Leeds School of Arts

Five Leeds artists to watch

Sam Nicholls, Senior Lecturer in Music at the university picks five artists with a strong Leeds connection who are currently breaking through to get national recognition.

Prospa– electronic duo Propsa are, and big favourites of Radio 1’s new BBC Introducing Dance show, hosted by ex-Leeds resident Jaguar. Sitting between traditional house and rave, their tracks are a hit in clubs, at festival on the radio and before the Coronavirus pandemic undertook a Leeds residency, performing at clubs across the city.

Team Picture – 5 piece alternative rock outfit Team Picture, have been impressing crowds at festivals across the country for the last couple of years, and have just released their debut album on local label Clue Records. Their strong visual identity and wonky melodic riffs are sure to win them many more fans in the future.

Mya Craig – leading the charge for local R&B, Mya Craig has supported the hottest international talent across the country, with videos premieres from Link Up TV and an upcoming tour with Kiana Ledé later in the year.

Jasmine – 5 piece Jazz quintet, led by the eponymous Jasmine Whalley, taking inspiration artists including MF Doom, Soweto Kinch and Karriem Riggins, the group has gained support from Jazz North and Music:Leeds, performing at some of the UK’s most renowned Jazz Festivals, including Manchester Jazz, Marsden Jazz, Scarborough Jazz, Durham Jazz, and We Out Here Festival.

James Orvis – Leeds Beckett alumni James Orvis makes hypnotic & melodic dance music inspired by the likes of Kiasmos & Stephan Bodzin and like Prospa, is heavily featured on the BBC Introducing Dance show. Catch him at one of the nights put together by his own label, Balter Records.

Sam Nicholls is a Senior Lecturer in Music, and is also Director of Music:Leeds, an organisation that supports and promotes the local music sector.

Their Launchpad program supports artists through giving them the opportunity to fund recording sessions, receive mentoring and perform at festivals such as Live At Leeds, Inner City Electronic, Jazz Leeds, at Millennium Square and Leeds Lights Switch On. Find out more on the Music:Leeds website.

Sam Nicholls

Senior Lecturer / Leeds School Of Arts

Before joining our University in 2012, Sam worked in the music industry for over 10 years in successful roles as a live music promoter, record label director and A&R, musician, songwriter and producer. As well as delivering a number of industry based modules and research at the University, he is involved in developing partnerships to improve access to music industry roles with local and national bodies.

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