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King's Alumni Playlist

Tired of hearing Jingle Bells on repeat? Need to change up your seasonal playlist? Don’t worry, your fellow alumni have you covered this Christmas.

Listen to the playlist on Spotify.

Let’s start with a real crowd pleaser. John Deacon (Chelsea College, Electronic Engineering, 1972) is bassist for global superstar stadium rockers Queen. Queen’s Greatest Hits is the biggest selling album ever in the UK and went eight times platinum in the US. Deacon wrote a number of Queen’s biggest hits including ‘You’re My Best Friend’, ‘I Want to Break Free’ and ‘Another One Bites the Dust’.

An 80s classic for you next, Anne Dudley (Mmus Music, 1978) is an English composer, keyboardist, conductor and pop musician. She was an original member of 80s synth pop duo Art of Noise and also won an Academy Award for her sound track to The Full Monty.

There’s nothing like a great indie anthem. Now a solo artist, Kele Okereke (English Literature, 2001-2003) first came to our attention as lead singer and guitarist in the brilliant Bloc Party. ‘Banquet’ was the second single from their debut album Silent Alarm back in 2005.

You might well recognise the Reverend Richard Coles (Theology & Religious Studies, 1994), who is now a BBC Radio 4 regular. In a previous life, he was one half of British pop duo The Communards. Their biggest hit was a cover of the soul classic ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’.

Fiona Brice (German and Music, 1997) is a composer and violinist who has played with artists as diverse as Placebo, Boy George, Kanye West and Enya. ‘Dallas’, from her first solo album, is something altogether eerie and unsettlingly beautiful.

A bit of noughties pop next. JB Gill (Theology, 2007-2008) was a singer with British boyband JLS. He is now a farmer and broadcaster. JLS shot to fame as runners up on the fifth series of X Factor. JB now presents the children’s show Down on the Farm on CBeebies.

Our Indian and Pakistani alumni will no doubt have already heard of Law alumnus Adnan Sami Khan. The multi-platinum selling artist who was once called the ‘Sultan of Music’ and is known for his soundtracks to Hindi movies and for being one of the first to play Indian classical music on piano.

OK, time to get a bit weird. Former editor of the King’s student newspaper, Gilli Smyth (English, 1959) was a founding member of prog rock band Gong. Gong’s music has had a surprisingly big influence on the hip hop community. Violent J from Insane Clown Possie cites them as an influence and they have regularly been sampled by Madlib.

Next, we couldn’t let you miss this little gem of europop. Isabella Levina Lueen (Education, 2014) is a German singer-songwriter who, like Madonna, Cher and Kylie, is known by a mononym, ‘Levina’. She is best known for the German Eurovision Song Contest 2017 entry Perfect Life.

Another one for 70s music fans. Andy Mackay (Theology, 1991) is best known as the saxophonist from Roxy Music. He has also worked with Duran Duran, Mott the Hoople, John Cale and Paul McCartney. He is well known for his Chuck Berry inspired duck walks during saxophone solos.

Alice Martineau (English, 1995) was a British singer and songwriter. Alice suffered with cystic fibrosis and struggled to get a record deal because of her condition. Her debut album Daydreams was released by Sony Music in 2002, the year before she sadly passed away.

Another one for indie fans next. Justin Hayward Young (History, 2010) aka Jay Jay Pistolet is best known as the lead singer of The Vaccines. We thought we’d share one of their early hits.

Time to chill out a little. Morris Gould (Chemistry, 1982) aka Mixmaster Morris is one of the biggest ambient music DJs in the world. He shot to fame on the DJ circuit as The Irresistible Force in the early 90s and has remained near the top of the ambient charts ever since.

Finally, we couldn’t let you go without one Christmas song! ‘Last December’ is by Australian-Singaporean singer Ming Bridges (Business Management, 2011-2012). She was an actress before attending King’s, starring in the Singaporean kids’ show REM: The Next Generation.

We hope you enjoyed our eclectic King’s playlist. If we missed your favourite King’s artist from the list, let us know on Twitter, Facebook of via email.

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