Leeds Met students find their voice at Leeds Music Trust launch
Ricky Wilson and the Kaiser Chiefs. Photo credit: Rebekah Brooks
Leeds Music Trust, which is supported by Leeds Met, opened their doors at The Old Chapel Studios in Holbeck on Friday - four years after The Kaiser Chiefs kick-started fundraising when they gave the Trust a generous donation.
Leeds Met graduate and lead singer of the band Ricky Wilson, who is currently starring alongside music legends Kylie, Tom Jones and will.i.am on the hit BBC show The Voice, said he was grateful for the support that Leeds Music Trust had given and continued to give the Kaiser Chiefs and that he felt proud that they had been able to return that support.
Senior lecturer in Broadcast Media Technologies, Tim Blackwell, who is friends with Ricky after studying together at Leeds Met and has directed a number of promos for the Kaiser Chiefs, filmed and documented Friday's opening night with a team of student volunteers including undergraduates from his course, John Foxley-Evans and Rebecca Pedley. He said: "This event was a fantastic opportunity for a number of keen undergraduates to volunteer and get hands on experience at a high profile industry event.
"I worked with five third year students from a range of courses who assisted with the filming and photography of the event."
Peace Studies and International Relations student, Rebekah Brooks, was tasked with taking photos of the guests and the event. She said: "It was brilliant to photograph the launch of something that combines music and charity. Any experience taking photos is beneficial to me but when it's at an event that is charity-based it makes it all the more worthwhile. It also gives some insight as to what working in the photography industry is like which is key for when I finish my degree and hopefully pursue it."
Ricky Wilson studied Graphics Art and Design followed by an MA in the same subject. Speaking about his time at Leeds Met, he said his favourite memories were the University's "vibe", the "creativity" that his course allowed him and the friends that he made.
"You go to university to get the piece of paper at the end - the degree - and that's great, and it did me the world of good and got me my first job," he said. "I wouldn't have got that job without my degree, but I wouldn't have got the degree without the friends I made. We all helped each other, it wasn't so much a competition, but I wouldn't have been as good as I was if they weren't as good as they were, we all made each other better. We helped each other along, and most of us are still in touch, we're all over the planet."
Melvin Benn, who received an honorary doctorate from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2011, performed the honours alongside the Kaiser Chiefs at the opening ceremony at The Old Chapel Studios.
The Old Chapel was the first purpose built rehearsal studio to open in Leeds, opening in 1982 as Parkside Studios in Armley, before later moving to an old Wesleyan chapel building at Czar Street, Holbeck, becoming The Old Chapel studios in 1992. From the start the studios have been the starting blocks for several of the most successful acts to emerge from Leeds since the early 80's including the Kaiser Chiefs, I Like Trains and The Pigeon Detectives.
Leeds Music Trust's mission is to provide educational musical opportunities that are ethical, intergenerational and inclusive. The Trust's aim is to promote the art of music, develop musical education and skills and provide a service to musicians and local communities.
. Ricky Wilson's full interview will appear in the next issue of Leeds Met's Alumni magazine, Momentum.