24 Most Influential Bristolians Under 24: 2018 List
Here at Rife magazine we are all about celebrating and nurturing your talent. This is our fifth list of 24 Influential Bristolians Under 24.
If you’re young and making movements in Bristol, we want to know about it. And we want to shout about it.
We’ve gathered together 24 of the most influential people under 24 in Bristol.
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 – it’s a conversation-starter. It’s a list designed to get you thinking. Who are we missing? Who do we need to know about? We’re here to celebrate all the talented young people of Bristol.
We like to celebrate in style, so we we are putting on THREE awesome events programmed by students on UWE Bristol/Watershed’s Creative Producing MA, to celebrate the launch of this (pretty impressive) list.
Kicking off the celebrations on Thursday 8th November at 6-8pm is The Link – our free networking event for young creatives. This will be followed by BOPSTOCK The Link Afterparty 8-9pm, an extravagant danceathon giving you the chance to direct your very own music video. This year, we’re taking The Link + Afterparty on tour – this edition will be hosted at the Arnolfini. No need to book tickets, all you need to do is RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have one more event happening later in the month too: ‘POW! Brunch’ will be serving up some spicy food-for-thought about how we can create change, empower others and contribute to a kinder world. Follow our socials to stay in the loop, invite your friends and come through!
Here are our influential Bristolians under 24, in music, tv & film, social media, sport, technology, social issues, politics and art, the 2018 class:
1. TV: Ella-Rae Smith
Ella Rae Smith is a young actress, originally from Bristol. She is a BFI Film Academy Bristol alumni and has gone on to have a successful acting and modelling career in London. Her credits include being on a BBC 3 comedy series and a blockbuster action movie alongside Liam Neeson.
Ella said: ‘I’ve always loved all forms of art – but found myself most passionate about acting and filmmaking. Having done various courses including the wonderful BFI film Academy and National Youth Theatre (and with some generous strokes of good luck) I left my beloved Bristol aged 17 to head to London and start living my dreams. Three years on I’m a professional actor and model with credits including BBC 3’s Clique, Liam Neeson action movie The Commuter and AMC’s Into The Badlands.
I’m thrilled to be on the list, it’s so lovely to have your achievements recognised as you can sometimes forget to celebrate them yourself! Lists like this are important to inspire people to go out there and make their dreams come true – to know that if someone else can do it, you can too.’
2. SPORT: Alexandra Williams
Alexandra has been training in Wadokai Ryu, a style of karate, since the age of four. She currently represents the England Karate Federation (EKF) which is made up of all styles of karate and has competed in many international competitions, including the Wadokai European championship four times and the Wadokai world karate championship. She has been English karate champion twice, and British karate champion three times.
Alexandra says that one her most amazing opportunities so far has been “being selected to be able to represent the English Karate Federation in the Under 21yrs European Karate Champions in Sochi Russia, February 2018.”
Alexandra also goes on to say: ‘My future karate aspirations is to continue to develop as an athlete and individual to enable myself to have a chance to be selected for Team GB and compete in the 2024 Olympic Games. Competing at a top level does mean I have to sacrifice a great deal of social time spent with friends and family in order to train. I do however get the opportunity to travel to other countries and meet people from different walks of life making new friends in the process and creating great memories. I try be a role model to many, especially the young students in our Karate club. I always try my best not to let them down and show them that if they work hard (in karate and at school) what the benefits can be.
I am super excited to be featured on the list because with karate it’s not a very well known sport and it doesn’t get as much recognition as football or basketball for example. I try to work really hard and it’s an honour to be noticed for my work. Sometimes doing karate can be challenging in regards for giving up a lot of time to train but being in lists like this reminds me of why I want to do it and why it’s important to me to make others be best versions of themselves by working hard.’
Alexandra was also shortlisted on the Bristol Post’s 2018 Sports Awards. Read more about it here
3. FILM: Sam Jones
Originally from Manchester, Sam is a filmmaker and theatre director. After winning the BFI’s ‘Most Promising Talent’ award in 2015, he has continued to write and direct short films. His film LIFELINE played at film festivals around the world, and his most recent film, YANDASS.MOV, was supported by Channel 4, blending dance, documentary and fiction. The film is soundtracked by the music of electronic duo Underworld, and the film will play at the London Short Film Festival 2019. Whilst at university, he has explored theatre directing, and has directed a number of shorter pieces, as well as a full length play. His debut theatre production will be at the People’s Republic of Stoke’s Croft. It’s a play called BIRD written by Katherine Chandler, and runs from 8th – 10th December. It’s the debut production from Sam’s new theatre company, BEDLAM CHORUS.
