helped to start the careers of Slaves, Florence and The Machine, Catfish and The Bottlemen, Pale Waves, Idles, Little Simz, Sam Fender and Lewis Capaldi.

Lonely Hearts Club

Duo Piri & Tommy (of Porij fame) Villiers also had a festival to remember, bringing their dance and drum ‘n’ bass-inspired tunes to the new Lonely Hearts Club Stage within Glastonbury’s Silver Hayes area. Dedicated to UK club and festival sounds, this year’s Silver Hayes line-up included the likes of Fat Boy Slim and Groove Armada.

Session Musicians

Alongside this, lots of current students and staff were working as session musicians, supporting artists such as Tony Christie (tutors Matt Steele, Hannah McGuigan and Richard Hammond), Werkha (students Joe Luckin, Dom Lawson and Ellen Lewis), and DRS (students Joe Luckin, Chris Rabbitts, Dom Lawson, Josh Poole and Jack Tinker)

Supporting Adele

Adele’s sold-out concerts at Hyde Park last month were accompanied by an all-female supporting line-up that included our very own Bonnie Kemplay.

Writing on socials, the Someone Like You singer said: ‘The line up for my Hyde Park shows next week is going to blow your socks off!! An all female bill, from new artists that I’m obsessed with to the heavenly Kacey Musgraves to one of my favorite artists of all time Gabrielle who I’ve loved since I was 4!!’

Bonnie, who last year successfully beat 10,000 other artists to win the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Introducing competition, performed at Hyde Park’s Birdcage Stage before Adele’s two-hour evening set.

Watch her perform in the Radio 1’s iconic Live Lounge below:

Andy Stott, Head of Popular Music, said: ‘Our students and alumni are enjoying amazing success right now. It’s fantastic to watch them develop their skills as independent artists in the industry and I’m looking forward to seeing what more they accomplish in years ahead.’

28 June 2022