A tasty Hot Noodle with the wonderful Hannah Trigwell!
Originating from Leeds, UK, Hannah Trigwell is an established alt-pop singer-songwriter with a captivating online presence. With over 120 million YouTube views, numerous top ten international hits (including 2 chart topping singles in Laos and Vietnam) and a growing online community of over 800,000 followers, Hannah Trigwell’s exceptional journey is one that holds no limits.
Beginning her career as a busker at the age of 17, Hannah has since been nominated as ‘One to Watch’ by various national publications, completed sold-out, international tours and supported the likes of Jess Glynne, Jake Bugg, and Boyce Avenue. Hannah’s debut album, Red, soared to number 4 in the Malaysian album charts and her latest releases, including ‘The Thing Is’ (1 million Spotify Streams) and ‘Taboo’ (Record Of The Week), have seen an abundance of support from radio stations, including BBC radio 1, as well as being featured on prime Spotify playlists New Music Friday, Pop Hits and Easy.
Thanks for the inspiration, Hannah!
We're excited to launch our brand-new BA Honours programme in Electronic Music and Business* for Producers, DJs, and Artists. The new course builds on WaterBear’s reputation for offering a new approach to higher education and innovation, with a commitment to smaller classes and one-on-one mentoring.
The course will be delivered onsite, online, and on demand and has been put together by industry professionals at the very top of their game including; Billy Mauseth - Founder Director of the UK’s foremost conference for electronic music, the Brighton Music Conference, Claire Spooner (Just Her) - Internationally acclaimed producer, songwriter, label owner, DJ and vocalist, James Fitchett (Prok | Fitch) - One of Beatport’s highest selling artists of all time, plus Spotify streams in the millions, Tim Belcher - Veteran producer, studio engineer, DJ and tutor, signed to over 50 labels and with around 500 releases under his belt, and Jack Kingslake - Artist currently signed to ‘electronic soul’ label Tru Thoughts. A go-to producer for a massive range of Hip Hop, Grime, Soul, RnB and Trip Hop artists.
The course is fully accredited and approved by Falmouth University, and is completely flexible with a wide choice of course modules and activity tailored to the individual including;
• Music Production – writing, recording, mixing, mastering.
• Performance – on stage and in the studio.
• Music Business – DJs & Producers will learn to innovate and design their own life in music.
• One-to-one mentoring – mentoring with top DJs and producers.
• Access to professional studios – free rehearsal and recording time in professional studios.
• Work experience – opportunities to work at leading radio stations, record labels, festivals, and live events.
Students will study across our citywide campus in the heart of Brighton, with facilities including two Apple Mac suites, recording & mix studios, rehearsal rooms, and of course WaterBear’s very own seafront venue.
The BA Honours degree course in Electronic Music and Business* is designed to give Producers, DJs, and Artists the perfect blend of artistic freedom alongside practIcal strategies to forge their own careers.
The degree is built on three fundamental elements – music, career, and projects. It deals with what really matters in the industry, will expand students’ options and push them to create original, boundary-shifting music.
*Subject to approval Spring 2021
Welcome to our August Round Up of all the latest news from WaterBear HQ. Our focus recently has been on resilience, something truly at the core of our ethos at WaterBear. Afterall, that’s what a ‘Water Bear’ is known for. Being resilient over these last few months has been essential. Not only are we approaching our September reopening with confidence, we’re also hugely excited by all the latest announcements we have in store! We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to ensure our city-wide campuses are COVID-19 secure, creating environments which nurture creativity and excellence. Read on to find out more…
No matter the situation, we are dedicated to providing our students with all the tools, resources and facilities they need. So, and to support the local live community, we’ve acquired our very own live music / club venue on Brighton seafront! That means even if it takes a while for the live sector to return to normality, you’ll still have a place to play. The venue will also serve as teaching space and will be a great place to hang out and socialise.
This is also a great opportunity for MA students who might be looking to develop careers within the live industry. Combining an MA project with a functioning music venue has amazing potential for career development. To find out more, please get in touch.
Check it out:
We’ve also got more new premises at 15 Bond Street, situated in the iconic North Laine area of Brighton. Here you’ll find more teaching space and a large open mezzanine area, plus it’s directly above one of the best coffee shops in Brighton. 15 Bond Street really is a creative’s haven.