Sam says: ‘I’m dead excited and honoured to be included on the list. It’s so cool to be on a list alongside people doing such varied and amazing things… it’s very humbling. The 24 under 24 list feels important for creating a bit of a platform for us all. With so much crazy talent and inspiring people around, recognition like this can really go a long way in letting others hear what you’re about. This is something which helps so much as we all hope to enter a career doing what we love.’
Find him here
4. MUSIC: Fenne Lily
Fenne is a self-taught guitarist, singer and songwriter who began touring and recording 3 years ago, following a move from Dorset to Bristol after finishing school. At the age of 21, she recently self-released her debut album ‘On Hold’ (alongside manager and co-pilot Aled Chivers) and, remaining unsigned, has since been defying odds with a fierce independence and refreshing honesty. She is set to tour the UK with Lucy Dacus in October before heading to the US with Andy Shauf in November.
Find more about her here
5. MUSIC: Sir Hiss
Jeff Emmott aka Sir Hiss is at the forefront of a new generation of producers pushing out music from what many deem to be a mecca for bass, Bristol.
Hailing from a city that’s well-known for its drum and bass and dubstep scenes, the 20-year-old DJ and producer is the pioneer of a unique sound and style of Bristol-born grime production. Thanks to a vast knowledge and appreciation for all kinds of music, the South-West based beat-maker puts out instantly-recognisable tracks that sample pretty much everything from old-school grime and jungle to drum and bass, as well as unexpected sounds from the Middle-East and beyond.
6. TECH: Rachel Godfrey
I run the company GoVirtually which creates 360 degree, 3D virtual tours. Over the past year I have been creating virtual tours to help people with autism reduce anxiety when visiting a place they haven’t been to before. I have created a tour for We The Curious and am working with other Bristol museums to create more. I have also started to research how helpful the tours can be with 8 out of 10 of the children saying they enjoyed the visit more by viewing the tour before hand.
Rachel says: “I’m very grateful to be on the list of 24 most influential people under 24 as I know lots of young people in Bristol doing really amazing things! I think it’s really important that young people get recognition for their hard work and inspire others.”
7. TECH: Joseph Horton
Joseph is a musician and technologist who moved to Bristol in 2014 to study Audio and Music Technology at Bristol UWE. Whilst in Bristol he developed a passion for crafting new musical experiences through technology which led him to co-develop an interactive musical dinner, a device for deaf and hard of hearing to feel sound, and a series of sound and technology workshops showcased at events such as Mayfest, Lost Weekend Exeter, No Boundaries and Unlimited Connects. Whilst still at University, he co-founded Nusic, a music technology company developing tools to empower everyone with musical creativity. Joseph is currently based in Shanghai where Nusic have just completed Chinaccelerator, China’s leading internet startup accelerator.
Joseph says: “Bristol has been such an important city for my professional and personal development so it is such an honour to be featured on this list. The sense of community in the arts and tech scene here is amazing and makes it feel as though anything is possible. The number of young people doing amazing things in Bristol stretches far beyond the 24 listed here, I hope that I can use this platform to share knowledge with anyone reading who wants to learn more about creative technology, don’t be afraid to say hello!”
8. ACTIVISM: Hannah Hier
Hannah is a 16 year old, living and learning in Bristol. In February 2018 she was elected as the Youth Mayor of Bristol and meets with the Mayor every month to discuss what is important for young people in the city. As part of her work Hannah has organised a PSHE conference to highlight the importance of PSHE (Personal Social Health Education) to young people and teachers, worked with city leaders and equality groups, and written to the Secretary of state for Education Justine Greening. Outside of her Youth Mayor role Hannah loves to listen to and play music and she has helped organise a Times Up women’s march in Bristol, as she is very passionate about feminism and making sure all women and men get equal opportunity in life. Social media links
9. TECH: Emma Hughes
Emma’s background is in theatre and film: she has a degree in Drama from The University of Bristol and has been Production Designer for a number of short films and music videos.
As Creative Producer for cultural virtual reality (VR) platform Limina Immersive, Emma has conducted an audience research study on immersive genres and formats for a major Digital Catapult report, as well as producing the Limina VR Weekender, a sell-out VR arts festival at Watershed in Bristol. She is passionate about audience experience and works towards creating calming, ambient environments in which to experience VR. Most recently, Emma chaired a panel at Wildscreen Festival exploring the impact of VR/360 on audience responses to wildlife and conservation issues and health and well-being.
