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Piers Aggett and Kesi Dryden, one half of the award winning music group Rudimental, received Honorary Masters of Music degrees from the Leeds Metropolitan University last Thursday. Their awarded degrees for their contributions to music come only six years after their graduation from the university’s Creative Music and Sound Technology program in 2008.
‘Since graduating, Piers’ and Kesi’s success has known no bounds, and we could not be more proud of them and all that they have achieved,” said Professor Susan Price, Leeds Metropolitan University’s vice chancellor. “An inspiration to both our students and current graduates, they are living proof that hard work and determination does pay off. We are delighted to recognize their contribution to the arts and the continued support they show to our University with their Honorary Masters of Music awards.’
Rudimental is a four person band made up of four childhood friends: Piers Aggett, Kesi Dryden, Amir Amor, and DJ Locksmith. The group stormed the charts in 2012 with their hit single, ‘Feel The Love’ featuring John Newman. After the success of that and subsequent singles, Rudimental saw even more success when their album titled Home debuted at No. 1 on the Official Charts with features from Emeli Sande, Angel Haze, MNEK, and Sinead Harnett. The group went on to win the BRIT Awards’ Best British Single in February 2014 for ‘Waiting All Night’ featuring Ella Eyre and have been selling out tour dates around the United Kingdom throughout this year.
This awards ceremony will not have been the first time members of Rudimental have visited the university since Aggett and Dryden graduated. In November 2012, Aggett and Dryden visited Leeds Metropolitan University to talk to students about their experiences while attending the university and how they made the most of their time there. The two then had an open Q&A with the students before the group’s performance at the O2 Academy that evening.
Piers Aggett and Kesi Dryden were not the only recipients of honorary degrees last Thursday. Other rewards recipients included: Judge Mervyn King, Senior Counsel and former Judge of the High Court of South Africa; award-winning artist, Charlotte Harris; Mark Herman, the director of the films The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Brassed Off; and event planning expert, Fiona Pelham.
‘This award means a lot. It’s a big achievement and it feels amazing to be rewarded for our hard work. We’ve been successful for two years now and there have been so many highlights. The main one for me has been playing at Glastonbury this year,’ said Aggett. ‘My best memory of studying here was being in the studio – they’ve got amazing studio facilities here and they were just really fun. We got to use lots of really cool equipment. Networking with other students and just trying out new things in the studio was the most fun part.’
‘We’ve had so many career highlights it’s hard to pick one – every couple of weeks there’s something new, which is amazing. For me I would go with getting to number with ‘Feel the Love’ which was our debut single so that was special,’ said Dryden. ‘The advice I’d give to students graduating today would be to work hard and put the hours in, whatever career it is that you want. Leeds is a great place to be as a student, there’s so much going on. We had an exciting three years here.’