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We are thrilled to welcome award-winning duo Royal Blood into the fold as WaterBear patrons. And to celebrate this partnership, we’re giving away the first ever Royal Blood Scholarship award, the recipient of which will have all of their course tuition fees paid. The scholarship applies to all current and incoming BA (Hons) students, who are studying on-site in Brighton or online. Scholarship applications are open until the end of August so if you are still considering joining us, now is the perfect time to apply.
For details of how to apply for the Royal Blood Scholarship and all Ts and Cs click here
We love innovative & forward-thinking musicians – and that is exactly why Rabea Massaad is a fantastic fit for WaterBear. Not only is he an insane guitarist, he’s a titan of YouTube and a real champion of the DIY music ethic. Students will be seeing more of Rabea from September, producing lesson content and getting involved with masterclasses and events. And it’s not only Rabea joining the team. Our tutor roster is always growing with amazing people, keen to share their skills and knowledge.
Here’s Rabea to tell you more…
Our Master’s course, the 1-year MA Music Entrepreneur, just keeps getting better! The opening of our new venue will allow all WaterBear MA students to gain invaluable experience in a real-world setting – fantastic for anyone looking to gain skills in venue and events management. Alongside this we've also launched our Production Lab, these will be optional weekly music production workshops, again available to all MA students. These workshops will offer in-depth content from our highly experienced audio production team.
And if all this wasn't enough, there’s now a tuition fee loan available of up to £11,222, meaning you can access an additional £1272 on top of your course fees for any kit, software or gear you may need. Find out more about the course here.
So you can see we’re confident this September at WaterBear is going to be epic! Our incredible, diverse and talented students and tutors bring the college to life and we can’t wait to open our doors. If you’re interested in being part of WaterBear or finding out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re ready – hope you are too!
Falmouth University accredits WaterBear music degrees - a commitment to quality and innovation
WaterBear founding directors Adam and Bruce talk about the new partnership with Falmouth University who are now accrediting our BA and MA music degrees. They explain how this relationship strengthens the degree courses, WaterBear's unique offering and the musicians who study at the college both online and on-site.
Bruce: We’ve got some very exciting news!
Adam: Absolutely! From this year (2020), we have a new university partner – Falmouth University – who will validate all our new degree courses, which we’re incredibly excited about. Falmouth is one of the foremost arts universities in the world, with a firm commitment to partnerships and innovation.
Bruce: This new partnership will apply to anyone who’s starting a music course with us in 2020. The reason it’s so exciting is that it’s such a great cultural fit because of the commitment to quality in the arts in Higher Education and innovation. We’ve developed a new BA (Hons) qualification – ‘BA (Hons) Career Musician’ – and also a Masters qualification entitled MA ‘Music Entrepreneur’ already under this new partnership.
Adam: All the great stuff at WaterBear hasn’t changed. We’re still WaterBear. It’s still has independent learning at the heart. We’re just partnering with another university for our new music courses. All of our current courses remain unchanged and so does our proud partnership with the University of Chichester, our university partner for all existing courses.
Bruce: The content has evolved for the new courses. We’ve still got a big focus on areas such as Technique, Improvisation, Live Performance, Songwriting and Composition, Studio Production, Recording Mixing and Mastering, Entrepreneurship, Business Studies… all that great stuff as before. But where it’s really different and where it has evolved is in its flexibility. You can build the course around your lifestyle and the way you want to study. Your course, whether it’s BA or Masters, is even more about you and where you want to take it professionally. Of course, that part is still carefully curated by lots of one-on-one discussion, flexible learning delivery and small class sizes.
Adam: By the time you read this our website will have full details about these new degree courses and how to apply for them, which is really straightforward. For the Masters you can apply directly to WaterBear and there’s a Falmouth University application form to fill out. For the three-year BA, you apply through UCAS with the new course codes on the website. For the 2-year accelerated distance learning BA, again you use the application form. And as usual, all applicants for all courses are invited to a 1-2-1 consultation. So, that’s it! We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone later this year on the new WaterBear / Falmouth University courses. If you’ve got any questions about our flexible degrees, just drop us a line and we’re very much looking forward to seeing you soon!
Bruce: Thank you for being part of the WaterBear journey.