Emma also freelances as a Creative Producer and has supported a number of projects in this role over the past year; Open Space is an interactive audio experience which spatialises a musical composition for multiple listeners simultaneously. Figuring is an interdisciplinary research project exploring bodies, touch and materiality in multi-person VR.
Alongside this, Emma is a community arts facilitator currently working with Redcliffe Residents Action Group and Neighbourhood Forum to deliver creative workshops for local residents. She is drawn to work that prioritises under-represented and disadvantaged groups’ access to self-expression and has worked on a number of projects for Wyldwood Arts, a social arts company specialising in intergenerational work. These include CHATBACK, facilitating weekly drama and writing workshops with older adults and The Silbury Celebration, an intergenerational fundraising project with Ashton Vale Youth Club and the Silver Social Group.
10. JOURNALISM: Elias Williams
Elias Williams is a Bristol-based filmmaker and founder of online media platform, MANDEM. He graduated from UWE in the summer of 2018 with a BA Filmmaking degree and is currently studying an MA in History at the University of Bristol. His most recent film projects have explored untold African history in the hopes of educating and empowering young people to engage with history in a creative way. Elias’ work for MANDEM includes providing a space for young men of colour to express themselves through writing, film and music, and has also included hosting panel-led discussion about topical issues ranging from black masculinity to contemporary feminism.
Elias says: ‘Lists like these are particularly important for creatives and artists because it can be pretty difficult to get your name out there without help. I’m happy to be on the list because hopefully more people will see my work and the amazing work that others have contributed to Mandem!’
11. POETRY: Beth Calverley
Beth Calverley is a poet, producer and workshop leader who has been writing and performing for 17 years. As Chief Operator of The Poetry Machine, Beth tours UK festivals and events speed-writing bespoke poetry. She hosts workshops that help people to put their own stories into words, and works with charities and businesses such as Bristol University Hospitals, Teenage Cancer Trust, University of the West of England, This Mum Runs, and Arnos Vale Cemetery. Beth is one quarter of Milk Poetry, a nurturing platform for established and emerging poets in Bristol. This year, she became the inaugural Gloucester Regional Roundhouse Slam winner and a 2018 Roundhouse Finalist.
Beth says: ‘I’ve been building my business for a couple of years, but in the last couple of months I have reached an exciting stage in my journey. I have been able to go freelance doing the work I love. Being part of 24 under 24 at this point is fantastic. Having the ability to say to clients that I am on the list gives my business great credibility. And personally, being recognised for the work I am doing has been so important for my confidence. To be able to feel in my own heart that what I’ve done is worth something. The opportunity to raise my profile in this way helps me to reach more people and achieve my purpose: to promote wellbeing through language and help as many people as possible to express what they may be struggling to say.’
12. ACTIVISM: Samya Sarfaraz
Samya is a third year medical student at the University of Bristol, currently pursuing an intercalated degree in Global Health. She’s volunteered with Off the Record Bristol as a Young Advisor and is now working as the Chair of the Wellfest Committee. Wellfest is a wellbeing festival for young peoples’ positive mental health, providing opportunities for them to get involved with services in fun, safe and engaging manner.
Now in its second year, the festival has doubled its reach, attracting hundreds of visitors and members of the public showing their support, whilst gaining local TV coverage. The inspiration for the festival came when she attended the 4YP roadshow in 2012 and wanted to give OTR a similar platform to showcase their amazing work and bring together other organisations that support young people, thus founding the festival last year. Recently she was invited to speak on the ‘Dark Matter – Young People’s Mental Health panel during Wild and Well festival.
She is passionate about challenging injustice, creating space for young people, improving mental health, championing diversity in education especially with regards to gender equality and BAME representation. She is also a member of the NHS Youth Forum.
Samya says: ‘It’s such in honour to part of this list as Rife is the creative hub for young people in Bristol! It’s so vital for us to have these platforms to showcase our talents, explore new ideas and most importantly share them with each other….cos let’s face it, most of the things we’re experiencing someone’s gone through it before you and someone will go though it after you, but in the “in-between” if what you share even resonates with one person and helps them out, you know you must be doing something right, I know it’s what kept me going and lead me to plan OTRs Wellfest.’
