Music Made Us

At BIMM Music Institute, we explore, discuss and celebrate what music means to people, how it has impacted our world – and how it has made us who we are today.

Who would we be without music?

Music can affect our world, our everyday lives – and our very essence. It has the power to make positive changes, push boundaries, connect communities and transform us as individuals. And no two stories on what music means to people are ever the same.

Our Music Made Us campaign is told through the students, graduates, journalists, experts and passionate people who have been touched by this creative outlet. Read, watch and discover their unique stories below.


BIMM X DIY Magazine

Earlier this year, we announced our latest partnership with DIY Magazine to celebrate our #MusicMadeUs campaign.

As part of this new partnership, students from across our colleges interviewed artists and industry professionals in collaboration with DIY and through the lens of Music Made Us. One lucky student had their piece published by DIY itself. That student was BIMM Music Institute London’s Bethan McConnell – read her fantastic interview with King Nun here.

Each student received guidance and mentorship sessions before their interview with DIY’s journalism and editorial team. Take a look at the fantastic features below created by our students.

BIMM X DIY: Fenne Lily
by Sami van Hasselt

BIMM Berlin’s Sami van Hasselt interviews folk singer-songwriter Fenne Lily about passion intertwining with music, avoiding wealth and fame, and embracing integrity and originality.

by Dani Murden

BIMM Music Institute Manchester’s Dani Murden interviews IDER as the pair reflect on their journey from adolescent Cornish folklore to ‘f*** it’ genre-fluidity in the big city.

BIMM X DIY: Jelani Blackman
by Caleb Allport

BIMM Music Institute Manchester’s Caleb Allport interviews rapper Jelani Blackman about where his love for music came from, his 'turbulent' career, and the "big things" that lie ahead.

BIMM X DIY: Master Peace
by Caitlin Webb

Here BIMM Music Institute Brighton’s Caitlin Webb interviews Master Peace on taking indie to strange new places, self-expression, and exposing vulnerability in his work to make it truly unique.

BIMM X DIY: Oscar Lang
by Taylor Duffy

Singer-songwriter Oscar Lang candidly speaks about his Million Little Reasons, why music matters so much, how he got here and all the moments in between in this interview with BIMM Music Institute Manchester’s Taylor Duffy.

BIMM X DIY: Sam Dotia
by Joakin Clary Niemi Junkola

Zambia-born, London-based melodist and songwriter Sam Dotia sketches out his artistic journey and the influences that shaped him and a generation in this interview with BIMM Music Institute Manchester’s Joakin Clary Niemi Junkola.

BIMM X DIY: Talk Show
by Nathan Evans

BIMM Music Institute Manchester’s Nathan Evans interviews Talk Show as they discuss embracing the unique, relishing the stage and fighting through financial struggle to make music.

BIMM X DIY: The Ninth Wave
by Jessica Brett

BIMM Music Institute Birmingham’s Jessica Brett interviews Amelia Kidd of The Ninth Wave about taking an emotional approach to music, how the band has developed over time, and refining their sound.

BIMM X DIY: Walt Disco
by Hedda Delin

BIMM Music Institute Berlin’s Hedda Delin interviews Walt Disco about symbolising the queer band that late Gen X missed out on, and how music has taken them to where they are today.


Student and graduate stories

How Music Made Me
Piper Hewitt-Dudding

Piper Hewitt-Dudding, aka Dilemma, discusses her musical influences, the impact different places can have on creativity, and changing her performing name. Discover more.

Big Up My Black Guitarists in the UK
Gaetan Judd

BIMM alumnus and guitarist Gaetan Judd explores his position as a young up-and-coming Black musician growing up in London. Find out more.

How Music Made Me
Bhav Soor

Read Bhav Soor's story. The Music Journalism student from BIMM Music Institute Birmingham explains the influence of bhangra on her family and her life – thanks to the influence of her father and his bhangra roots. 

My Name is OURAA

Find out how singer-songwriter OURAA got into music, and discover her playlist for Black History Month.

How Music Made Me
Ellie Ashford

Ellie Ashford, studying Vocals at BIMM Music Institute Birmingham, explains how she is influenced by rock/metal artists – and the effect of female artists on her own material. Discover more.

My Blackness is Not a Trend
Emanuel J Burton

BIMM Music Institute graduate Emanuel J Burton pens his thoughts for Black History Month. Discover more.

