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access SUMMER 18




PHOTO: Matthew Eachus, The Manc Photographer





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WELCOME! Hi there, Welcome to the last edition of access for this academic year. It’s the start of festival season, so this issue is dedicated to music and is packed with festival madness. If you’re heading to a festival this summer, please send a review to and have it featured in the next edition! The access team were lucky enough to catch up with Benji Webbe, the singer from reggae nu-metal band, Skindred. Head to page 8 to find out what he had to say. As always, we are giving you a chance to get your hands on an amazing prize. Turn to page 11 for your chance to win two tickets to the theme park of your choice! For those of you who will be coming back next year, we hope you have an amazing summer break. Take the time to relax, you deserve it! For students who are finishing with us, we wish you all the best and hope all your dreams come true.

Backstage with Benji from Skindred

Enjoy, Phoebe Maxwell, Editor

CONTENTS Back on the streets- talking to manager Tim Vigon about the return of The Streets...........04 Slam Dunk champs - highlights of this year’s pop-punk Slam Dunk Festival......................06 When reggae met metal - we chat with Benji from Skindred.................................................08 Game of life - Tom Syndicate on life as a top gaming vlogger .............................................10 Win theme park tickets - get your hands on some theme park tickets this summer...........11 Meet the tutor: Anastacia France - games tutor based in Birmingham.................................12 One to watch - KSG - up-and-coming multi-lingual London rapper.....................................14 We’re all ears - catching up with Let’s Eat Grandma on the release of their new LP...........16 Join the future creatives - get to know The Play Team, our virtual student gang................18 Dreaming of pop - on the trail of Billy Clayton, dream pop pioneer.......................................22 Low-down on Lunar - find out about our involvement in this year’s Lunar Festival.............24 Photo gallery - showcasing the work of Media students.......................................................26 10 tips for a happier you - get happy this summer with our self-help guide........................28 Download in pictures - images from our weekend at the legendary metal fest....................30 Making melodies - Peter Coppin’s Melody Music Room business........................................32 Weather girl - with Music Performance degree student Shenâi MIça ..................................33 What are you up to? - Finding out what you’re listening to or playing..................................34 My top 5 gigs - IT man Alan Walker tells us about his top 5 gigs ever..................................36 What’s on where you are - summer events near you..............................................................38


‘This recent tour - it’s felt like such a triumph given the time we had been away.’

BACK ON THE STREETS Tim Vigon is the manager behind the return of The Streets to UK and European venues. The access team caught up with him to find out more about their return.


Left: Mike Skinner. Top left: Mike goes crowd surfing. Top right: Tim Vigon photographs Mike on stage.

Crowd surfing, champagne spraying and a celebratory mood, The Streets are definitely back! After a break of seven years, Mike Skinner and the Birmingham crew have made a phenomenal comeback this year with a sold out UK tour and a new single released in January. Due to this resurgence, we thought it was time for a chat with their manager, Tim Vigon of Magus Entertainment, based in Los Angeles. What does your job entail? I have the overall responsibility for advising and guiding the artist through their career. We have to have the widescreen vision of what is involved in every element of their career, both personally and strategically. We are responsible for putting the team around them, keeping track of everyone’s progress and also for translating the vision of the artist to the world of commerce. How did you land the job as The Streets’ manager? I used to be in PR in the music business and then decided to go into management. After a couple of artists, I was introduced to Mike and we hit it off. I was lucky enough that he chose me from the many people he had the chance to speak to.


What other artists have you managed? I’ve been doing this for 20 years so loads. The Zutons, The Music, Dexys, Delphic, The View, Fionn Regan, Kai, Carina Round, Angelica Garcia, Witness, amongst others. What’s your career highlight to date? Honestly this recent tour - it’s felt like such a triumph given the time we had been away. It was also incredible to witness The Zutons song Valerie turn into something legendary. I’ve been very lucky. What three qualities do you need to be a manager? Patience, the ability to understand both the world of business and the world of creativity, and absolute belief. If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring managers, what would that be? Two things - it’s all about the artist! Find a great artist who you believe has the same ambitions as you and can achieve them. Make sure that you’re in it together and understand that management isn’t about bossing people about - it’s about finding people who are experts in their field and allowing them to thrive.


State Champs.