13. MUSIC: Ella Brandt
14. DANCE: Tim Lo
Tim is is an active participant and advocate for the creative arts in Bristol. With training in ballet and contemporary dance and a degree in Theatre and Film, she strives to connect with different people and stories through dance. She is especially committed to issues around mental health, race, gender, and marginalised experiences. She believes in the power of dance and movement to create lasting positive impact on people’s lives.
She is especially dedicated in linking dance with multiple and varied art forms, from performing in theatre festivals such as Mayfest and IBT, to participating in Virtual Reality dance projects and choreographing for short films. She’s really proud to be part of a team that is working with charity One25, to create a live performance that raises awareness about female street sex-workers in Bristol. She is also currently developing a solo dance and spoken word project based on parental illness, which was showcased live at Testing Ground in October, and will be released in video format soon through Rife!
She is also part of the Dance Futures Steering Group, and has recently joined Theatre Bristol as a board member through Rising Art Agency’s OnBoard programme. Through these positions as key decision-makers in Bristol’s art organisations, she aims to improve the city’s creative conditions and develop an inclusive environment that is sustainable and supportive of a huge array of voices, as well as the role of dance in Bristol.
Tim says: ‘Being on the 24 under 24 list on Rife Magazine which celebrates such a diverse range of young talent every year is such an honour and achievement. I’ve followed Rife for a few years and feel incredibly inspired by the amazing work that is done by young people like myself in this city. To be named alongside people that have motivated me feels incredible, that my efforts have been seen and acknowledged. I hope my presence on the list would inspire others, especially people like me, to keep pursuing their goals and dreams.’
15. MUSIC: Fiona Riches
Fiona Riches is a live sound engineer based in Bristol, but she can be found all over the country working in live music and theatre. After starting out as an intern at the Colston Hall, she is rising through the ranks and has an impressive CV of venues that she’s already worked with. After spending time working at Northside festival in Denmark with artists like Björk, The National, and Liam Gallagher, she branched out into the world of theatre to tour with the production Touching The Void. Next on her agenda is a tour with Lucy Dacus and Fenne Lily, and then it’s back to her home venue of Rough Trade Bristol.
16. ACTIVISM: Adibah Iqbal
Adibah Iqbal is a writer, performer and DJ. Her sound is influenced by the 90s and early 00s R’n’B, hip-hop, reggae, and garage infused with Qawwali, Bollywood and Bhangra. She draws on her experience of growing up in St. Paul’s and wants to celebrate the sounds she heard, while also using soundbites and quotations on current social and political issues, such as gentrification.
In 2016, Adibah set up Safe Space with a friend, which was a survivor-led support group for women and non-binary folks who have experienced sexual violence. The group ran every Tuesday where survivors could come to talk, listen, advice, support and share in a safe environment. As a collective they created a community of survivors who sought support and empowerment from one another.
In the future, she plans to continue using arts and the media as a tool to empower myself and others.
17. SPORT: Jaxson Perry
Jaxson is a eight-year-old half British, half Hungarian, Bristol-based golfer who has been playing golf since the age of four. Having played in his first competitive competition at the age of five, he has not looked back and now plays in the top junior events both in the UK and overseas. His list of titles continues to grow since winning the Under 8’s Junior World Pairs in the USA in 2016 (aged six), he was crowned European Champion and British Champion in 2017 (aged seven) and then this year 2018 (aged eight) he retained his British Champion title at the Celtic Manor Golf resort in Wales, attained the title of UK & Ireland Champion in St Andrews Scotland and came second on the world stage at the IMG World Golf Finals in San Diego USA (ages 7-8) in the summer of 2018 (an event which includes previous winners such as Tiger Wood and Phil Mickelson).
Jaxson plays his golf locally in Bristol at The Kendleshire GC and currently holds a Congu handicap of 19. His other love is football and he is signed to the Bristol City Academy Under 9’s squad and enjoys the team element of football and having fun with this teammates.
Find more about Jaxson here
18. ART: Parys Gardener
Parys Gardener is a digital illustrator who specialises in editorial illustration. With a BA in Illustration and Visual Communications from the University of Westminster (2017), her work is known for exploring the portrayal of women of colour as main, active characters in a range of narratives. She aims to reclaim the voices and visual representation of marginalised communities through popular culture.
Her visual vocabulary focuses on pop art techniques utilising block colour, tone and pattern across digital media. She’s passionate about communicating theories surrounding identity and culture, and often takes inspiration from her own Caribbean background.
Parys says: ‘I’m massively inspired by the strength and the legacies of my grandmothers, who were part of the Windrush generation. The more I learn about their lives, the more I’m inspired to place women of all backgrounds as the centrepieces in their own narratives.’
