10 of the hottest names from Norwich’s thriving music scene
- Credit: Archant
It's no secret that Norwich has a vibrant music scene. Sabrina Johnson picks out 10 of the hottest names with city connections.
Let's Eat Grandma
Let's Eat Grandma; best friends Rosa Walton, 17, and Jenny Hollingworth, 17, released their debut album I, Gemini earlier this year to critical acclaim.
Creating a zany sound that is innocent and sinister all at once, they had even been tipped for a Mercury nomination, but sadly missed out. After playing several summer festivals the autumn will see them heading out to New York and on a UK-wide tour.
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A Norfolk boy and graduate of Norwich's Access to Music College, Connor Mullally, 19, says 'My style is basically a big mash up. I love soul, I can't get enough Marvin Gaye or Sam Cooke, but my music is a bit more modern.
I sing old school but the music is quite edgy and new.' His recent releases Overdose and Troubled Love embrace his neo-soul style and have been noticed by the likes of MTV.
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Describing 2016 as a 'wild ride so far', folk-rock artist Jake Morrell, 26, and his band have so far played at Glastonbury, the main stage at Jimmy's Farm Harvest Festival and headlined Norwich Arts Centre. Jake, from King's Lynn, said: 'I've had my single Wire & Thorns played on Radio 2 by Dermot O'Leary a good few times.
'I've picked up management and am now prepping new demos for publishing. The ball is certainly rolling and I can only hope that it continues to do so into 2017 and onwards.'
Catnip and Claws
Future Radio's Next Big Thing winner Emma Catnip, the artist behind Catnip and Claws, has had an exciting year. Beating over 100 other entries to win the competition this year, she describes her music as 'curious, melodic electronic ramblings laced with harder, broken beats.'
As a lone electronic artist performing live on stage, she is showing other electronic artists that fantastic live performances are possible.
Montagues and Capulets
First meeting whilst studying at Access To Music, the band released their latest single Aileen earlier this year to critical acclaim. They said: '2016 has thrown up some amazing opportunities with our sold out show at The Garage and being asked to perform at The UEA and Waterfront Main Stage.'
When asked about the local music scene they added: 'There's some amazing bands here and we have had the pleasure of playing with most of them at some point in our careers. It's been a great year, we still hope for something big to happen for us before the years out but as a local band working hard it's never felt as close as it has before for all the hard work starting to pay off.'
Bright young things of the folk scene, featuring the accordion, banjo, fiddle, slide guitar, charango and bansitar, the quartet have been described as 'forward thinking' and producing 'touching and rather beautiful modern folk'.
Their next gig is on August 19 at Eaton Park Café. It is part of a fantastic new series of concerts over the summer organised by Ian Hudson from the Bicycle Shop and a prime example of the Norwich music scene at it's best.
Classically trained singer/songwriter/producer and creator of 'twinklestep' Abigail Blake, 21, is a graduate of Norwich's Access to Music.
She said: 'I've always had a love for acoustic music and playing the harp, but I've also always had a passion for electronic production, so I've been experimenting in bringing them together. I think Norwich has one of the most vibrant music scenes in the UK – I love being a part of it. Especially with the Access To Music college here – it's the hub for the next generation of talent.'
It's hard not to compare Maya Law's voice with the likes of Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill – both of whom she cites as inspirations. A finalist in Future Radio's Next Big Thing, Maya crosses genre's her music drawing on hip-hop, reggae and pop.
Reflecting on the year so far, she said: '2016 has been a musically mad year so far with huge amounts of diverse artists. Norwich has to be the one of the best places to start your gigging off with. It's 100pc incredibly busy and beautiful.'
Anna Mudeka is originally from Zimbabwe but is now very much part of the Norfolk scene. Her six-piece band play a fusion of music driven from the mbira music of Zimbabwe. So far 2016 has seen her and her band play at Latitude and given air time on Radio 1.
She said: '2016 has been amazing, I have enjoyed so many doors opening for my music. Having been based in Norfolk since 1994 this county has embraced my music and culture to its heart and I am grateful. There's so much more to come for the rest of the year and I'm pleased to be part of the Norwich/Norfolk music scene!'
Based in Norwich, singer songwriter Grant Ley first picked up a guitar in 2011 but since then has gone from strength to strength. Championed in the UK by BBC Introducing who have described him as 'a big deal' he has toured Brazil and later this year will headline Norwich Arts Centre and release his new EP.
He said: 'The Norwich music scene was what launched my musical career. I found it to be so incredibly diverse, with something always going on. There is so much talent around that it was nearly impossible for me to not get drawn into it.'