SLAM DUNK CHAMPS The access team kicked off their festival season in May, with Slam Dunk. For those of you who don’t know, Slam Dunk is a touring pop-punk and rock festival which takes place in Leeds, Birmingham and Hatfield. The thing we love about this festival is it allows up-and-coming bands to shine, as well as waving the flag for the pop-punk veterans. From the get-go, this year’s Slam Dunk was destined to be one of the best ones yet with stages graced by some of the best performers in the pop-punk world. The Monster Stage saw the likes of Twin Atlantic and Taking Back Sunday warm up the crowd before headliners, Jimmy Eat World hit the stage. The Jagermeister Stage had Frank Carter and State Champs to get the crowd going for headliners Good Charlotte - a huge highlight for the access team! We were lucky enough to catch up with American pop-punk five piece, State Champs, before their main stage appearance. They have been a band for eight years, so we had to ask them what the secret was to sticking together and making it work. Guitarist Tyler Szalkowski said, ‘We’re pretty good at settling our differences - we don’t let it fester. We get mad at each other all the time, but we’re all boys and we’re all here for the same reason. We all feel the same communal blessing to play music and we don’t take it for granted. As far as co-workers go, we could do far worse’. When asked what


advice they would have for our student bands, they all said, ‘Be yourselves!’. Texas-based Crown The Empire returned to the UK after their world tour and the access team took the chance for a chat. They have covered a lot of ground, from Singapore to the USA. When asked what their best show was, drummer Brent Taddie said, ‘The Tokyo show was great’ which all the other band members agreed with. Singer Andrew Velasquez added, ‘It was such a good vibe and was packed out’. If they could tour with any band dead or alive, guitarist Brandon Hoover said, ‘Definitely Nirvana’. The access team agree that this would have worked really well. Their advice for any band wanting to make it would be, ‘Don’t make it a part-time job - it has to be full-time. If it’s your thing, you have to let it be your thing’. To keep up to date with what they are both up to or to grab tickets to their UK tours, head to their social media: @Crowntheempire or @statechampsny. So yet another successful Slam Dunk for the access team! The full interviews will be appearing on our social media @accesscreativecollege soon, so keep an eye on it!

‘Don’t make it a parttime job - it has to be full-time. If it’s your thing, you have to let it be your thing’.

Andrew Velasquez, Crown The Empire Photo: Rachel Prew - Instagram: @rachelprewphotography


‘Success is not based on how much you’ve got or what you do. It’s an inward thing that you have to be happy with.’

WHEN REGGAE MET METAL Welsh metal-reggae band, Skindred, have been going for 20 years and are still managing to make an impact and create an unbelievable atmosphere across generations. The access team were lucky enough to catch up with Benji Webb, their lead vocalist, just before their sell out show at the Manchester Academy on their Big Tings tour. SKINDRED: l-r Daniel Pugsly (bass), Benji Webbe (vocals), Michael Fry (guitar) and Arya Goggin (drums)


How’s the tour going so far? This tour has been one of the most successful tours we have ever done. We’ve been touring the UK for the last 18 years and it’s nice to be able to come to venues like this. It’s the second time that we’ve played here and it’s quite emotional. This tour is the crowning glory of hard work! What’s it like touring with American rock band, CKY as a support act? They’re cool. They’re veterans like us. Some bands are new to the game and don’t know how to tour properly, but these guys know how to tour! One thing you do as a support act is you keep out of the main band’s way. Not in a rude way, but it’s their house and you have to respect that. What advice do you have for bands who want to make it? At the end of the day, when I was a little boy, singing Tina Turner in my bedroom, I’d made it. Success is not based on how much you’ve got or what you do. It’s an inward thing that you have to be happy with. I would say to anyone that’s doing it, do it for yourself. Whether you play in front of 50,000 people or five people in a pub, play like it’s your last show and you’re loving it. Do it for real - don’t think you’re going to do this and there’s going to be a quick buck. If you’re lucky you can get away with it, but if you want a career, you’ve got to get dirty you know. What three things does every musician need to bring on tour with them? Every week I get my pants and socks in Primark. Don’t carry all your soaking wet undies around in bags for weeks on end. Your ID, in case you get lost and your phone. Phones have everything on nowadays! If you could tour with any artist dead or alive, who would you choose? Big question! Can I put a festival together - Benj Fest? So I’m the organiser of the main stage at Benj Fest. Opening up, I’d have The Beatles. After them, I’d have a young lady called Billie Holiday and halfway through her set, she’d be accompanied by Amy Winehouse. It’s cheesy as hell but I’d have Bob Marley come back, then Elvis, then Slipknot. For the headliners I’d have The Stone Roses. You have the title of ‘party and festival band!’ Which set made you think, ‘yep, we are!’? I think, as a front man, I’m the kind of guy who challenges people and I remind people that you’ve only got the minute you’re in. Don’t worry about tomorrow - you’ve only got today, enjoy yourself! I think I can make people realise that. I think the most important thing about being in Skindred is I believe that as a human being, I have to not just sing a song, I have to impact on people’s lives and give them something to go home with. Whether they think it’s rubbish or not, I think it’s all about challenging people and bringing a room together. How long are you going to keep going for? I don’t see me stopping anytime soon! To keep up to date with what they are up too, including buying tickets, head to their website or their social @skindredofficial For the full interview head to our social media @accesscreativecollege


GAME OF LIFE Tom Syndicate (Tom Cassell) is a gaming vlogger. To sum up what he does, he says ‘I film every day of my life and post it on my YouTube’. How modest for a guy who has over 2.5 million subscribers! When the access team headed to Insomnia Gaming Festival in April, we managed to catch him for a quick interview. Syndicate managed to break away from the hundreds of screaming fans wanting to meet him and get their hands on some signed merch!

try to follow the set trend, which is nothing different. Look at what’s working and see how you can adapt it. Improvise and take risks! If you don’t do something different, it won’t be your own unique game. More importantly, just have fun with it!

