#MusicMadeUs / Who, What, Why

Who What Why: Nyah Purnell

1st December 2020

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As part of our Music Made Us campaign, BIMM student Nyah Purnell tells us what inspired her route into music, why she chose to study Guitar, and what drew her to Bristol.

Who inspired your route into music?

My passion for music first developed when I saw James Bay live when I was 13. How he expressed himself through his singing and his guitar playing was truly inspiring, and I just had to explore that feeling for myself.

That year, I got my first acoustic guitar, and I never looked back. However, it wasn’t until I discovered Nita Strauss that I uncovered my true fate, which is to be an empowering female guitarist in the music industry.

“I am going to continue to work extremely hard to be one of those inspiring role models for the younger generation.”

I believe the music industry needs more female role models to inspire the next generation to feel confident in putting themselves forward and getting themselves known in a very male-dominated industry. Having already been featured on guitar pages including Nita Strauss’ Instagram story and her Signature Guitar page and my favourite pickups, Dimarzio’s Instagram page, I feel more ready than ever to keep improving and getting myself out there. Additionally, I am going to continue to work extremely hard to be one of those inspiring role models for the younger generation.

What made you choose to study Guitar?

I discovered BIMM when I was a trained singer competing in music festivals and completing my grades, and thought this was the career path for me. However, when I discovered my true passion for guitar playing, I knew that BIMM would be the best place to develop my skills.

As a self-taught guitarist, I always found learning theory to not be my strongest point, so coming to BIMM will help me acquire all the necessary skills to ready me for a career as a guitar player after graduating. I knew BIMM was the PERFECT place for me to attend when I found out it was more practical content over theory, which is where I excel. But, I am really excited to develop my skills in all areas to become a confident and competent guitarist.

Why is Bristol right for you?

I knew Bristol was the best place to attend BIMM because some of the best gigs I have ever attended have been there. This includes seeing bands such as Hunter and The Bear and Calva Louise who have had such an impact on my guitar playing through opening my eyes up to different genres.

Bristol has such an energetic atmosphere, and I am really looking forward to exploring the city and all the different music venues that are around – and that I will hopefully play at soon.

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


Matt Leppier

Matt Leppier works as a Senior Marketing Officer for BIMM University's central marketing team. Alongside this, runs Off Licence Magazine as a Managing Editor, and hosts a radio shows on Balamii. He loves travel, collecting records, DJing and following the NBA.