Popular Music students benefit from university deal with industry’s key players

News Page 23rd November 2018

Students are getting all the help they need to push their music to the masses thanks to a collaboration between the University of Northampton and a trio of national industry organisations.

Undergraduates on Northampton’s Popular Music course now benefit from having the music they write, record and produce supported by UK Music, Music Academy Partnership (MAP) and Kycker.

Tracks will be published and promoted by Kycker working in partnership with UK Music – the umbrella organisation representing the collective interests of the industry – alongside the University of Northampton under UK Music’s MAP programme, a collaboration between a select group of education institutions and UK Music members.

The deal means the students’ music is now available to stream and buy on major platforms including Spotify, Amazon and iTunes – scroll down for links to stream and buy.

Senior Lecturer, Jasmine Shadrack, said: “So much incredible music comes out of our undergraduate programme that I’ve been wanting to find a way to get that product out to industry for a while now.

“I am extremely happy and excited for us to be collaborating with UK Music, MAP and Kycker to promote our students’ work. We are the first popular music course, and indeed, the first university in the UK to do this – this is really something to be proud of.”

The first four tracks to benefit were the fruits of the degree’s performance module, which students complete during their second year of study.

The recording sessions were overseen by Associate Lecturer Tony Platt, who has worked in the studio with the likes of Bob Marley, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden.

Tony said: “I am involved in this course because I like working with musicians and artists but, because I am principally teaching them how to use the studio as a creative tool, I don’t often get to hear what they actually create as artists.

“The quality of these songs is exceptional and the process of performing them for these recordings added another layer to their education and their accomplishment. Artists and musicians do what they do to reach out to people and entertain them  – we are here to show these students the doors that they can open to be able to make that their life purpose. This project goes some way to accomplishing that.”

The tracks are as follows:

Hidden – Walking On My Own

Listen on Spotify, Google Play and Amazon

Written by Jack Hill, with help from Eoin Thornton, the song was performed by the duo. Walking On My Own sees Jack bare his soul about his struggles with loss and mental health. He said: “The song is about mental health and more specifically the loss of our lecturer, Dr Nathan Wiseman-Trowse, who died earlier this year. At first I didn’t realise when I was writing the song that it was about him, it seemed to be about my own struggles at the time however when performing during the sound check I burst out in tears and I think the power of the song was quite obvious to everyone in the room who was also struggling the same grievances and confusion.

“Many people came and congratulated us on the song afterwards and said that it too had moved them and they saw how much it meant to us.”


Rayment, Stone and Timings – So Young

Listen on Spotify and Google Play

Written and composed by Beth Rayment, Bonnie-Lee Stone and Megan Timings, this country tinged song focuses on the struggles of single parenting. Bonnie-Lee said: “In a generation where this has become more normal, we feel that it may be relatable for many listeners.”


Tinuke Jonah – Girls Like Me

Listen on Spotify, Google Play and Amazon

Girls Like Me is written by Atinuke Unoarumhi, who also provides vocals for the track under the name of Tinuke Jonah.

She said: “I wrote Girls Like Me when I was 18. I was going through a hard time accepting that I would always be seen as different because of my albinism.

“I truly never thought that anyone would ever hear this song because doing so would make me relive all the hurt I went through. But now, at 21, I feel my albinism is what sets me apart from the rest and makes me unique.

“I am finally in a place where I want people to hear my music and know that they are never alone in what they are feeling and if there is ever anyone in your life that makes you feel bad about being who you are, they should leave and you are always better off without them.”

Joining Atinuke on the track is Kristina Tetereva on guitar, pianist Sam McLeod, and Shapham Smith on percussion. Tony Platt was the producer.


The Orchards – Beauty Of The Fens

Listen on Spotify, Google Play and Amazon

The Orchards are the (mostly) acoustic, indie folk duo of Nicole Drury and Tom Jones.

Nicole’s heartfelt and personal lyrics and her unique, ‘fen’ voice combine beautifully with Tom’s soft, fingerpicked guitar style and impressive solos to create music that is original and relatable.

Nicole is inspired by the genuine and honest accounts of life experiences, written into particularly catchy tunes by KT Tunstall, Laura Marling and The Lumineers. Intricately pieced together with rhythmic and melodic accompaniment from Tom, who takes influence from stunning artists such as Jeff Buckley, Fleet Foxes and Opeth, their compositions ooze emotion, telling stories of love and loss, whilst giving the listener an insight into their world.

Further music from the students will also be supported by UK Music, MAP and Kycker.

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