Given his jam-packed schedule, we asked him the two most important questions!

What advice would you have for people who want to do what you do? Education is important - go to college and stay focused on it. That’s your primary focus. On the side, do YouTube, do streaming, but don’t think it’s going to become your life and drop out of college. You always need to have a back-up plan. If you want to be a Twitcher or a streamer, it is possible, but always have a back-up plan. Do it as a hobby and if it takes off anywhere else, you’ll be set.

Our games design students want to create the next big thing. What would you say makes a good game? To make a game that I want to play it just has to be something new and something creative. Everyone can make a shooter game. If I knew what the next big game is going to be: one, I wouldn’t tell you because I have my own game company in LA, so I’d probably take it there; two, the best games are the fresh ones that the audience just take to. So many people


To see what Syndicate is up to, head to his YouTube @LifeOfTom.

WIN THEME PARK TICKETS! It’s summer and we know it’s hard to find stuff to do without spending money. To help you out we are offering you and a friend the chance to win tickets to a theme park of your choice! You can choose between Flamingo Land, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park or Legoland. All you have to do is head to our pinned post on Facebook and tell us:

What song would you play to keep your cool on a scary ride and which friend would you want by your side?


The signed PVRIS vinyl was won by Liam Barrett who said ‘thank you so much’. His answer to our competition question, Which city would you go too and who would you take with you, was Reykjavik in Iceland with his girlfriend!


‘The students have so many incredible ideas and unique talents...’

MEET THE TUTOR For your next instalment of Meet the Tutor, it’s time to head to Birmingham to catch up with Games Design tutor Anastacia France. She tells us all about her career and how she is looking into using virtual reality for more than just entertainment. Tell us a bit about you and your background. I’ve been developing games for nearly eight years now both within teams and by myself. I have gone from a Level 2 Games Design course to a Masters of Games Design. I find myself enjoying modelling characters most! Throughout my years of playing games, I have enjoyed competing on both console (Halo 2 and Gears of War) and card games such as Yu-gioh. Nowadays I just find myself playing shooter games with friends. What is your favourite thing about working with college students? It’s brilliant working with the students.


They have so many incredible ideas and unique talents, from 3D modelling skills to story creation. Something is always new. It’s incredible how much work games students do in their own time, developing their own mini-games using Unreal Engine 4. What do you get up to outside of college? Playing Overwatch in between watching insane amounts of Anime. I’m currently loving My Hero Academia. I am utterly gutted about Violet Evergarden ending. It’s a show I could constantly re-watch. I do spend a lot of time with my two pugs, Milo and Lola.

Above and below: 3D modelling projects.

ANASTACIA FRANCE Anything interesting that you are working on at the minute? I am currently looking into VR development - it seems like it’s where games are slowly pushing towards right now. I think VR is a brilliant platform. I’m hoping in future years it will be easier and cheaper for consumers with a different purpose, such as training and education, instead of mainly for entertainment purposes. What advice would you give to students wanting to work in the games industry? Keep practicing - you never get instantly good at something. A lot of people will be incredible artists and programmers - use them as your motivation. You can also learn a lot from books, not just ebooks, I mean real life books! Anything interesting about you you’d like to add? I would love to do a PhD in the future!


ONE TO WATCH KSG KSG is a multi-lingual rapper and producer who is currently on the Vocal Artist course in London. For this edition’s One to Watch, we spoke to rapper KSG (Kevin Johnson), a Spanish rapper who flips between English and Spanish. However, what’s most impressive about him, is he can switch between two languages whilst still rhyming! Originally from Madrid, he first started loving music when he came to London on holiday when he was 11. This was when he saw his older cousin rapping a verse from Dizzee Rascal. Later on, he moved to London and as soon as he became fluent in English, he began to mix it with Spanish. Inspired by the likes of Skrapz and Belly, KSG has been up to some impressive stuff. He took part in Red Bull’s Raise the Bar, where he finished in the Top 10. Raise The Bar is a competition which looks for the best rap and vocal talent with a great prize - this year, the winner will be given the chance to end up on a track by Team Salut. When asked what his other influences are, KSG said, ‘In the game right now, I think Drake has the most influence. Everything he touches goes worldwide. Skepta is also doing very well. He’s putting the UK and Nigeria (where KSG’s parents are from) on the map with his recent music’. So, why did he decide to study at Access Creative College? ‘I decided to learn how to produce and understand my craft a bit more.


