BIMM up and coming: Ten artists to watch out for

26 July, 2021

With so many incredibly talented artists and music professionals at BIMM Institute, it can sometimes be hard to keep track of them all. We’ve highlighted some artists and bands who are on really impressive trajectories within their scenes, sounds and cities.

PENELOPE ISLES

BIMM Institute Brighton graduate, Penelope Isles, are siblings, Jack and Lily Wolter, originally from the Isle of Man. The dynamic and blissed-out music that they create is fuzz-noise ladened and create a sound that is fragile yet ferocious. Making them an Indie-psych force to be reckoned with.

To support the release of their debut album, Until The Tide Creeps In, they played over 150 shows all over the world, including three tours in the USA. They’ve hit the road with bands ranging from The Flaming Lips to Wallows and The Magic Numbers. Loved by fans, DJs, tourmates and writers, this debut marks them out as one of the most exciting UK bands of the last few years.

HARVEY CAUSON

Harvey Causon is a singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist who has cemented himself as one of Bristol’s most exciting exports. Harvey combines field recording with analogue and synthetic production, creating a polished sound that doesn’t lack depth. His rich, unique vocals and masterful blend of R&B and jazz, mixed with skittering electronica, set Harvey apart. Influenced by the amazing Mount Kimbie, FKA Twigs and Aphex Twin, Harvey is a thoughtful and considered writer.

Having opened for the likes of Maribou State and Loyle Carner, Harvey is a memorable performer with a beautifully tender live vocal. He has had strong radio support and been featured as ‘Artist Of The Week’ on BBC Radio 1, on Annie Mac’s ‘New Name’ slot and Huw Stephens’ ‘One to Watch’.

VERNON JANE

Vernon Jane are singer/guitarist Emily Jane, bassist Ricky Lahert, drummer Niamh Casey, percussionist Daragh Mayon, and guitarist Alex Harvey – who all met at BIMM Institute Dublin. The group effortlessly blend jazz, punk and spoken word within their debut album – a concept piece addressing themes around intimacy, shame, vulnerability and aggression. Their debut album, The Ritual of Lovemaking, can be purchased on vinyl from their Bandcamp page. It was placed on a list of the best Irish albums by The Irish Times in June 2020.

NOKIA MANSION

Nokia Mansion are a Brighton-based trio made up of BIMM Institute Brighton Music Production student, Hxrlxy, and rappers/producers Sly Fieri and Badrrr. They’re known nationally for their ridiculously energetic live performances and are truly set for greatness.

They’ve played alongside UK rap royalty Lee Scott – as well as Jelani Blackman, CHLOBOCOP, Bawo, Scuti and more – whilst releasing bangers and amassing over 18,000 monthly listeners. These independent local legends are defining what it means to do bits.

KAISHA

Malaysian-born, Brighton-based singer-songwriter Kaisha has been doing bits since her debut single dropped in 2020. Her modern R&B sound is influenced by eclectic music digested throughout her upbringing, growing up in a family of musicians. After moving to London, she was exposed to the UK’s vibrant and eclectic underground and independent music scenes, which added more fuel to her fire.

Her brand of futuristic neo-soul, jazz-esque breakdowns and pop grooves can all be heard in Kaisha’s growing catalogue of music. Kaisha now has over 34,000 monthly Spotify listeners and we cannot wait for her to release more music!

RUMIA

Based in Berlin, Rumia is moved by the city’s music scene. As a result, her songs have evolved into synthetic and electronic sounds, a fresh proposal influenced by genres from the 90s, such as trip-hop and pop.

Named after ‘rumination’ – the act of thinking deeply and recursively about something – Rumia’s lyrical content revolves around exploring humanity and people’s behaviours, both individually and collectively. She is working on her debut album, which aims to be released at the end of 2021.

FELIX SHEPHERD

Born and raised in Birmingham, singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Felix creates heartfelt pop that takes inspiration from indie, electronica, R&B and synth-wave. This, coupled with his knack for storytelling and lyricism, creates a genuinely infectious brand of pop.

Felix takes influence from Lauv, Jeremy Zucker, Ariana Grande and ELO, but is hugely inspired by fashion, art and the people he surrounds himself with. With over 60,000 streams on Spotify and UK-wide tours (including a sold-out headline show under his belt), we’re excited to see what’s next for this incredible artist.

Æ MAK

Ellie McMahon and Aoife McCann are the dynamic duo behind Æ Mak. They met while studying Vocals at BIMM Institute Dublin and create soulful electro-pop soundscapes that caught the attention of The Irish Times and the wider industry. The rest of the band comprises BIMM Dublin graduates Sean Leonard, Colm Rogan, Des Garvey, and Dylan Povey.

While Ellie has since departed, Aoife welcomed her former backing band and producer into the mix and successfully recrafted a style that was already getting noticed. Æ Mak released three single projects of experimental art-pop that have received support and praise from the likes of BBC Radio 6, Radio X, Earmilk and The Line of Best Fit. Their latest EP, how to: make a kitsch pop song to show the world, is out now.

GIYA

Growing up in South London but now living in Brighton, GIYA is on the cusp of something extraordinary. Her debut EP, Almost Real, was recorded over four years and showed off the singer-songwriter in all of her nuanced glory.

With a genre-bending sound and great lyric crafting, GIYA received high praise from Sucker, who noted that her second single, Blood, “cements GIYA’s presence among top pop songwriters in the country.” Already backed by BBC Introducing, she is working towards a new project to be released this year.

THE NU

Birmingham-based futuristic electronic-rock outfit The Nu were nominated for four awards at the 2020 Birmingham Music Awards – including Best Band and Best Song – alongside industry legends like The Streets, UB40 and Swim Deep.

Combining the electric atmosphere of the dance music with the raw energy of rock n’ roll to create a fresh sound, the group draws inspiration from INXS, Crystal Castles and Jane’s Addiction. They’ve been smashing shows around the UK, secured support slots for Swim Deep, and even sold out two nights at The Dark Horse during a pandemic. We’ve no doubt that exciting times lie ahead for the rest of 2021.


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

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