2nd February 2018

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“Love From Manchester, Vol’ 1” is a brand new live music event from BA (Hons) Music Business students AK Talent, featuring some of the best up-and-coming live acts from Manchester and the North. The inaugural event will take place at the much-loved Northern Quarter performance space Aatma. We caught up with Kym Thomas to see what sets this new addition to the gig calendar apart from other gigs in town.

Tell us the concept behind “Love From Manchester”

The concept behind “Love From Manchester” is a talent showcase platform hosted by ‘AK Talent’. My partner and I have created AK Talent as our business brand for all future events, as we plan to host quarterly events. This first one event consists of six up and coming artists based in Manchester/the North performing a set between 10-15minutes. The genres consist of Grime, RnB, Hip Hop and Neo-Soul – additionally we have an amazing live band that will be travelling from Nottingham to host our jam session/open mic which takes place beforehand and even play for some of our participating artists. We chose the name ‘Love From Manchester’ due to our mixtape idea for the poster. We wanted the event to be almost like a old school gift to everyone that supports young artists in Manchester, so instead of receiving an actual mixtape you get to attend a FREE event! Hence ‘Love From Manchester Vol 1’.

What sets your event apart from other live music events going on in the city?

At AK Talent, our aim is to help promote and support any up and coming artists in Manchester who may or may not have the funds to do so themselves. Over the past year there has been a massive increase in ambitious young people participating in music and performing arts, and this is our focus. We aim to host events in which we can bring all of this talent together into one room and create an amazing atmosphere and energy driven by the pure talent of our selected artists.

How did you go about selecting the acts for your line-up?

This was actually the hardest part of putting the event together. We decided to only have six artists perform as we still wanted to include a jam session and open mic on the night of the event (so everyone can be involved!). With so much talent to choose from especially the amazing artists we have at BIMM, between myself and the team we came up with a list of amazing artists we wanted to approach and somehow narrowed it down to six and hoped they wanted to participate. However, we still have many artists we want to approach for our future events, and we hope to discover and be approached by many more along the way.

Can you explain how putting on this event ties in with your Music Business course?

In the second year of Music Business one of the modules lead by Jeff Thompson is ‘Engaging with the Industry’. We have to either apply to do a work placement for a music related company of our choosing or students with their own entrepreneurial ideas may start their own business or work on a event, and BIMM will encourage self employed students to make their experience as ‘realworld’ as possible. I decided that starting AK Talent would be a great way to do something I enjoy and additionally – another way of getting an assignment done.

What’s been the most useful part of your course so far?

I think every module serves its own purpose in relation to the music industry and prepares us for almost every sector the industry has to offer. However, I would have to say that starting my own business and planning my first event has definitely taught me so much. I am learning something new every day and I am lucky to have so many people around me that have done similar projects/business ideas and want to help, whether with just advice, funding or event reposting our ‘Love From Manchester’ poster! This part of my course has definitely been the most useful so far.

The very first “Love From Manchester, Vol 1” takes place on February 9. Click here for the official Facebook event page.


James Watts

Social Media Assistant, Professional Bassist and Music Journalist. Career highlights include performing at some of the UK's premier music festivals, recording in Abbey Road and interviewing Debbie Harry.