I looked up on how the college works, and what they’ve accomplished so far, and it just felt the right time to join. It’s the first time I’ve studied music and I’ve been comfortable meeting other great like-minded musicians’. His next steps will involve taking his music further and into new media: ‘I’m going to start on my first EP and, at the same time, produce my own beats - I’m lucky to work with a small circle of trusted and talented people. I’m planning on releasing a video this summer on Link Up TV, or GRM Daily. This will bring people together to understand my music as a whole’. What advice would he give to aspiring rappers? ‘Chase your dreams and take your time with every step you take in this music world. There’s always room for improvement and improving is finding a better you. Always remember why you’re doing this and keep the passion and drive for it. That is what’s going to get you far in music’. KSG added, ‘In five years time, I see my career in its prime. I want to achieve something that will live on, even after I’m not longer in this world’. With the way things are going, we definitely believe that KSG will achieve his goals. To keep up to date with what he is up to, follow him on social media @ksg4real.

‘It just felt like the right time to choose Access Creative College. It’s been very motivational for me.’


‘Even before we joined the college we got opportunities - one of them was to play at Latitude on the Access stage. I think a label even came along to watch us!’

WE’RE ALL EARS... You may recognise Let’s Eat Grandma. Jenny and Rosa make up the weird and wonderful, dynamic duo from Norwich, who don’t sound like anyone else! They’re on tour around Canada and America until the end of September and have just released they’re new LP I’m All Ears, which has got a five star review in Q magazine. The access team managed to catch up with them before their recent show in Manchester.

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LET’S EAT GRANDMA: l-r Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton

How’s everything going since you guys left Access Creative College? R: Really good! Last summer we recorded the album and played lots of festivals. J: We actually wrote a couple of the tracks while we were at college! So I, Gemini, your first album was a product of your time at college! R: Yeah, we actually used the studio and rehearsal rooms to write the songs, so it was all made in college! We also wrote two other tracks while at college for our future music! How has studying music helped you both? J: The Music Production course we did for our second year was really helpful. We learned how to use Logic through that. We’ve talked a lot in interviews that using technology has really influenced the way we’ve written our songs lately. I don’t think we’d have learned how to use Logic if we hadn’t done that course. R: Then there’s all the things around synthesis and sound design. Even learning things like mastering, that we wouldn’t have necessarily known about - it’s good to have that knowledge when your record is being mastered! J: It’s also good to gain basic knowledge of mixing, because it makes it so much easier to work on tracks. Do you think that these skills have helped you to take full control of your music? R: Totally, yeah. J: Yeah, I feel like it’s really helped us to develop our sound. For the first album we’d only use what we could physically play at once, but when we did our new record, we used lots of different layers and textures because we used that software! What do you think Access Creative College offered you that other colleges couldn’t? J: The freedom to be able to pursue touring there was a lot of flexibility. I feel like if we were on another course, we would have been kicked off! R: Definitely the support to be able to do what we wanted to do. J: Even before we joined the college we got opportunities - one of them was to play at Latitude on the Access stage. I think a label even came along to watch us! R: The college has always supported us!

Let’s Eat Grandma played a special studentpromoted Skynt night at Epic in Norwich on Thursday 5th July. 17

Having played so many great places, what have been the highlights? R: Glastonbury was really fun last year, that was a good one! J: When we went to Iceland! We’re enjoying touring at the moment, because we’ve got a whole new set up. Travelling a lot, especially when you’re working, is really good for gaining confidence and problem solving! R: It’s just fun! Your second album I’m All Ears came out on the 29th June. What did you learn from I, Gemini, and how did that help in the creation of the new album? J: It helped with the process of how putting an album together actually works. You write songs and record them, but then you have to figure out what you’re doing with artwork, videos - all of that promotional stuff. Even elements that aren’t to do with it. R: Making sure that it all ties together. J: When you’ve released one record and you’re working on another, you will have seen the things about the first album campaign that you liked and that you didn’t like, and then you can have even more control over what you’re doing. If you’re not happy with something, don’t just let it slide - take even more control over it. Your music is described as ‘wonderfully weird pop’ - what keeps you guys inspired? R: All sorts of things: people, our life experiences, going to gigs - but mainly our friends really. Do you have any bands or artists in particular that inspire you? R: We always find that question really difficult to answer. We take tiny bits from everything instead of having one inspiration. Any pre-gig rituals? J: We’re trying to get into doing vocal warm-ups because we never used to do them and that’s kind of bad! R: It’s so important! J: Oh yeah, another thing! We often make tea out fresh lemon and ginger. Also coconut water! Their new album certainly has some amazing music on it, built around two epic tracks, Cool & Collected and Donnie Darko. It was created with The xx and Frank Ocean collaborator, David Wrench, at the production helm, and also includes contributions from pop experimentalist SOPHIE. Check it out now on Transgressive Records.


