24 Influential Bristolians Under 24
Here at Rife magazine we are all about celebrating and nurturing your talent. If you’re young and making movements in Bristol, we want to know about it. And we want to write about it.
We’ve gathered together 24 influential people in Bristol under 24 below.
We want to celebrate everything they’ve done for Bristol and for youth culture in the city. This isn’t the be all and end all of lists – no, it’s a conversation-starter. It’s a list designed to get you thinking.
Here are our influential Bristolians under 24, in music, film, technology, online, green issues, social issues, politics and art.
Read more about the guys on our list below and why we chose them.
1. MUSIC: GEORGE EZRA
George Ezra is 2014’s breakout singer-songwriter star. Moving to Bristol in 2011, he attended BIMM before playing the BBC Introducing stage at Glasto. Since then, Ezra has only been on the up and up. His ‘Wanted on a Voyage’ EP hit number one in June this year and single ‘Budapest’ earnt undeniable earworm status all summer long, reaching number one in places as far-flung as New Zealand and the Czech Republic. Follow @george_ezra
Why? An undeniable champion of Bristol’s music scene. You’re probably humming that ‘da-deedee-dum’ song as we speak.
2. MUSIC: ThisisDA
ThisisDA is a London-born Bristol-bred rapper. He has been played on BBC Introducing in the West, BBC Asian Network and Amazing Radio. In 2013, he was selected for 3030 with Roundhouse/EMI. ThisisDA’s long awaited debut album ‘Super Arkane’ was released in 2014 as a free download and was met with critical acclaim. Follow @itsthisisda
ThisisDA: ‘It’s nothing short of an honour to be recognised and appreciated for just being yourself.’
Why? ThisisDA has never compromised his sound and the fact that his star is in ascendance shows that artistic integrity pays.
3. MUSIC: ABI WARD
Abi has been immersed within Bristol’s music scene since the age of 13, attending and promoting gigs as part of a young person’s steering group curated with help from Colston Hall. Now 20, she heads up ‘Remix Takeover’, looking out for Bristol’s emerging talent and taking them to festivals such as Glastonbury, Shambala, Green Man and Bristol’s own Harbour Festival. Abi has hosted successful shows around Bristol and even played in a few bands herself but her heart is in the Bristol music scene. You’ll most likely find her at the front. Follow @abiwardbristol
Abi: ‘I can’t believe I’ve made this list as I just feel as though I’m getting on with things and doing my job. Bristol’s music scene is the best and I don’t know where I’d be without it, it has made me who I am today…’
Why? She knows her stuff. She’s a tastemaker in the Bristol music scene. If you see her at a gig, you know it’s a good one.
4. MUSIC: TEEZ
Teez is a talented young producer and MC hailing from Bristol signed with Temple Records. Learning his art at an early age, Teez’s production has already garnered support from the likes of Mr Woodnote and Eva Lazarus. With upcoming collaborations including Bristol heavyweight Relly, and remixes with The Delegates Of Rhyme and more, Teez is a name to be remembered. Follow @teezproductions
Teez: ‘I feel so blessed to know that the people and places who influenced and built me are appreciative of my impact back to the city and its residents themselves.’
Why? In a city teeming with young MCs, this one has a record deal and collaborations spilling out of his ears.
5. GREEN: MYA-ROSE CRAIG
Mya is a young naturalist, young ornithologist, young birder (young bird watcher), young twitcher, young world birder, young environmentalist, young conservationist, young activist, young wildlife writer and poet as well as being a young wildlife photographer and film-maker. Her birdwatching blog ranks in the top 50 worldwide. Read Mya’s blog and follow her @birdgirlUK
Mya: ‘I hope that I can use that influence to try and save our planet along with everything on it. For anyone who is interested in wildlife and conservation, Bristol is an amazing city as we have so many key organisations offering opportunities.’
Why? She’s only just a teenager and already she has one of the world’s most looked-at bird blogs.
