8 BIMM Drum Alumni You Need to Know About
Our Drums courses can help you turn your creative flair into a fulfilling career. And when your talent and dedication are teamed with factors like our high-tech equipment, world-class drum faculty, being in the presence of absolute drumming legends and each college’s dedicated Careers Team then it’s entirely possible that your drumming dreams can become a reality.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out some of our Drums Student Successes who have turned their passion behind the kit into their full-time calling. Some have become successful artists and toured the world, others have supported some of the best-known musicians on the planet and one has even performed in the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.
1) Jon Beavis – Drummer for IDLES
Not only is BIMM Bristol drum graduate Jon Beavis the drummer for IDLES, but he was also listed as one of Music Radar’s ‘13 Best Rock Drummers in the World 2018’ alongside Queen’s Roger Taylor, Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl and Smashing Pumpkin’s Jimmy Chamberlin.
In September 2020, they released their third studio album, Ultra Mono, which charted at #1 in the UK’s Official Albums Chart. Ultra Mono tackles a host of themes, such as the modern sociopolitical climate, class struggle, mental health, toxic masculinity, and the positive and negative aspects of the band’s newfound fame.
2) Charlie Fiske – Professional Drummer
Since graduating from BIMM London in 2017, Charlie Fiske has hit the ground running. Not only has he been a session drummer for Brit-pop trio The Tailormade, played in support slots for the likes of Madness, Michael Bublé and fellow BIMM alumnus George Ezra, but he was also Roger Taylor’s drumming double in one of 2018’s most successful films: Bohemian Rhapsody. Not a bad year, right?
Charlie’s career also boasts performances alongside The Beach Boys, Tom Jones, Jess Glynne, George Ezra, Emeli Sande and Madness. He’s now aiming to go into the acting world.
“As a musician, the part of BIMM that was the most beneficial to me was most definitely the Masterclasses! I cannot recommend them highly enough. Because of BIMM, I was able to meet some of my idols such as Keith Carlock, Kendrick Scott, Mike Stern, JoJo Mayer, Alex Acuna, Steve Jordan, the list goes on.”
– Charlie Fiske
3) Nathan Curran – Professional Drummer, Producer & DJ
Did you know that one of the most in-demand session drummers started out as a BIMM Diploma student? Yes, Nathan (a.k.a Tugg) graduated from BIMM having built on his talent and developed the skills and knowledge needed to work with incredible acts such as Basement Jaxx, Paloma Faith, Lily Allen, Elton John, James Morrison and Tinchy Stryder.
In addition to Nathan’s work as a session drummer, he is also a DJ and producer, making hits released on labels including Grizzly, Atlantic Jaxx, Ninja Tune, and Brownswood, and his productions and remixes have been played by the likes of Annie Mac, Gilles Peterson, and Toddla T.
4) Debbie Knox Hewson – Session Musician
Debbie first studied her Drum diploma at Tech Music School (now known as BIMM London) before enrolling at BIMM Brighton to progress onto her degree course in 2012. And while she was studying, she was also touring as part of Charlie XCX’s backing band.
Today, she is endorsed by Tama Drums and has toured all over the world, playing in arenas and supporting the likes of Paramore and Katy Perry. Now, Debbie teaches her drumming expertise at Waterbear in Brighton. Alongside this, she’s a clinician and demonstrator for Roland International, a renowned equipment company.
When talking of the BIMM staff, Debbie says: “I cannot thank them enough – they have literally got me world-tour ready”.
5) Emanuel J Burton – Session Drummer
Emanuel has been is making waves in the industry as a solo drummer, musical director, creative entrepreneur, bandleader and songwriter.
Emanuel relishes in infusing spoken word and storytelling through the drums — he has showcased this at AO Arena, Sports Relief, BBC 6 Music, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, We Out Here Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, Manchester International Festival, and a headline slot at world-renowned, Band on the Wall.
He has toured and collaborated with Little Simz, FKJ, Tom Misch, Misha B, Children of Zeus, The Mouse Outfit, Yazmin Lacey, July 7 and Pip Millett. He has also supported tours for The Midnight Hour, Steam Down, 30/70 Collective, and KOKOROKO.
6) Ben Thompson – Live drummer for Two Door Cinema Club
As Two Door Cinema Club’s live drummer, BIMM graduate Ben frequently tours the world, performing at a range of local and international festivals and appearing on TV shows across the globe. Ben has also worked with Hudson Mohawke, Phoenix, and Gorgon City as a session drummer.
More recently, Ben has branched out into venue management and is part-owner of Worthing’s Manuka Bar and Kitchen and J U N G L E Nightclub. He can now be found conducting online drum lessons too.
7) Julien Brown – Session Musician
Julian first started drumming when he was three years old (on his mother’s pots and pans). And his time at BIMM London saw him perfect his percussion talent. Today, he works with some of the most prominent names in the music industry, such as Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue and Massive Attack.
He’s also made TV appearances such as Saturday Night Live, Later… with Jools Holland, Radio 1 Live Lounge, Jimmy Kimmel, and The Ellen DeGeneres show with artists like Dua Lipa.
8) Bex Redwood – Artists Manager
And studying Drums at BIMM can take you down different (and sometimes unexpected) avenues into the music industry. Just check out BIMM Brighton graduate Bex Redwood’s story. After graduating from our BA (Hons) Professional Musicianship – Drums course, she joined Republic of Music for a month’s internship and was quickly asked to take on a full-time, salaried position.
Bex was promoted to their Digital Label Manager and was then in charge of the digital distribution team for four years. During those four years, she worked on over 300 release campaigns for acts such as Tame Impala, Bloc Party and Disclosure.
Today, she co-runs their Artist Management arm and co-manages all of the acts and artists on their books. The roster features artists signed to both major and independent labels and publishers (UK-based and international, too).
Still wondering why you should consider studying Drums at a higher level? Click here to discover our great drum courses