JOIN THE FUTURE CREATIVES Meet The Play Team - Access Creative College’s virtual ambassadors. They’re going to be up to some exciting stuff, so keep your eyes peeled. Making virtual, a reality.


SNAPZ Our Media virtual ambassador

DREAM Working on feature film productions as a director of photography or being a music video director or tour photographer.

I SPEND MY SPARE TIME... Taking and editing videos and photographs, spending time with family and drinking tea with friends.

FAVOURITE FILM The Fundamentals of Caring.

FAVOURITE FOOD Scampi and chips.

LAST GIG I WENT TO... Slam Dunk Festival.

LAST FILM I WENT TO... Avengers: Infinity War.



LOOP Our Music virtual ambassador

DREAM To become a well-known musician so that people all around the world will know my songs.

I SPEND MY SPARE TIME... Playing guitar and writing songs.

FAVOURITE SONG Tom Petty, Free Fallin’.


LAST GIG I WENT TO Ed Sheeran at the Etihad stadium with Anne Marie supporting.

DREAM HOLIDAY DESTINATION Three places I’ve always wanted to go are Greece, Barcelona and France.

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TWITCH Our Games virtual ambassador

DREAM To be a concept artist for Square Enix or Ubisoft.

I SPEND MY SPARE TIME... Playing on any PC or PS4 game and designing games assets.

FAVOURITE GAME Kingdom Hearts Franchise.

FAVOURITE FOOD Chocolate cookies.

LAST GAME I BOUGHT Kingdom Hearts and Chaos Child.

DREAM HOLIDAY DESTINATION Japan to visit the different Anime-themed cafés.

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DREAMING OF POP Billy Clayton is a 21 year old singer-songwriter currently studying Artist Development at Norwich. He describes his music as dream pop. He says ‘It’s definitely a form of pop and I like to create hyperreal atmospheres, so it’s dream pop. It’s synth-driven sonically and it’s very influenced by electronic music’. Billy chose to study at Access Creative College because of its more creative approach. ‘I wanted to normalise singing and playing in front of people and to build my confidence. I was very excited to study something I naturally love and I have made loads of connections’. Billy managed to make a connection with someone he’s a huge fan of! ‘I have been a fan of Charli XCX since her debut album, True Romance. She noticed I was a fan and began following me on social media. We then started to direct message oneanother. In 2016, I released my first EP Luminary and woke up one morning to a string of messages, sharing her love for a song she had heard. She even played it to her manager. As a result, she invited me to the studio and we had a listening session of her new and unreleased material and of my works in progress. She gave me guidance and praised my songwriting. It all felt so surreal and exciting to have somebody you’ve listened to for so long, listen to you in return and see your passion’. Since 2016, it’s been all systems go for Billy and he has some exciting stuff in the pipeline. He is currently creating


instrumentals and songwriting for an upcoming single. ‘I’m also rehearsing for some gigs and planning some visuals to accompany the release. Visuals are a very important aspect to my music and I can’t wait to be in the position to create bigger and better ones’. The access team saw him perform at Skynt (a music night run by the Norwich music business students) and he sure knows how to put on a show! He has a number of exciting performances on the horizon, but is keeping them secret for now. All he would tell us is, ‘A single will be coming to accompany them’. All of Billy’s music has been selfproduced, so he would love to collaborate with producers to see how the dynamic influences his creative process. So, what advice would he offer to aspiring musicians? ‘Don’t compromise your true passions for the sake of convenience. If you’ve never wanted to be anything but an artist, then there’s no other job you’ll be better at. So make it a reality!’. To see Billy’s musical updates in all their neon glory, follow his Instagram @billy_clayton.

Charli XCX


LOW-DOWN ON LUNAR Access Creative College is lucky enough to be involved in a number of festivals - Latitude, Sundown and MADE to name a few. This year, we’re lucky enough to add Lunar to the list. Lunar is celebrating its fifth birthday this year and will see the likes of Goldfrapp and The Stranglers hit the stage. We spoke to John Fell, the event manager of Lunar Festival run by Moonshire Collective. His main role is to book the artists, manage the budget and plan marketing and logistics. Once they’re in the bag, he is on site to make sure artist visits and performances run smoothly.

these artists. As well as performers, we will have students involved with running the stage and dealing with artist liaison and sound management. It’s definitely a good opportunity for the students and it’s great for the festival to have such a motivated team involved.

