#MusicMadeUs / Who, What, Why

Who What Why: Marnie Burt

30th November 2020

As part of our Music Made Us campaign, BIMM student Marnie Burt tells us what inspired her route into music, why she chose to study Songwriting, and what drew her to London.

Who inspired your route into music?

I don’t think I can attribute my route into music to just one person; most of my family have made their careers in the performing arts. I grew up in awe of their work, but I also watched an awful lot of MTV circa 2001-2005 and suspect Madonna and Christina Aguilera had something to do with it too. In fact, the first song I ever wrote was inspired by (read: entirely plagiarised from) Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” when I was seven.

Come to think of it, my parents introduced me to artists like Bruce Hornsby, Mike Oldfield, KT Tunstall, Morcheeba, The Sundays too. I suppose I got the best of both worlds. Mum and dad can take the credit for this one.

What made you choose to study Songwriting?

A three-year stint working at record label startups and marketing agencies finally got the better of me. I didn’t share the same values as the CEOs did. My job often involved convincing young artists to sign their music away for less than a fair deal, which hugely conflicted with my inner starving artist.

“I needed to do what I wanted, on my own terms.”

The company cut their marketing team altogether in July 2018, so I stopped settling for less and made the most of my summer on severance pay. Having that free time made me question what I really wanted from the next five or ten years of my life; I needed to do what I wanted, on my own terms.

Two weeks before term started, I decided to apply to BIMM, originally to study Vocals but swiftly shifting to Songwriting. I’m now in third year, and immensely glad to have had the chance to study for a profession I really love.

Why is London right for you?

London works well for me because I did most of my growing up here. I was born in Wimbledon – and have a soft spot for the surrounding areas; I’m currently renting in Earlsfield – and my family moved just shy of an hour south of London a few years ago, so they’re still local. That’s always been important to me.

There are so many open mic nights and independent venues too. There are so many artists milling about everywhere and so many people and places to inspire you. The selection of restaurants on all those food delivery apps is magnificent as well.

It’s like moving straight into a fully furnished apartment. There’s no need to buy kitchen scales or whisks or shower curtains or anything. Everything you could ever need is already here.

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