If you have any questions at all, please contact the admissions manager at WaterBear, Megan Sayer, via the email address: [email protected]. If you are yet to apply, or are currently holding an offer from us, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Rest assured that Megan will be in touch with all offer holders very soon with details as to what to do next in regard to transferring your application.
I wasn’t going to go to NAMM. I didn't have the urge to look at acres of new music gear. The competing noise emanating from a congregation of the world’s musos was not for me. I’ve had the same guitar, amp and pedalboard since the late '80s. My mentality simply does not agree with the ethos present in the world’s biggest music store.
What swung it was the people; the sheer number of friends and supporters of WaterBear attending made the event special. I could meet up with the world’s most innovative YouTubers and prolific musicians under one roof over a long weekend. This is beyond cool, and so I began a day-and-a-half suicide mission to LA. Jetlag be damned!
I arrived on the Friday in time to join Andy Guitar, Justin Guitar and old friend Lee Anderton for a poolside bar meet. They’d been hard at it filming and making content, and by the time I arrived, despite the hours already spent, they were surprisingly cheerful. I met YouTube prodigy, Mary Spender. She lives in Hove near the college (despite the geography we’d never crossed paths before) along with Peter Honoré, Mike Bradley and many other influential musicians – see if you can spot who’s who in the photo.
Interestingly, the mainstream music industry is so conservative these days. I truly believe in the spirit of Rock n Roll. Art, innovation and risk-taking are displayed more on YouTube and in memes than in most other places. I love hanging with these innovators! It’s the wild west, uncharted territory...
I know that, sadly, there will be always trolling and hostility online. However, by and large the community is characterised by warmth and an unrivalled sense of community.
The following day I headed to the show. Now, I really have the worst – and I mean THE worst – sense of direction. To make matters worse (and to save costs), I was travelling on my own. I can literally get lost in a straight line on one street. I should always have a tour manager and when I saw the sheer scale of NAMM and number of people, I felt a bit doomed. Coupled with intermittent WiFi, I literally had no way of contacting my mates. However, I didn’t need to worry. After an hour or two I’d done the rounds and got a feel for where everyone was. The UK made a solid impression at NAMM. Bare Knuckle pick-ups, Orange, Blackstar, Victory, Ashdown, Laney, etc., made a remarkable contribution with amazing stands, products and performances.
Inspired by this, it’s my hope that WaterBear will make a significant contribution to the UK’s cultural and creative exports. In a similar vein to our isles’ approach to music, we also do music education very well. British art and craft has a certain flair and I hope WaterBear can contribute to this.
I hooked up with the Brighton YouTube contingency and we scouted out cool musicians for masterclasses for the college. I’m always looking for grassroots innovators rather than big stars, but I bumped into Billy Sheehan, who was a massive influence on me growing up. The dude looked like a spring chicken and still plays like a god.
Highlights were found in the scores of tiny stands, cottage industries and small-scale entrepreneurs pitching their wares. I felt inextricable empathy with them, knowing what it takes to put everything on the line with a startup. I worried for some; they are pitching their individual products in a marketplace oversaturated by the giants of the music retail industry. I hoped they’d make the cut and the work would be worth it.
NAMM had so much innovation and human ingenuity on display. Too many mind-blowing products to list, it was inspiring and worrying in equal amounts. NAMM, and the wider industry, need to do much better with prioritising sustainability – so much plastic and waste!
Unfortunately, just like home, the minute you leave the centre you are faced with the reality of life on the streets of LA. There isn't a safety net here, and if you fall by the wayside, you could end up falling through the cracks. Sadly, I met musicians living this way, and Brighton is no exception. I don’t want to get political on a blog about NAMM. However, it does not seem right.
Rock and Metal has maintained its course and trajectory. ‘Everywhere you go the kids wanna rock' still seems to be the case, but maybe that's just an advertisement for these type of shows… One thing’s for sure I've heard so many twelve bars it has left me feeling blue.
That being said, there were some impressive performances on the Boss and Roland stage and it’s so great when people pull new ideas out of the bag. Mix styles and find new ways to make noise. Inspiring.