How are college students helping out this year? We’ve a whole host of students helping this year! We created a competition to play Lunar which has had over 50 submissions to date and there is a college team working to deliver a dedicated stage for

What qualities do you need to do your job? I think the main quality is to remain calm. It can be a very hectic role as you approach the summer as we run three festivals in total [the others are Mostly Jazz and Moseley Folk Festival]. As soon as you start to panic or feel overwhelmed


‘It’s definitely a good opportunity for the students and it’s great for the festival to have such a motivated team involved.’

you are prone to making bad decisions, so remaining calm is the key. Good organisational skills and being prepared come hand in hand. Being organised and paying attention to detail is vital to be successful in a role like mine. What are you most looking forward to at Lunar this year? In terms of running the event, having the doors open and everything running smoothly is the first point I look forward too. Once it is up and running and the team know all their roles, I look forward to some of the artists. I really want to see Songhoy Blues on the Sunday and the latest (with a lot of potential) Boy Azooga on the Friday. We also have Glee Club Comedy, Citizen Khan and Ed Miliband’s podcast which I think will be fun! To get your tickets, head to

Main Photo by Jolyon Holroyd. Above: John Fell

What has been your biggest career highlight to date? We’ve had a few cool things, but in 2015 we booked Johnny Marr from The Smiths to play Moseley Folk. Once he had finished we managed to catch up for half an hour about new music and he was a genuinely lovely man. Sometimes it’s not a good idea to meet your heroes, but I’m glad I did with Johnny!


PHOTO GALLERY Given how great their pictures looked in the last edition of access, we thought it was time to head back to Birmingham to see what the media students there are capturing. We asked what was the motivation behind their projects. Katie Ryle said, ‘I decided to capture the images as part of my digital graphics assignment and to use for my own photography business’. Zara Merali took the images for a friend. She said ‘I took these photos for Oli as he needed more photographs for his social media and his work’. For Monique Gayle, it was all about taking photographs that reflect her personal style and inspiration. Here are some of our favourite images from these aspiring photographers. If you’re a Digital Media student and fancy having your work in the next student gallery then send it through to

Photo: Monique Gayle Photo: Katie Ryle


Photo: Katie Ryle

Photo: Zara Merali Photo: Monique Gayle


10 TIPS FOR A HAPPIER YOU It’s time to fight against the mental health stigma. We have put together some of what we believe are the top tips to maintain self-care starting now. There are so many different things you can do which may make you feel a little bit better each day. Here are our suggestions‌ 28

TIP 1 – Tidy up Yes, you probably hear the same words from a parent/flat mate but this is a legitimate act of self-care for everybody out there. Clear room = clear mind. Make your bed, put the clothes away that you trip over each morning and take those empty glasses back to the kitchen. TIP 2 – Listen to your favourite music Everybody has a song out there that cheers them up whether it’s calming, motivational, too loud to hear your thoughts, or too cheesy to admit you like it – a secret guilty pleasure. Singing this song at the top of your lungs will release built up emotions and allow you to be in your own world where nothing else matters. TIP 3 – Complete small tasks Send that text you’ve been putting off for weeks. Call a grandparent or maybe even just wake up, wash your face and get ready for the day! Any small task is an accomplishment and will give you a sense of pride and a purpose for that day. TIP 4 – Write it down This can literally be anything. You could start a new self-help journal where you write down your thoughts for the day, positive and negative. This takes them out of your head and on to paper. TIP 5 – Talk to someone Who do you trust and admire most in your life? Reach out to people for a chat about anything you feel like talking about. Talking keeps your mind busy and opening up allows you to relieve a weight that has been on your shoulders. TIP 6 – Exercise We all know we should probably do a bit more of this and in terms of self-care it increases endorphins and other feel-good chemicals, whilst reducing the level of stress hormones. This doesn’t mean go and grab a local gym membership and train everyday. It’s just a suggestion that going for a run or bike ride may help with your self-care journey. TIP 7 – Take a shower or a bath This is all about feeling refreshed and revitalised. It can be anything from a quick rinse in the shower to a long soak in a hot soapy bath. TIP 8 – Switch off your phone We’re all constantly plastered to our phones and social media. Take a break from it and turn it off for a couple of hours - you won’t miss out on anything major. It’s healthy to switch off from the world every so often. TIP 9 – Make a warm drink There is nothing that can’t be solved with a hot drink and maybe a couple of biscuits. There’s obviously the classics of tea and coffee, but why not push the boat out to a hot chocolate, warm Vimto or herbal tea? Sit back, relax and enjoy. TIP 10 – Unfollow/mute those ‘negative nellies’. If you’re scrolling through Twitter and you read a tweet that you feel is unnecessarily negative and has affected your mood, unfollow the account. There is absolutely no harm in having a spring clean of your following list in order to maintain a positive attitude and feel-good perspective on the world. For more tips and help head to


DOWNLOAD IN PICTURES Carrying on the festival season, the access team were entertained by the likes of Ozzy and Guns ‘n’ Roses at this year’s Download. Here are some of their images. For more head to our social media...

