BIMM up and coming: October artists to watch out for

7 October, 2021

With so many incredibly talented artists and music professionals at BIMM Institute, it can sometimes be hard to keep track of them all. That’s why, each month, we’re highlighting the ten artists to watch out for. Here’s October’s roundup of the artists and bands on impressive trajectories within their scenes, sounds and cities.

OURAA

A Vocals graduate from BIMM Institute London, OURAA possesses a colourful, personable and bright stage presence and contagious and unique artistry. She’s attracted interest from the likes of BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Jamz Supernova, who played her track ‘Make a Wish’ to her massive audience.

OURAA describes her style as “a pic ‘n’ mix of different genres; take a sweet from Gospel, Afro beats, one from jazz, another from pop, and it always works out pretty Gucci!”.

Anna B Savage

Anna B Savage studies our MA Popular Music Practice course. She’s a London-born, Dublin-based singer-songwriter who has toured with Father John Misty after her debut 2015 EP caught his attention. She later toured with Jenny Hval and received praise from the press internationally, including NPR and The Guardian.

In January 2021, Anna released her debut album, A Common Turn, via City Slang records. The album caught Rolling Stone Magazine’s attention, and Anna was subsequently named one of their ‘Artists to Watch’ for 2021.

LIME Garden

BIMM Institute Brighton graduates Lime Garden (fka LIME) are among the most promising talents the underground music scene offers. Recently signing to So Young’s record label, the band is going from strength to strength. Their debut singles, ‘Surf N Turf’ and ‘Fever’, cemented the band as a powerhouse that can encapsulate an old school sound but brought up-to-date.

One of their more recent singles, ‘Sick & Tired,’ takes influence from personal experiences and everyday interactions and observations. The group’s dry wit highlights the absurdity of modern life. The band has recently been announced in The Great Escape’s First Fifty and headlined The Green Door Store’s 234 Festival.

Josie Man

Josie calls her sound ‘identity pop’ and is definitely one to watch. Josie released her debut EP, aLOVINGboothang, in 2020, which includes the single ‘Colours’ and has almost two million plays on Spotify. Her next single, ‘Just Me’, was named BBC Introducing’s Track of the Week and was subsequently remixed by Dutch producer Jarreau Vandal.

At the beginning of 2020, Josie toured with Filipino-born British singer-songwriter Beabadoobee. 2021 has seen Josie continue to release some of her recognisable ‘Identity Pop’ sound with singles ‘Little Space for Me’, ‘One of Those Days’ and ‘Cuts & Bruises’. Josie now boasts an incredible 230,000 monthly listeners.

Julia Bardo

Julia Bardo developed her talent in her father’s bar in Northern Italy before courageously moving to Manchester, where she blossomed as part of Working Men’s Club, before deciding to take the leap to become a solo artist. The industry quickly noticed her remarkable talent. Her debut EP Phase came out in March 2020 via Wichita Recordings, the label that previously represented Bloc Party and The Cribs.

She’s influenced by the Italian 60s music she grew up with and modern heroines like Cate Le Bon, Angel Olsen, Aldous Harding, Sharon Van Etten and Weyes Blood. In 2019, we were lucky enough to have her join us on the BIMM stage at the Great Escape Festival in Brighton.

FUR

BIMM Institute Brighton graduates FUR have made a name for themselves as one of the most promising bands in the UK. They’re known for encapsulating the sound of the 60s but with luscious modernity.

FUR’s debut self-titled EP was released midway through their 2019 UK tour and received their first Radio 1 play courtesy of Huw Stephens. FUR have had subsequent support from the likes of Steve Lamacq as well as three weeks on the Radio 6 playlist.

Jafaris

Jafaris is a Zimbabwean-born Irish rapper, singer, and songwriter who began as an actor in Sing Street’s comedy-drama film. Jafaris made his professional solo musical debut in 2017 with the EP Velvet Cake. To support its release, he performed at Forbidden Fruit Festival, Ireland Music Week and Eurosonic Festival. Jafaris also performed with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra as part of the Story of Hip Hop at Electric Picnic in 2017 and then again in 2018.

Jafaris’ debut studio album Stride was released in 2019 and was nominated for the Choice Music Prize. The album’s success led to a feature on Joy Crookes’ single, ‘Early’, and a performance on Later… with Jools Holland.

Lemonade Shoelace

BIMM Institute Dublin graduate Ruairí Richman (aka Lemonade Shoelace) creates an addictive dreamy, synth-infused sound with his brand of psych-pop.

Entering BIMM Institute as a guitarist, Ruairí soon realised that his passion lay elsewhere. He moved on to our Songwriting course and thrived. He’s just been announced as Vans’ Musicians Wanted series winner. The series provides support and exposure to young artists starting their music careers and offers a plethora of prizes like Vans products, global music distribution, and playlisting on Spotify and Apple Music. It also includes the opportunity to perform as an opening act on Yungblud’s 2022 tour. Big congrats to Ruairí!

Mercy’s Cartel

Mercy’s Cartel, a BIMM Institute Bristol alumni, is a singer-songwriter and producer with sonic influences stemming from alternative R&B, pop, hip-hop, gospel, and Afrobeat. She has supported loads of up-and-coming artists, including Etta Bond, Yazmin Lacey, and even rapper Kojey Radical.

Mercy’s debut EP, Vibes Cartel, caught the attention of BBC Radio 1Xtra host Jamz Supernova, who chose Mercy as one of her top five EPs of the month. Mercy embarked on a mini UK tour where she played shows in Birmingham, Manchester, London, and Bristol. In addition, she performed at established festivals such as Dot to Dot, Glastonbury, Kendal Calling, and Giles Peterson’s We Out Here festival.

Mercy was part of Native Management’s initiative to get more women of colour in the music industry. While there, Mercy learned skills in lighting, mixing, and playback technology.
Today, Mercy continues to gain regular radio support and has been named on the BBC Introducing Hotlist (August 2020) while receiving airtime from BBC Radio One and 1XTRA.

The Flavians

Throughout 2019 and their final year at BIMM Institute, The Flavians played headline shows across many cities in Germany, Sweden, and the UK. They also opened for Catfish and the Bottlemen at Huxley’s Neue Welt in Berlin. This was followed by festival appearances at Glastonbury Festival and Reeperbahn Festival and a support tour with Ten Tonnes across Germany in the Autumn.

In the final year of their studies, the band also used the studio time available through BIMM Institute to record their debut album Ordinary People in an Ordinary World. The album was released independently in January 2020 on the eve of another opening slot for Catfish and the Bottlemen and received acclaim from the likes of Zitty Magazine, OxFanzine and MusikBlog.

After their release show at Musik und Frieden, the band settled into the swing of lockdown by building a studio together in Kreuzberg, where they have since recorded their follow up EP.


Wow! What a list. You can check out more successes from our outstanding students here.

© 2021 BIMM Institute
British and Irish Modern Music Institute