I haven't had a chance to play at all for months. With no hard skin on my fingers, I had a weird guitar shoved in my hands with loads of built-in effects, a preamp and a speaker, so it felt polite to give it a wizz. It’s called an Electrophonic and it was a right laugh hearing it feedback with random harmonics, almost like an ebow. I had a blast. I do need to get back into shape playing-wise as there is talk of Little Angels, my old band, going back out for a few shows and maybe a new record in 2021. Perhaps an update to the pedalboard…
Keep on rocking in the free world.
PS Here's a link to Alison, the excellent travel agent who put the itinerary together for me. She's brilliant for everything, from planning a family holiday to full tour.
I grew up in Munich in Bavaria. Music was always very special to me from a young age - I remember one Christmas at a ski resort, I went out and played Christmas songs on my balcony to spread the love on my recorder! I believed that when people get in touch with their emotions and feel their heart, there’s less room for aggression. I was also really into strict Catholicism and decided to become a nun. I was so strictly disciplined with myself for years, but when I was 17 and went to the convent they told me I couldn’t enter because I didn’t have an apprenticeship. From that point I moved away from my mother, started to question the church because of conflicting values and basically ran wild like Janis Joplin! I think for 10 years I was really struggling to live in this world, and went through lots of therapy and holistic healing.
When I was around 24, I was in France and someone tried to sexually assault me. I reacted with a cool head and thankfully I got away. With the money from the court case I decided to do something that I really wanted to do - dancing. I went to school back in Munich, and my teacher there encouraged me to do classical singing too. I was very busy during this time; learning the electric guitar, learning more about recording, and at one point I was also studying English Literature and Human Rights in Cologne.
In the year 2000 I headed to London, just me, my guitar and a sunflower. I just knew I had to be there and I started singing in rock bands. I loved heavy metal rock as it was an outlet for all my anger and frustrations. I’ll never forget when I went to see The Prodigy at Rock Am Ring festival and thinking “oh my god, how can they express all these feelings I have inside me”. What’s crazy is years later I lived with Keith Flint and The Prodigy where I met Kieron Pepper, the drummer, who introduced me to WaterBear! But back to the story. I worked with a guy who had a home studio but couldn’t hear well in one ear which encouraged me to learn how to operate the studio myself. I went on a sound engineering course through job seekers where I had to do an internship.
I rang up Mark “Spike” Stent (who's worked with Madonna, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Coldplay... the list goes on!) at Olympic Studios in Barnes and asked if I could go help out. He had too many assistants at the time but said I could go and ask questions (I still have the paper with the questions on!). After that, as soon as a job became available as a runner, I applied for the job and I got it. That was one of the main chapters in my life. The first project I worked on was a recording session with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, still using tapes. Keith Flint also did a solo project at Olympic Studios and I lived with him and members of The Prodigy, who had bought the house next door to the studios. This was the first time in my life where I felt I belonged and didn’t feel weird. People accepted me.
In 2009 I moved to Switzerland as my father was getting older and I wanted be closer to him. After he passed away, I continued the work he’d done researching the story of his mother who was killed during the Nazi times. I got back in touch with the same people and wrote the story, and got it developed the story into a script with songs. Writing is also a big part of my life - I started documenting my life when I was 10 years old... I have about 45 diaries now! In total I spent 7 years living in that house on the Swiss mountain, developing my music and production. It was painful at times as my songs weren’t commonly structured and had no timing – I called it intuitive production! I felt like I was in exile, but that’s how I had to work which actually made it more original as there was no one around I could ask for help or their thoughts.
By 2016, I knew I had to find my people. I’d stayed in touch with Kieron Pepper, and he told me about studying at Metropolis Studios where I recorded all of my material professionally. It was mind blowing because I wasn’t the assistant anymore, I was now the artist who was being looked after! I remember being scared about what would happen after I’d finished, but that’s when Keiron mentioned WaterBear. As soon as he said the name, it was like a flash through my body, I knew this was the next door I had to go through. Plus I already knew Rasha, and she’s the only person who can get my brain to work in an academic fashion.
My initial focus of my MA was to get my project BeArte out into the world and build a fan base, but I kept hitting a brick wall. Especially with Facebook. I couldn’t do it for ethical reasons and I like to take time to build relationships with people - online it has to be so fast. WaterBear was fantastic because all my assessments were geared towards finding my own route to market but with ethical considerations. Now I’m checking out if I can do lectures to raise awareness about digital ethics and offer solutions on how to protect one's privacy using alternative platforms.
