Emanuel Burton joins Little Simz on Later… with Jools Holland

10 June, 2021

Performing on Later… with Jools Holland is a benchmark in the careers of many musicians. It’s one that our drums alumni Emanuel J Burton can now tick off his list. Performing alongside Mercury Award nominee Little Simz, Emanuel, who studied with us a few years back, is now an official member of the rapper’s touring band. Fantastic stuff, Emanuel!

Later… with Jools Holland has been showcasing the best of the best since its inception in 1992. Since then, thousands of acts have performed on the show, from Morrissey to Mos Def, Erykah Badu to BIMM alumnus Izzy Bizu, Metallica to Massive Attack, and now, Little Simz.

Little Simz, who was nominated for a Mercury Prize back in 2019, was joined on stage by her live drummer, Emanuel J Burton, who studied with us at BIMM Institute Manchester. He has toured with FKJ, Tom Misch, Misha B, Children of Zeus, The Mouse Outfit, Yazmin Lacey, Pip Millett, and Jazz collectives Steam Down and KOKOROKO, and of course, Little Simz.

You can watch the performance of ‘Woman’ here:

Interview with Emanuel:

You’re in a new band with Little Simz! How did that opportunity come about, and how is it going so far?

I have been working with Simz since July 2020. I was brought into the team through the Musical Director, Kadeem Clarke (Kadz). Working with Simz and the rest of the team is inspiring, challenging and rewarding. As a band, we are continuously pushing each other for greatness and always allowing room for the divine spirit inside us to transcend our sound and art to the hearts of many. We understand that what we are doing is way bigger than us, and it’s all about shifting the culture and creating music with substance.

How was performing ‘Woman’ on Later… with Jools Holland?

The Jools Holland show was a fantastic experience – I will never underestimate playing in a full suit and loafers! But it was so good to get the adrenaline pumping and feeling show time again. It’s also lovely to see everyone appreciating the attention to detail the whole team puts in to create such a timeless experience. I’m very grateful to be a part of the team. Look out for Little Simz’ new album coming soon and more content with substance!

How did you keep your creativity flowing throughout lockdown, and what are you most looking forward to now that the live events industry is opening back up?

I spent a lot of time in the first lockdown, re-evaluating my life and doing a lot of deep inner work. It was nice to get the time to slow down and work on my spiritual life. When I began to feel more at peace within, I have been blessed to get into many studio sessions. I also was able to do some recording in Berlin, which was a beautiful getaway. The studio work has been excellent, but I am ready to play live and connect with people again. Only a matter of time now!

Your career so far is awe-inspiring – from touring and collaborating with the likes of FKJ and Tom Misch to performing at festivals like We Out Here Fest and venues like Band on The Wall, Ronnie Scott’s, O2 London, Manchester Arena (AO Arena). So what’s your advice for any aspiring drummers out there thinking of coming to BIMM and following their passion?

Since meeting Tom Misch & FKJ, I collaborated with Tom during the lockdown on a project that I can’t disclose yet, but it’s super cool, and that was a blessing to be a part of. I’ve also been sending FKJ some of my drum loops that he’s been playing around with. I don’t like to give advice, but what works for me and everyone I am inspired by is being hungry to achieve your goals. Whatever you set out to do in life, as long as you stay focus and constantly have the mindset of being a student whilst remaining humble – there isn’t anything you can’t do. So when all your friends are partying or hanging out, get in the practice room and work on your craft. Learn how to add value to other people’s lives and see how far that takes you!

What’s next for you, and where will we find you/what will you be doing in the upcoming months?

Little Simz is promoting her new album, ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, so keep an eye out on any promotional videos and performances from us. We are also anticipating touring again, so hopefully, we will be at some festivals. I also am working on some of my drum loops to release again – so stay tuned for more content. Peace & Love, Emanuel.


Photographer: @tamiym.photo

Amazing stuff Emanuel, keep up the good work! You can check out more of our success stories here.

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