...plus vote for the best of today’s university bands

You might think that some of the best music was borne of persistent devotion to songwriting alone, but in fact many famous musicians also had a healthy dose of academia under their belts before they were projected into stardom. The combination of intense learning environments with creative young minds means that universities have birthed many a great musical act, some of which may come as a surprise.

Mick Jagger took business courses at the London School of Economics and Emeli Sandé studied medicine at Glasgow University before dropping out to pursue her musical career. M.I.A. attended London’s Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design.

Across the pond, John Legend gained a Bachelor’s degree in English from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania, and Albert Hammond of The Strokes went to New York University’s Tisch School of Fine Arts.

Indeed, some of the world’s most successful bands also formed while their members were studying at university – and the next one could be in our competition.


Over the past five weeks, musical acts from 19 different universities have performed across the country in gigs organised by our student brand ambassadors. Big bands, rock’n’roll bands, acoustic bands (and without a doubt bands of supporters) came together in aid of i’s Elephant Appeal, raising a fantastic £1,358.66 in total.

Now the best acts have been shortlisted in our online competition. The act with the most votes wins a day’s recording at Bowerman Studios in London – you can view the videos and vote for your favourite here