Isabelle France: How Music Made Me

22nd April 2022

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As part of our Music Made Us campaign, Isabelle France from BIMM Institute Manchester tells us about her life in music. She explains the effects of being involved in the Ariana Grande concert suicide bombing and why she believes Manchester has the best music scene.

Growing up, I would say my family mainly influenced me. My mum was very into her punk music growing up, listening to the Sex Pistols and The Clash. She also loves rock music; my earliest memory of music was her constantly playing the Foo Fighters around the house and in the car. My dad was into rock music like Black Sabbath and Whitesnake, whilst my older sisters were into bands like Tool, Deftones, Blink-182, and Green Day.

My music taste is heavily influenced by all these artists. As I have grown older, I have learned to appreciate all different music genres thanks to my parents being so open-minded and encouraging me to develop my tastes.

I am very passionate about gigs, so I started attending BIMM Institute. I started on the Event Management course in 2019 and completed two years. I loved every minute of it and got a fantastic insight into the world of live events. I then switched to the BA (Hons) Music Marketing, Media and Communication course in 2021. I wanted to be more involved in the design aspect of gigs, such as designing posters and leaflets.

“I attended the show that night, and it shifted the way I viewed music and gigs.”

I would say that the one thing that had the most considerable influence and impact on my life was the Ariana Grande concert, infamous for the suicide bombing that killed 23 gig-goers in Manchester back in 2017. I attended the show that night, and it shifted the way I viewed music and gigs in general.

It wasn’t until around a year and a half after the incident that I attended my first concert again. Whilst I was scared and nervous to attend the gig, it reminded me of the comfort and joy that music brought me. Later that night, I decided that I wanted to be a part of the music industry somehow.

Manchester and the music scene

I was born and raised in Manchester. I’ve always known since I was around ten years old that I would probably never leave as there’s something about the city that I just can’t get enough of. The atmosphere, the vibes, the people are just unique!

Manchester is known for its amazing music scene, from Oasis, The Rolling Stones, Joy Division to The Courteeners, The 1975 and Pale Waves. You can’t be Mancunian and not be proud of the music scene that has come out of Manchester!

Being constantly surrounded by the heritage of the Manchester music scene inspired me to get involved. It made me want to be a part of a fantastic community of people who all share the same passions no matter what genre of music you like.

Women in the UK music industry

If there is anything to be proud of in the UK music industry, it’s the women. Even though women are still underrepresented and underpaid in many areas of the industry, we are pushing to make our voices heard and be seen. The women within the industry are a force to be reckoned with.

“I would love to see more significant changes within the industry for women.”

Creative & Cultural Skills report that the gender divide across all music industry related jobs is 67.8% male to 32.2% female. Over three creative roles, 21.7% are artists, 12.3% are songwriters, and 2.1% are producers. In the future, I would love to see more significant changes within the industry for women. That might be more female artists on festival line-ups, more representation on the radio and in the charts, making gigs safer or seeing these figures increase.

Women in Music is an incredible non-profit organisation committed to advancing equality, education, support, empowerment, and recognition. I would like to see organisations like this one be recognised in the future for all the amazing differences they are making!

“The people within the scene, especially in Manchester, are so enthusiastic and willing to help newcomers.”

Being in the music industry has been a lot less challenging than I expected. While it is not always easy, the people within the scene, especially in Manchester, are so enthusiastic and willing to help newcomers into the various sectors of the industry. The music scene in Manchester, no matter what the genre, is one big friendly community.

Studying at BIMM Institute also makes working in the industry much easier. It offers so many amazing opportunities no matter what gender, sexuality, or race you are. Thanks to BIMM Institute, I have had great options – from participating in work experience at the Warehouse Project and Freight Island to taking over the BIMM Institute Manchester Instagram account and posting content.

Our Music Made Us campaign is told through the students, graduates, journalists, experts and passionate people who have been shaped by music. Discover their stories here.


BIMM University

BIMM University provides an extensive range of courses in modern music, performing arts, filmmaking, and creative technology to over 8,000 students across 14 schools in the UK, Ireland, and Germany. We have a long-standing commitment to providing the highest quality in creative industries education, allowing students to maximise their career potential in an inclusive community built on a culture of shared passion, creativity, and collaboration. Berlin | Birmingham | Brighton | Bristol | Dublin | Essex | London | Manchester