How Bristol University students are taking over the music scene, and how you can see them live

We interviewed Bristol student and artist B3nji to find out what it’s like to be a student whilst breaking into the industry

Bristol is a city known for its music and with all it has to offer students are making up more than just the ticket sales; with some being the headliners themselves.

From jam nights at Strange Brew, Wide Eyes at Lakota, live sets at the Exchange and the many DJs of Lost Track Of Time, Bristol’s music scene has so much to offer students, whether they want to party or perform.

Wanting to know more about what it’s like to be a student within the Bristol music scene, The Tab spoke to psychology student and local artist B3nji, who is releasing a new single on the 26th of May, ‘Any’, that will be performed throughout the city.

Credit: photo by Kristian Garside, edited by Kai Benjamin

Having performed at many independent venues around the city, B3nji commented on how being in Bristol has broadened his sound, especially in the area of Hip-Hop. With jam circles in Bristol often taking on a funk and Hip-Hop style the city has seen the rise of artists in these genres, such as Split Prophets, Res One, Jack Jetson and the works of High Focus Records.

He also spoke about the supportive individuals that can be found within the music community of Bristol, and how going to open-mic nights helped him build the local relationships that have seen him not only support other artists but headline his own gigs.

Credit: EljayBriss

To find a night out in Bristol all you need to do is wander through Stokes Croft to see dozens of bright posters and line-ups that plaster the walls, or if lucky, conveniently stumble upon a midday rave in the Bear Pit.

If none of those are to your liking, then why not create your own event? The city has lots of opportunities for creative young people, with organisations and communities dedicated to fostering upcoming talent.

One of which is the Big Team Next Level Project. This two-week artist development programme offers emerging talents the chance to gain recording experience, receive mentoring from those in the industry and perform live at the Bristol Beacon.

When asked about his time on the project, B3nji told us about the insight and knowledge he gained.

In getting to work with top producers in Easton’s Pirate Studios, not only was the advice received from the skilled mentors informative but the collaboration with other young artists during group sessions proved equally valuable.

Their final showcase took place within the Bristol Beacon, a key space within the city for both local and international music, having hosted stars such as The Rolling Stones and Queen. Speaking of the performance B3nji said: “I felt really grounded in myself as an artist, the crowd was amazing, it was a beautiful night.”

Such an experience has landed him on the Loves Saves The Day line-up this summer and with the likes of Fat Boy Slim and Knucks also making an appearance, this one is going to be massive.

Whilst in Bristol you should make the most of what the city has to offer, whether you want to watch or take part there are opportunities to suit any genre or style.

More ways to get involved:

If you want to get more involved in the local music scene and see what fellow students have to offer, here are some events to keep an eye on:

FUZE UK at SWX: 10th of June.

St Paul’s Carnival: 1st July.

Lost Track Of Time x Four Quarters

Love Saves The Day: 27th-28th May

Or you can take part in one of the many open mic and deck nights that take place across the city:

Mr Wolfs: Monday night open mic

The Crown: USB on Monday nights

The Grain Barge: Wednesday open mic

Rough Trade: Sunday open decks


Featured image: @b3njimusic on instagram

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