How Music Made Me
Darius Zaltash

Darius Zaltash explores the effects that his background, the Black Lives Matter movement, and moving from Brighton to Birmingham have had on his music. Find out more.

It's Not All Celebrations: Africa is Bleeding
Mercy's Cartel

Mercy Sotire pens "It's Not All Celebrations: Africa is Bleeding" for Black History Month - and the 60th year of Nigeria's independence. Read her thoughts.

How Music Made Me
Sophia De'Mendonça

Sophia De’Mendonça, a non-binary artist and student moving into their final year at BIMM Music Institute, explores their musical journey. Discover their story.

Channeling My Inner Diva
Andrea Di Giovanni

Performance graduate Andrea provides a candid glimpse into the formative years and musical journey that led to self-discovery and empowerment. Read more.

How Music Made Me
Filipa Lobo Gaspar

Filipa Lobo Gaspar explores her music influences from around the world, as well as the photographers who spark inspiration for her as a photojournalist. Find out more.

Addressing Climate Change through Music
Alex O'Connor

Alex O’Connor discusses the inspiration behind his debut single ‘Greta Thunberg,’ as well as the importance of protest art. Discover more.

How Grime Made Me Question My Racial Identity
Punit Kavia

Graduate Punit Kavia tells us how a chance encounter with a mobile phone changed the course of his life – and made him question his racial identity. Read now.

Music, Asperger's and Me
Jamie Peterson

Music Production student Jamie Peterson explains how being diagnosed with Asperger's gave him a life that's fuelled by music. Discover more.


Who what why

Julienne Ivars

"I love painting pictures with words." Julienne Ivars tells us what inspired her route into music, why she chose to study Songwriting, and what drew her to Brighton. Discover more.

Chiara Magrini

"During my childhood, my inspirations were artists like Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morissette." Chiara Magrini tells us what inspired her route into music, why she chose to study Songwriting, and what drew her to Brighton.

Lani Stephens

"A good song with relatable lyrics can bring all different kinds of people together through shared experience." BIMM student Lani Stephens tells us what inspired her route into music, why she chose to study Songwriting, and what drew her to Birmingham.

Anna Savage

"I just wanted to test myself and get out of the Covid rut I was very much in." BIMM student Anna Savage tells us what inspired her route into music, why she chose to study an MA, and what drew her to Dublin. Find out more.

Insa Schumann

"Your voice is the most personal instrument you could play." Insa Schumann tells us what inspired her route into music, why she chose to study Vocals, and what drew her to Hamburg.

Nils West

"I wanted to become the best version of myself in not only the thing I loved but also the thing I needed to do." BIMM student Nils West tells us what inspired his route into music, why he studied Songwriting, and what drew him to Hamburg. Find out more.

Nyah Purnell

"I am going to continue to work extremely hard to be one of those inspiring role models for the younger generation." Guitar student Nyah Purnell lets us in on what sparked her passion for music – and what she hopes for the future of the industry. Discover more.

Luc Garrett

"I would say my parents really helped me gravitate towards being a musician." Find out who inspired Luc Garrett the most when it came to starting his Songwriting journey.

Daria Kickler

"I don’t think I would be interested in a career in music without being able to write it myself." BIMM student Daria Kickler tells us why she studies Songwriting above anything else. Find out more.

Jacob Powlett

"I continue to be inspired by new and different people every week." Discover who inspired Music Production student Jacob Powlett on his route into music.

Marnie Burt

"I needed to do what I wanted, on my own terms." Find out what it is about music that drives Songwriting student Marnie Burt.

Hazel Smith

"I always thought London was great for me musically because of its history and all the genres and styles it hosts." Discover what drew Songwriting student Hazel Smith to London.

Clara Charlier

"Not only is Brighton the founding college for BIMM, but it is also a seaside town with a strong music culture." Music Business student Hazel Smith tells us why she chose to study in Brighton. Read now.

Elinor Madeland

"It is difficult to hide what is really going on inside of you when you sing." Find out why BIMM student Elinor Madeland chose to study Vocals.


Long reads and in-depth articles

Not Your Groupie – Shooting Shows as a Female Live Photographer
Bethan McConnell

Bethan McConnell – digital editor, live photographer and Founder of Safe and Sound – relays her personal experience in the industry, usually as the only female live photographer and young person in her working environment. Read her story.