6. GREEN: DOWN AND OUT with plastic IN BRISTOL
The year before Bristol becomes European Green Capital, Down and Out With Plastic in Bristol (Terri and Anna-May) are working tirelessly to encourage Bristolians to take note of and reduce the amount of plastic waste they generate. Documenting their own plastic waste on their blog, they’ve been demonstrating how to avoid buying so many plastic products in our city. Follow DownOutBristol
Down And Out In Bristol: ‘Bristol is a fantastic place for young people to be as there are so many ways for us to be actively involved in our community…’
Why? As we head to European Green Capital next year, these young people really care, and are doing a lot to make us care too.
7. POLITICS: RONDENE VASSELL and james gibson, BRISTOL YOUTH MAYOR
Since becoming Youth Mayors, Rondene and James have worked closely with George Ferguson and fed back the opinions of young people who attend area forums. Rondene is currently pursuing the items on her manifesto, such as creating a universal travel ID card and a Work Experience database for young people to use. She recently met with the National Educational Select Committee to discuss how sex and relationships should be taught in schools across the country. James is editor of an online policy journal, exploring his interest in economics, and he has been campaigning to protect youth services on a national level as well as being a champion for statutory youth provision and a vocal critic of the government’s cap on university fees.
Rondene: ‘As someone who is passionate and driven by politics and democracy, I want to spark motivation among young people. I want to be an example and show Westminster and the rest of the country that young people are not apathetic…’
James: ‘With inequality on the rise here in Bristol, I’m committed to working toward a fairer city that shares its successes with everyone…’
Why? Both our Youth Mayors show that having your say in the way your city is run can change things – they’re an inspiration.
8. ART: JUST SCRIBBLE
Just Scribble is a 17-year-old self-taught artist based in Bristol. His drawings have received attention from well-respected names in the hip-hop scene, including Rick Ross, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Soulja Boy and Joey Bada$$. His drawings have been posted on numerous blog sites, most notably RnB singer Chris Brown’s Mechanical Dummy website. His work has also been displayed at Brisfest, and exhibited at Philadelphia Street Gallery in Cabot Circus. Follow @_justscribble
Just Scribble: ‘To be considered as one of Bristol’s most influential young people is very humbling, as all I aim to do is influence and inspire others through the art that I create.’
Why? Those names are impressive. Impressing impressive people is a hard thing to do. Just Scribble has. And continues to…
9. ART: CAMILLE REARDEN
Artist, promoter and maker of zines, Camille is a force to be reckoned with. ‘Skin Zine’ featured artists and writers on the subject of skin conditions. They promote gigs throughout the city as Nt Yrs, like Trust Fund and Doe. Camille plays drums for Hallie and the Annies and is working on a collaboration called disordered//disorderly (they want your submissions), about misogyny and eating disorders. Follow @connectsthedots
Camille: ‘It is incredibly surreal to be considered influential but I hope this will make people think “if this dweeb can do it then I sure as hell can.” Bristol is a good place for young people to give stuff a go because there are strong support networks and lots of people willing to help out.’
Why? Their commitment to using art to talk openly, frankly and authentically about social issues is an inspiration.
10. DIGITAL: SIMZCITYTV
SimzCityTV is a Youtube Channel established early 2011. In a short period of time SimzCity has become one of the South West’s most watched underground youtube channels. SimzCityTV broadcasts music videos, acoustics, and dance, showing off underground and mainstream talent. Follow @simzcitytv
Why? Simeon has created one of the most popular YouTube channels showcasing local talent and is tireless in uncovering Bristol’s next-to-blows.
11. DIGITAL: NAZ AHMED
Naz Ahmed is an 18-year-old campaigner and YouTuber. In 2014, she presented a show called ‘Inside Out’, investigating female genital mutilation for BBC which aired in the Midlands and South West. She has represented the charity Integrate Bristol around the country talking about female genital mutilation and violence against women. She appeared in a music video promoting Integrate Bristol. She was awarded a Queens Young Leader Award this summer at Buckingham Palace. Follow @itsthatnazchick
Why? Jack of all trades and is continuously developing her own talents on the side of film, photography and fashion. A huge inspiration to her followers and peers and is always aiming high and excellent quality in her own work.