Sunrise - the only time the campsite is peaceful!

Sign of the horns at Bullet For My Valentine


Waiting for Ozzy to return for the encore.

Watch out the Download dog is behind you!

Friday headliners Avenged Sevenfold

Where’s the mosh pit?

Sharing the love!

Slash is worried his performance was a bit wooden!


‘The college helped me to meet like-minded people and gave me very valuable recording experience.’

Peter Coppin (right) with co-owner David Stephens.

MAKING MELODIES Peter Coppin started by studying Music Performance at Lincoln and is now the co-owner of Melody Music Rooms in Grantham. Melody Music Rooms offers one to one instrument tuition for anything from drums to singing. They currently have 200 students a week who are mentored by seven experienced teachers. Peter explained, ‘I like to think that we inspire those students to have the confidence to reach their musical potential’. The seeds of the business were planted at Access Creative College: ‘I suppose my experiences there led me to set up the business. The college helped me to meet like-minded people and gave me very valuable recording experience. It gave me a professional attitude towards playing and how to progress in the industry’. After leaving college, Peter drummed in two bands: That Sunday Feeling, who toured with McFly, and Paighton, who supported Lawson. ‘I played over 20 UK tours, including iconic venues like Wembley Arena and Sheffield Motorpoint arena to 20,000 people. We worked with some of the UK’s top producers, organised professional music videos and put together national and regional


PR campaigns. All this experience now feeds into what happens at Melody Music Rooms’. At the minute, Peter is working on some pretty cool stuff: ‘We’re starting to gain some traction with our recording studio. We’ve our own live and control room as well as a sound engineer. We like to help bands and artists to not just record a song, but to create a sound that’s in their head and capture and mould it. This is a great platform to get attention from the bigger radio stations. We are also running “build a band”’ workshops in the summer holidays. These run over four days and gives like-minded students a chance to rehearse, record and even play a show at the end’. So what advice does he have for anyone wanting to make it in the music business? ‘Practice your skills. Develop your talents and enjoy the process of getting better. Don’t concentrate on being famous. Success and fame are by-products of the love and passion you put into your music’.

‘I use the weather and time as the primary metaphors’

WEATHER GIRL Shenâi MIça is one of our Music Performance degree students. With influences including Jhené Aiko and Frank Ocean, she is currently making quite a splash in the Birmingham music scene. She has just released her EP, so we thought it was time to catch up and see what else she’s been up to! Why did you decide to study here? From the audition process, Access Creative College had more of a vision and belief in what my journey with them could potentially be like. Unlike my alternative university choices, I was given an unconditional offer, which further affirmed my view that the tutors believed in my abilities. So, you’ve just released you new EP, please tell us more? It’s called Nightosphere and is a collaboration between myself and my producer, Demarae. The project delves into my deepest and sometimes darkest thoughts. I use the weather and time as primary metaphors using pathetic fallacy [the attribution of human feelings and responses to inanimate things or animals] - it is one of my favourite tools to use. You were a featured artist in a club on Broad Street in Birmingham. Please tell us more about that? Since January, I have been a featured artist at

the monthly event, Dope Vibes. This night is all about bringing musicians and music lovers together. As an outsider, I have been humbled by my acceptance in this city, especially at events such as this, where all musical art forms are accepted. What else is in the pipeline? I’ve been a part of Capital XTRA’s Music Potential programme. Following this I networked and collaborated with some upand-coming artists, along with those who have been in the industry a lot longer, such as Birmingham rapper, C4. If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring musicians, what would it be? Know your worth and realise your potential and what you’re capable of. To keep an eye on what Shenâi is up to, head to her social - Instagram: @Shenâi.official Facebook: @Shenâi MIça SoundCloud: @Shenâi MIça


Watching thriller Safe on Netflix



Playing action/strategy game XCOM Enemy Within

We wanted to know what you’re up to, so we headed to our Bristol and Manchester centres to find out. If you want to shout out about what you’ve been doing, drop us a line with a good quality photo of yourself to


Playing survival game Fortnite

We look forward to your answers!



Listening to Alter Bridge

Listening to Symphonies of Sickness LP by Carcass




Listening to Only Angel by Harry Styles


Playing Platinum Games Nier: Automata



Listening to Lonzo by Lil Bibby


Listening to Metallica


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MY TOP 5 GIGS For this edition we asked Access Creative College IT Manager, Alan Walker, to tell us his favourite gigs of all time. Alan is a bit of a skate punk fan so it’s no surprise to find some of the genres’s finest in this list. 1. No Use For A Name / Mad Caddies / Snuff / Tilt / Consumed - Manchester UK (Hop & Grape) - 2000 I grew up during a time when skate punk was huge. The venue on this night was incredibly small with less than 100 people in attendance - during their prime many of these bands would play to much larger crowds. I was very lucky to see some of my favourite bands on the same bill!

