Sam Nicholls is a Senior Lecturer in Music, teaching music industry and partnering with industry.
Before joining University in 2012, Sam worked in the music industry for over ten years in successful roles as a live music promoter, record label director and A&R, musician, songwriter and producer. Alongside his work for the University, Sam is the Director of Music:Leeds / Music Local, supporting the music sector throughout Yorkshire.
Previously, Sam has run a music venue and live promotions company, founded the Dance To The Radio record label and was guitarist in the band ¡Forward, Russia!, signed to Mute / EMI Records in North America as well self-releasing in Europe, achieving two UK Top 40 singles. Managing projects such as Live At Leeds Unconference and Under The Owls, a free music & live art festival in Leeds, led him to be appointed as an advisor for organisations and groups such as Yorkshire Festival, Leeds 2023 Artistic Programme, PRS Foundation and Yorkshire Sound Women Network.
Creating and facilitating conversations in the local music sector, Sam convened the first Music:Leeds event in late 2017, later establishing the organisations as a not-for-profit with the purpose of acting as a centralised point to support, develop, grow and promote music in the city across all levels, genres and cultures. Recently this has expanded to provide support for the music sector throughout Yorkshire through Launchpad, and consultancy on music strategy through Music Local.
Within Leeds Beckett, Sam helped establish the BA (Cons) Music Industries Management course, and leads many music industry-based modules across many undergraduate & postgraduate music courses. He has presented and published work on creating self-sustaining music careers, and regional support for music sectors. In 2017 he coordinated the Universities participation in the AHRC-funded UK Live Music Census.
- BA (Hons) Music Industries Management
- MA Popular Music & Culture
Sam has written on subjects such as fan-funding, diversion of streaming revenue, and audience engagement for independent artists. More recently, he has written on place-based regional interventions to support localised music ecologies and music scenes.
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