How Music Kept Us Sane in the Pandemic
Sami van Hasselt

Sami van Hasselt, a Songwriting student at BIMM Music Institute Berlin, tells his story of bringing a community together through music and his band Sector 5 during the first lockdown in Berlin. Read his experience.

Stairway to Healing: How Music Helps Mental Health
Taylor Duffy

Taylor Duffy, a Music Marketing, Media and Communication student at BIMM Music Institute Manchester, takes an in-depth look at the important connection between music and mental health. Discover more.

Breaking Sound Barriers: Connecting Music and Emotion
Daniel Tsourekas

Daniel Tsourekas, a first-year Music Marketing, Media and Communication student at BIMM Music Institute Manchester, explores the connection between music and emotions – from Plato to the likes of J. Cole.

From Chaos Comes Creativity
Punit Kavia

Punit Kavia explores how music has given him and others a voice, a platform, and power during turbulent episodes and fractious world events. Read more.

How Acid House and Rave Ended a Dark Era for Britain’s Youth
James Kendall

James Kendall, Course Leader, BA (Hons) Music Marketing, Media & Communication, explores how political decisions and a changing society gave birth to acid house and rave in the UK. Discover more.

Escapism Into Freedom and Hope Through Music
Kym Thomas

Alumna Kym Thomas revisits one of her BIMM research projects to explore Negro Spirituals from the 1800s as a coping mechanism for slaves, as well as their ongoing influence through Gospel music to this day.

A Change Is Gonna Come: Hip Hop and the LA Riots
Joel McIver

Joel McIver, Author and Music Journalism Module Leader, examines how a world-dominating stream of Hip Hop emerged from a certain cataclysm. It’s 28 years since one of the greatest moments of civil disobedience in American history – the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Find out more.

Unsung: How Black Women Ruled a Decade of British Music, and Why They Shouldn’t Be Forgotten
Lesley Chow

Writer Lesley Chow explores how black women ruled a decade of British music – and why they shouldn’t be forgotten. Find out more.

2020: A Life in the Events Industry
Matt Gotel

Experienced events industry professional Matt Gotel reflects on a turbulent life in the events industry: his personal difficulties, how COVID has affected his career, and what he’s doing to overcome this life-changing obstacle. Read more.

The Lighthouse to a Possibility
Rocco Kayiatos

Rocco Kayiatos is a writer, podcaster, performer, organiser and media/marketing whiz. Read his piece on finding music as a teenager, how he sees it as a tool that saves lives, and it helped him become the first openly transgender man to release an album. Find out more.

Music Organisations Can Change Lives
Lewis McKirdy

Lewis was previously the Assistant Manager of Reprezent Radio. 107.3 FM - The Sound Of Young London. Here, he explores how music organisations and charities can transform young people's lives. But, how do you get the opportunity? Discover more.

The Transformative Effect of Radio Airplay
Charlie Ashcroft

Charlie is a DJ on Amazing Radio and presents the 'Audition Show' every Monday from 7 pm UK time. Here, he explores the potentially life-changing power of radio. Read more.


Sub_Terrain YouTube series

Sub_Terrain digs deep into pockets of the underground music scene, unearthing the stories and timelines beneath the genres that shape contemporary culture.

'Rhythm 'N' Gash' - The Story of Grime's Most Iconic Uncredited Female Vocal - Sub_Terrain Ep. 1
'Dubstep 1.0' - How One Record Shop in Croydon Birthed an Entire Genre - Sub_Terrain Ep. 2
'Functions On The Low' - A Love Letter to Ruff Sqwad's 'White Label Classics' - Sub_Terrain Ep. 3
Music 2000 - How a PS1 Game Helped Bypass the Gatekeepers of the Music Industry - Sub_Terrain Ep. 4


Videos and podcasts

'Busy With Nothing to Do' - How Matt Leppier Made DIY Music Culture his Antidepressant
'Is Protest Music Dead?' - Discussion with Don Letts, Black Futures & Simone Odaranile
A Brief History of Punk's Birth in the UK. Where did it all come from originally?
Adam Neely: “The Smartest Musician On Earth”
DJ Yoda - 'A Time of Quantity or Quality?'
Andrew Huang - YouTube's Most Creative Music Producer?
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