Going forward I’d like to get into the routine of performing using projections and visuals and collaborating. I’d like to produce music for documentaries and spooky movies, which would work well as my music is atmospheric, conceptual, and a journey. When people watch BeArte, they claim after the show, to have been drawn in completely. What’s important to me is helping to connect with our feelings, especially the painful ones to transform them. BeArte takes people on a journey into their own inner landscapes. I just prepare the space and let them do their own thing. I am a storysinger and soundpainter.
I started playing the trumpet at school when I was 9, but then I transitioned into learning the guitar and bass when I realised playing the trumpet as a teenager wasn’t that cool. I grew up on the Isle of Wight with my parents who are Baptist missionaries, so most of my upbringing was playing in church with church bands. So every weekend I had a guaranteed gig. I left the island when I was 18 to go to London to study at bass tech, so I didn’t start gigging or taking music seriously until after I was 18. However, I dropped out of my course after the first year, as it wasn’t working for me - I just wanted to gig rather than learning theory. I then moved to Southampton where my parents had relocated to and joined a metal band, which was hilarious as I’m not really into heavy metal.
I got a job working in a guitar shop, which led to a job working for a bass guitar company, Warwick Bass. This position allowed me to play at guitar conventions and demo products, which was cool, but not what I wanted to do at this point in my life. After this, I ended up joining my favourite band ‘Ozric Tentacles’ through going to see them play, chatting to them, and to a point pestering them. I’d only been married a few months and was just settling down into a day job when this opportunity came along. It was an enlightening experience, I was very young and my expectations were higher than what was realistic. I’d never toured either. When I left Ozrics, the sound engineer was tour managing for Black Label Society with Zakk Wylde and they were looking for a bass tech. I’d just left a band and was available so of course I said yes. There were only a few weeks between me not having a band, to supporting for Black Sabbath.
I then went on to bass tech for Megadeath which gave me a good reputation which led me to guitar tech for Lamb of God, and the list just grew and grew. But even though I was working in the music industry and being a part of some amazing tours, my playing had taken a back seat, which I was unhappy with. I just wanted to create my own music. So, I started my own project Keepers Brew. In 2015 I was on a long tour with a lot of death metal bands, I wasn’t taking the best care of myself and I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep (which is the nature of being a stage manager). Everyone was partying, and even though I was exhausted, I wanted to join in.
My brain became tired and during one show at the sound check, my ears failed on me. This was harrowing. Gradually more and more frequencies were disappearing, and I felt very dizzy and drunk. After the show, my wife took me to the hospital, and I was pumped with many heavy-duty steroids to try and fix what had been damaged. At this point, everyone assumed it was damage from volume but we found out later on that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my ears, and there never had been. But I was completely deaf! It was a condition called conversion disorder and basically, it was the only way my brain could think of to make me stop and take a break. And because I was pumped with all of these steroids, it actually brought to light a mental health disorder that I’d been suffering with but never really paid attention too, which was Bipolar disorder.
There was total silence for a while, but thankfully I could communicate with people using sign language and hearing aids, because my daughter is deaf, which meant we were used to having subtitles on at home and making sure everyone could lip read. This lasted for the duration of 18 months. I went back on the road once my hearing was almost back, still as a bass tech, but once the show had started I went to the bus and waited until the music was over to protect my hearing.
So now, Keepers Brew is my main focus. I’m part of a studio project in Southampton and we’re refurbishing a four-room studio where we’ll be doing a lot more production work. I’m also writing an album for Rob Chapman. I’m also starting my Master’s degree with WaterBear, which I’m really looking forward to. My hope is that this will validate what I’ve been doing for 20 years.
Touring is a hard thing to balance; it’s so key to figure out what your limitations are. The hardest advice I ever got was to just slow the hell down. But that is truly what people in my position need to do. Even just leaving the room and getting fresh air and taking a step back sometimes. Talking to people is best thing to do if you’re suffering with anything, especially mental health related.
- ‘Water bear’ is the common name for a Tardigrade.
- Tardigrades are micro creatures, found everywhere on earth.
- They are the most resilient creatures known.
- They can survive and adapt to their surroundings, even in outer space.
- Their resilience and ability to adapt and survive inspires us in everything we do. We love them.