Music Made Us

At BIMM 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.


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 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 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 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 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

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

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.


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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British and Irish Modern Music Institute