BIMM Birmingham students win big on The X Factor

3 January, 2020

Two of BIMM’s Songwriting students recently made it through to the grand final of ITV talent show series The X Factor: The Band, with one emerging victorious as part of winning girl group Real Like You. 

The likes of Girls Aloud, Little Mix, One Direction and JLS all formed as a result of appearing on X Factor, and now, in the latest offshoot of the hit series, two students from one of our newest campuses went head-to-head in the grand final of the competition.

Originally hailing from Coventry, seventeen-year-old Kellimarie Willis (pictured above), who’s studying a Songwriting Diploma at BIMM Birmingham, auditioned for the four-part series before it first aired in early December 2019.


Jed Thomaswith BIMM lecturers Steve McCarthy and Tim Bradshaw


Simultaneously, Jed Thomas (pictured with BIMM lecturers Steve McCarthy and Tim Bradshaw), who studies on the same course as Kellimarie at our Birmingham college, also auditioned as a hopeful contestant for the show.

Both students made an immediate impression on the judging panel, which consisted of music industry mogul Simon Cowell, former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger and previous X Factor winner, Leona Lewis.

After making it through the strong audition stage, with numerous talented individuals battling it out for a place in the final, both BIMM Institute students were selected to form part of two rival bands, with Kellimarie forming part of girl group, Real Like You and Jed forming part of boy group, Unwritten Rule.

After amazing performances from both groups, Real Like You emerged triumphant with ‘Be Like Them’, an original song penned by Kellimarie herself, who was quoted as saying, “I wrote that because I didn’t feel like I fitted in with any of the friends that I had. And it’s for any of you who feel like you don’t fit in.”

When asked how it felt to win the grand final of the competition, Kellimarie said, “It felt amazing when Dermot announced our names as the winners of X Factor: The Band. It was completely unexpected. I had little-to-no belief that we were going to win the competition. Myself and the girls treated it as our performance and if we came out of it with a win then it would be amazing, If not…then we still tried our best.”

She continued, Winning the show with my original song is something I’ll remember my whole life. Songs are always interpretative and each person has their own relation to that song. Instead of the song being about me losing friends I didn’t fit in with, it became a song about finding the friends you do fit in with.”

Antony Greaves, Principal at BIMM Birmingham, was incredibly pleased about Jed and Kellimarie’s recent success, saying, “All the staff and students at BIMM Birmingham are so proud of Kellimarie and Jed’s achievements so far, and we’re looking forward to supporting them as their career develops.”

Promo is already underway for the first singles from Kellimarie and the rest of Real Like You as they head to the recording studio. Their first single is expected for release in Spring 2020 and the band are determined to deliver a positive message through their music. We cannot wait to hear their future releases!

If you’re interested in studying a Songwriting course at BIMM Institute Birmingham, like Kellimarie and Jed, click here to Apply Now.

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