BIMM Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. Scholarship winner announced

4 October, 2022

We’re very excited to announce the winner of BIMM Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. Scholarship. The lucky student, Abbey Addenbroke-Sheriff, was hand-picked by the band and will have her BA (Hons) Commercial Modern Music course fees paid in full for the four-year duration of the degree course, worth €12,000.

We are pleased to award the scholarship to Abbey Addenbroke-Sheriff, who has already written over 500 songs. Abbey loves to write, produce and perform and is currently providing free music lessons to young people. Abbey’s eclectic tastes include doom/desert rock, punk, DnB, classical and ambient music and have led her to pick up multiple instruments, including trumpet, piano, drums, guitar, bass and even the harpsichord. All whilst gaining experience working in London Philharmonic Orchestra workshops, Music for Youth Frequencies, collaborating with artists, and work experience with Universal Music Studios in London.

We managed to catch up with Abbey:

What’s it like having a band as influential as Fontaines D.C. choose you for the scholarship?

Affirming and monumental.

Fontaines D.C. are my long-time favourite band since Dogrel, and their words and music have guided me through the turbulent freedom of my late teens. They’ll be doing the same for a generation at the rate they’re growing. Fontaines D.C. are the soundtrack to my joys, losses, and everything in between. I don’t know anyone or anything else that more closely combines the spirit of Ireland, poetry, and rock‘n’roll.

Being chosen by Fontaines D.C. for the scholarship is a colossal joy as there’s no way I could afford to study without it. As far as I’m concerned, they’ve given me the world.

What are you most excited about with regard to studying at BIMM Institute Dublin?

Just doing more of what I love and seeing how skilled I can get at such a thing. I’m aware that I’m still at the very early stages of the journey, so I can’t wait to see what’s out there musically that I’d never even thought of. I’m itching to be surprised.

Connecting with like-minded people and meeting other young musicians, being right there at BIMM to see the future of music as it unfolds. Giving absolutely everything and seeing what happens.

Collaboration is a big part of music, and you never know what’ll come out – that’s the joy of it. I’m especially looking forward to playing live with other musicians. That’s when I feel truly alive.

What are your future plans and aspirations?

It has to be to write, perform and produce music as close to my creative vision as possible. Make music to tear your soul out to, find comfort in, or simply dance to. I am hugely fond of art and writing, so I have plans for project-based albums with multimedia elements. There is a great joy to be found in obsession, and sometimes nothing can satisfy the hunger for experience and immersion when you fall in love with a piece of work. Some of my greatest inspirations, like Björk and Bowie, have made detailed worlds around musical projects, and I hope one day to do the same.

“We’re honoured to have a scholarship in our name. Our time at BIMM gave us time to figure out who we wanted to be as a band. We were given guidance on how to achieve our dreams. We’re looking forward to being able to help someone else succeed at their time there with this scholarship.”

– Conor Deegan, Fontaines D.C. bassist.

More about our exceptional graduates, Fontaines D.C.

Since finishing their time at BIMM Institute Dublin in 2017, Fontaines D.C. have released three critically acclaimed albums. Their debut LP Dogrel was top five in the Irish album chart and top ten in the UK. The record received a nomination for the highly coveted Mercury Music Prize as well as being selected as Album Of The Year by Rough Trade and BBC6 Music.

After being nominated for NME’s Best New Act in the World, they released their second studio album, A Hero’s Death, via Partisan Records. It entered the UK and Irish album charts at No.2. and was top twenty in the USA. Described by Pitchfork as “heady, funny and fearless” the album was nominated for the Best Rock Album at the Grammys, perhaps the biggest accolade a band could ever receive.

The band’s third studio album, Skinty Fia, was released in April 2022. The album’s title refers to an old Irish saying often voiced by drummer Tom Coll’s great aunt. The phrase ‘Skinty Fia’ translates to ‘the damnation of the deer’. Both the title and the cover art allude to the extinct Irish elk, also known as the ‘giant deer’. Following the album’s release, the band received NME’s coveted Best Band in the World Award. Skinty Fia became the band’s first number one album in Ireland and the UK.

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