12. DIGITAL: LEVANNA MCLEAN
Levanna McLean’s YouTube channel combines her love of music and interpreting Northern Soul in her unique, free spirited style. Her passion triggered a smash-hit video featuring Levanna dancing in the street. This kickstarted the collection of online videos mixing up tunes from the past and present, Levanna uncovers a true taste for a diverse range of quality tunes. This has lead to her being asked to DJ across the UK where she plays an upbeat and lively set to get others dancing too. Follow @levannamclean
Levanna: ‘I am clear that everybody should always do what they love doing, living in the moment and following their dreams.’
Why? Showing that online there’s no such thing as niche, Levanna has injected personality and energy into cultivating a YouTube following.
13. TECHNOLOGY: SILAS ADEKUNLE
Silas is the founder of Reach Robotics, a startup developing the world’s first gaming robots. Based at the Bristol Robotics Lab, the best robotics research centre in the UK, he has managed the Prince’s Trust’s ‘robotics in schools’ program in Bristol in partnership with UWE for 4 years. Reach Robotics was founded from his love of creating and sharing robotics with people both young and old. Follow @reachrobotics
Silas: ‘Bristol is a city with an history of innovation where ideas are fostered and encouraged to develop. I feel truly honoured to be considered influential in this city.’
Why? Robots! Fun! Robots! Gaming! Robots!
14. TECHNOLOGY: CHLOE MEINECK
Chloe Meineck is a designer based in Pervasive Media Studio, working on the Music Memory Box for people with dementia. Currently she is on the Play Sandbox where she is creating a product for children to record and store their most precious memories and stories. She won Most Innovative Product for Music Memory Box at Brighton Enterprise Awards 2013, came runner up in Young UK Startup Talent 2014, she is currently an Unltd Award Winner for social entrepreneurship. Most recently she won the Blueprint Award for Design 2014. Follow @chloemeineck
Chloe: ‘I hope that I inspire some young people to carry on with their ideas, to not give up. It is a great place for opportunities from great organisations like Watershed, and they are always looking to get young people involved.’
Why? Chloe’s Music Memory Box project is a wonderful concept that will bring families together digitally when we’re constantly told online lives are driving a wedge between them.
15. POETRY: VANESSA KISUULE
Vanessa Kisuule is an award-winning poet who has won several slam titles including Farrago Schools Out Slam Champotion 2010, Bang Said The Gun Award, Poetry Rivals 2011, Next Generation Slam 2012, Slambassadors 2010 and South West Hammer and Tongue Slam Champion 2012 and most recently The Roundhouse Slam 2014 and Hammer and Tongue National Slam 2014. Her debut poetry collection ‘Joyriding The Storm’ was published April 2014 by Burning Eye. Follow @vanessa_kisuule
Vanessa: ‘Bristol is great because there is a respect for and communal understanding of what it is to be an artist – there is inspiration everywhere as soon as you step out of your front door.’
Why? Bristol’s poetry scene is filled with exciting talent – so when someone like Vanessa crosses over nationally, and gets her first collection published before she’s 25? Well, she’s one of the best.
16. SOCIAL ISSUES: KRISTIAN BAXTER
Kristian is a volunteer youth worker at Southmead Youth Centre. He started by attending the youth centre every Wednesday in the disabled session as he has learning difficulties, dyspraxia and dyslexia. Learning that Southmead Youth Centre was at great risk of closure, he organized fundraising events to keep it open. His work contributed to the centre being given a three year lease, and thankfully saving it from closure. In 2012 he received a certificate of commendation from Avon & Somerset Constabulary for outstanding contributions to the community.
Kristian: ‘It feels brilliant to be considered influential. The young people of Bristol are very lucky to still have some very good youth facilities, including the Station in Central Bristol.’
Why? Campaigning for something important to your local community is as important as fighting for a big issue and Kristian has shown that you can affect change through tirelessness and passion.
17. SOCIAL ISSUES: CHLO WINFIELD
Chlo runs the Speak Out project, a project to raise awareness of domestic abuse in young people’s relationships. This has included an awareness event held in July, helping facilitate teacher training on teen abuse and giving a talk to the Essex Feminist Collective. Chlo is also a member of the Women’s Aid Young People’s Advisory panel and gave evidence to the Joint Human Rights Committee for their Violence Against Women and Girls enquiry. Follow Speak Out
Chlo: ‘It’s brilliant and I’m really surprised to be on the list. The project and campaigning is on such an important subject, it’s just something I want to do, but it’s lovely for it to be recognised.’