2. Andrius Mamontovas - Vilnius, Lithuania (Siemens Arena) - 2013

Andrius isn’t exactly a household name outside of his native Lithuania, but in his home country he is revered and respected for his excellent songwriting. On this night he played to over 12,000 fans, which makes it equal to household names such as Metallica who have also played sell-out concerts at this stadium. If it wasn’t for the fact that he sings the majority of his songs in Lithuanian, he would have been a global hit across the world.

3. Jedi Mind Tricks - Amsterdam, Holland (Melkweg) - 2010

Underground hip-hop legends, Jedi Mind Tricks, rarely venture into Europe so this was an opportunity I couldn’t afford to


miss. It was great to hear them play hit after hit from their highly-acclaimed album Violent by Design which remains one of my favourite albums of all time.

4. King Prawn - Ashton-under-Lyne UK (The Witchwood) - 2000

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the short-lived UK skacore genre. King Prawn toured relentlessly during this time along with bands such as Capdown and Farse. Their sound was like nothing else in the scene, blending ska-punk with hip-hop and reggae. They stopped playing in 2003 but returned in 2012 to the delight of their fans.

5. John Martyn - Salford UK (Lowry Theatre) - 2008

I was lucky enough to see folk/blues/ jazz legend John Martyn play this concert two months before he passed away. On this particular night he was sat on stage in a wheelchair, clutching a huge staff - a walking aid made necessary following his recent lower leg amputation. In between songs, it was impossible to understand what he was saying, but as soon as he started playing, the magic of his voice and his talented guitar-playing shone through.


We’re looking for event reviews for the next edition of access. Whether it’s a festival, a gaming show, a photo exhibition or a gig, we’d like to publish your review in our magazine, which reaches over 10,000 people. Please send text (500 words max) and high resolution images to 37



Photo Jolyon Holroyd


27th-29th JULY - UMBERSLADE FARM A music and arts festival headlined by Goldfrapp and Basement Jaxx. Access Creative College is curating the New Blood Stage.


SAT 4th AUGUST - ST GEORGE’S PARK A free, performing and visual arts event for the community of East Bristol which attracts around 10,000 people. Look out for our advertorial in the programme.

LINCOLN Photo Here & Now


28th JULY - PERRY PARK, BIRMINGHAM Come and watch Dizzee Rascal and DJ EZ at MADE, a celebration of arts, music and culture. College students will be there providing sound and site services.



20th-22nd JULY - HARBOUR AREA One of the UK’s largest free festivals and a chance for the city to showcase its rich musical and performance roots.



23rd-26th AUGUST - NORTON DISNEY A surreal, immersive festival experience in an abandoned woodland village. Headliners include Friendly Fires, Four Tet and Everything Everything.


24th AUGUST - CITY CENTRE Weekend at the Asylum has grown to become the largest Steampunk festival in the World. It is run by the Ministry of Steampunk and features city centre parades and bizarre happenings.




13th-14th JULY - GUNNERSBY PARK Two-day city festival featuring Skepta, N.E.R.D and Childish Gambino.


12th-15th JULY - HENHAM PARK, SUFFOLK UK Festival 2017’s Winner of Best Major Festival. This year’s headliners are The Killers and Alt-J. Access Creative College are once again running a stage plus games workshop activities in the Inbetweeners area.

27th-29th MAY - OLYMPIA LONDON Featuring favourite stars from TV, film and comics including Jason Momoa (Aquaman, Game of Thrones); Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who) and Meat Loaf (Rocky Horror and Fight Club).








20th-22nd JULY - JODRELL BANK An intergalactic festival of music, science and the exploration of space with The Chemical Brothers and Future Islands.

11th-12th AUGUST - ALEXANDRA PARK A vibrant celebration of Caribbean music, dance, theatre and costume.

21st-22nd JULY - IPSWICH, SUFFOLK Access Creative College is hosting a stage at this growing event which this year features The Bluetones, Paul Young and The Happy Mondays.

19-26th JULY - YORK Festival of comedy and music with Michael Palin, Reginald D Hunter and Ronnie Scott’s All Stars.

24th-26th AUGUST - BRAMHAM PARK Major festival near York featuring Kendrick Lamar, Kings of Leon and Panic! at the Disco!


access Summer 2018  

Summer edition of Access Creative College's student magazine. This edition focuses on festivals, including Latitude, Jimmy's Festival, Downl...

access Summer 2018  

Summer edition of Access Creative College's student magazine. This edition focuses on festivals, including Latitude, Jimmy's Festival, Downl...