So, what’s the point of being a music student? To storm the charts? Perform in the largest cities, in the biggest venues? To create music that touches the world? Well, almost.
I went to visit my old college and uni (yes, I spent five years here!) the Academy of Music and Sound, now under the name of the Academy of Contemporary Music. I wanted to see what everyone was up to and they invited me to go see a student showcase, with some students I remember from before I left, and some new.
So I took my friend, colleague and photographer Sara Sakharkar with me.
As I turned up at RJJZ Jazz Cafe in Birmingham, I wasn’t sure what to expect. From the outside, it was quiet with not many people around, however, when we opened the doors the sound of a deep, rich, warm acoustic guitar filled the room along with this sweet, smooth, yet powerful voice, captivating a room full of people!
This voice belonged to Lauren Jade, who performed a mix of originals with covers such as Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ and a swing style version of Britney Spears ‘Oops I Did It Again’ which has been stuck in my head ever since!
The next performer, Milly May, had a modern day, toned down Amy Winehouse vibe about her; from looks to vocal style, she exuded a deep sensual quirkiness. I found myself lost in her songs and surprised how I lost 20 minutes of time by being submerged in her performances, being captured by her cover of ‘Feeling Good’. It was simple and warm and sounded almost like a lullaby.
To get me out of my trance, a 4 piece acoustic band, City Street Lights, shortly followed, bringing the tempo up with a cover of ‘Mr Brightside’ by The Killers. This is undoubtedly one of my favourite songs of all time, and they certainly did it justice! I found myself singing along and wanting to dance! This band was filled the youngest musicians of the night and you could tell they were slightly nervous. However, with talent like theirs, there was no need to be!
City Street Lights.
So, what’s the point in being a music student? Well, for the students from ACM Birmingham, it can be anything they want it to be. They’ve set the bar high for unsigned talent!
Photography by Sara Sakharkar.
Written by Sheridan Rudge.