Why? Chlo has created this campaign entirely of her own volition and has ensured that such an issue receives the noise and attention it deserves.
18. SOCIAL ISSUES: FAHMA MOHAMED
In February this year, Fahma launched a Guardian-backed petition to Michael Gove, former Secretary for Education, asking him to write to all schools reminding them of their duty to safeguard girls from FGM. In the space of three weeks the petition had attracted over 250,000 signatures and drew the public support of Malala Yusufsai and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. Following a meeting with Gove, Fahma and a group of her fellow activists emerged victorious. Follow @FahmaEndFGM
Why? Fahma continues to campaign for real change around gender inequality and gender-based violence. She’s won awards, spoken at an international level and has created a movement, with Integrate Bristol’s help, that has captured the attention of those at the top.
19. SPORT: RYAN EDMUNDSON
Ryan is a five times world champion in full contact kickboxing, muay thai boxing and k1 rules, a black belt 3rd dan and martial arts illustrated hall of fame award winner. He was a world champion at 18 years old. He opened up his own gym at 21 years old and now runs a full-time martial arts centre in Bristol. Follow Ryan
Ryan: ‘Martial arts have changed my life and I am grateful for every lesson it has taught me. I hope that others can benefit as much as I have and hopefully one day I will see them at the Bearpit Martial Arts Centre.’
Why? Ryan has turned an award-winning, world-beating kickboxing record into a mini-empire by using it to help him set up his own martial arts centre.
20. SPORT: CLAUDIA FRAGAPANE
Claudia Fragapane is an elite British gymnast. She’s the 2014 Commonwealth Games All-Around Champion, 2014 English National Vault Champion, and 2014 European silver medalist with the UK team. Fragapane’s breakout performance at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow helped the English team win gold. Not only was she the first English gymnast to win the all-around at the Commonwealth Games, she went on to win gold on vault and floor. Follow @claudia_frag
Why? She’s one of the most successful gymnasts in the country, this year and of all-time.
21. SPORT: JORDAN WYNTER
Jordan James Cecil Wynter (born 24 November 1993) is an English footballer who plays for Bristol City as a midfielder. On 22 May 2013, Wynter joined Bristol City, in a two-year deal. On 3 August he made professional debut in a 2–2 home draw against Bradford City. He scored his first goal for the club 3 days later, in a 2–0 win against Gillingham in the League Cup. Follow @jordanwynter
Why? He is single-handedly helping to return Bristol City to glory.
22. MEDIA: RHYS BUCHANAN
Rhys is online editor and print contributor for Bristol Live Magazine. He studies journalism at UWE Bristol and is eventually hoping to push into full-time music journalism. He has recently completed two weeks of work experience at NME Magazine and is going back again in 2015. Alongside his personal music blog ‘Charming Man’, Rhys is set to help judge Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition next year for the second time. Follow @rhys_buchanan
Rhys: ‘Bristol is the perfect playground for creative young people aspiring to get into what they love. Be it an artist, writer or poet, there’s so many platforms willing to take a risk on you. Just knock on doors and eventually they’ll open.’
Why? Rhys knows his stuff, and that’s why he’s considered a taste-maker for so many music establishments.
23. FILM: MAISIE WILLIAMS
Maisie Williams is an English actress and dancer. She is best known for her role as Arya Stark in the HBO television series ‘Game of Thrones’, which earned her the 2012 Portal Awards for Best Supporting Actress – Television and Best Young Actor, and the BBC Radio 1 Teen Award for Best British Actor in 2013. She has also received nominations for the Scream Award for Best Ensemble (2011), and the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Series – Supporting Young Actress (2013) for her performance. Follow @maisie_williams
Why? She’s on Game of Thrones! What more information do you need? It’s GAME OF THRONES.
24. SOCIAL ISSUES: ‘ZACK’
Zack is a 19-year-old transgender man going through transition from female to male. He made an animation explaining the struggles he faces on a day to day basis to try and help people to understand what it is to be transgender and reduce discrimination. Watch Zack’s Fixers film here
Tweet us @rifemag #24under24 and let us know who we’ve missed and why.