Find her work here
19. ART: Yasmin Qureshi
Yasmin Qureshi is an artist based in Bristol. Her work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions and galleries around Bristol such as Spike Open and Spike Test Space.
Yasmin’s work is drawn from personal experience. In her early life she spent time in hospital due to chronic illness, then at seven, Yasmin underwent major surgery to remove a tumour. She has returned to this moment repeatedly in her work, describing the themes of psychological trauma and body image. Creating art work has become a way of processing her feelings and reconciling these difficult memories into tangible art pieces.
Yasmin’s current project Red Telephone started as a series of acrylic tiles that were etched from a person’s experience of physical trauma. From the acrylic tiles jewellery pieces were made, allowing the wearer to be a part of that narrative and also have the opportunity to share their own stories. The project is now being developed into a series of workshops where participants are able to share their experiences of trauma and process them through creative means. The final product is a 3D-printed ‘safety object’ that symbolises coming to terms with that experience.
Yasmin says: ‘I feel very privileged to be considered for such a list. Being included gives me the confidence to take creative risks and seize opportunities which I may have felt unequal to in the past. I hope this opportunity will help me develop my work within the local community, meet fellow creatives, share and develop ideas, and expand my professional network.’
To learn more about Yasmin and her project Red Telephone, click here
20. THEATRE: Chrispin Lema
Chrispin Lema is an actor, writer and a recent graduate from the University of Bristol. His first written theatre play, A Taste of Self-Love, was performed at the Wickham Theatre. He also performed as Konstantin in The Seagull at the same venue and in a play at the Bristol Old Vic called The Royal Gala. During his studies, he has also represented Bristol at Unislam, a UK and Ireland poetry competition. He represented Bristol at the South West Poetry Varsity competition and won joint first place alongside another poet from Bath University.
Chrispin said: ‘It’s an honour to be nominated as an influential young person by a prosperous, vibrant city. I decided I wanted to be an actor when I was 12, so to be recognised for a craft that I’m really passionate about touches my heart deeply. You can never touch perfection, but you can definitely touch progression. I hope I keep learning and growing in this field and produce some impeccable work. Thank you Yahweh, family, and every single person who’s supported me on this journey.’
21. FILM: Stefan Clatworthy
Stefan has a great love of speed and does not let his lack of mobility slow him down. His great passion is skiing and each winter he tries to make it to the mountains to use his sit ski and share the experiences of his able-bodied friends. Stefan has found that being able to participate in sport has had a very positive impact on his life.
Stefan is a keen filmmaker and is studying for a Gold Arts Award. For a recent project, Stefan chose to follow the stories of other disabled skiers, to find out whether the sport has such a profound effect on others. He travelled to snow domes in the UK and to Andorra, interviewing disabled skiers and those who assist them.
Stefan now plans to use his film to inspire other disabled people to try new sports and also for fundraising to help others overcome the financial barrier which can prevent this. He will also investigate whether other extreme sports are accessible to disabled people, and hopes to make further films.
22. FILM/ANIMATION: Heather Colbert
Heather Colbert is an animation director specialising in stop motion and drawn animation. after graduating from Cambridge School of Art in 2016 with a First Class degree in Illustration and Animation, she has created several music videos. Bibimbap was shortlisted for Best Animated music video at Paris Underground Festival. Her second film, Dolly said No to Elvis, was awarded a Vimeo Staff Pick and has been featured on Directors Notes and BOOOOOOOM. She was recently named one of eight ‘Female Filmmakers to Watch’ by Stop Motion Magazine. Her latest music video, for Tom Rosenthal, will be released in November.
Heather says: ‘Bristol is alive with an amazing creative energy so I feel very lucky to be living and working in a place with such a lot happening . These kinds of lists are a great way to collect and support the wealth and range of talent that lives here. I feel very fortunate to be included in something like this!’
23. POETRY: Tom Dewey
Tom Dewey is a twenty-two year old poet, playwright and workshop facilitator. Tom began writing in 2015 and became the youngest ever regional spoken word champion in only his third time on stage. Since then, Tom has delivered a TEDx Talk on mental health, performed to a sold-out Roundhouse in London and had his work featured on BBC iPlayer and BBC Radio. Tom works closely with the Bristol Old Vic for example, he was selected to close the weekend-long celebrations of their 250th birthday. In 2018, Tom co-founded a music and poetry event called Tonic, which has quickly become a local favourite. Through his tireless encouragement of local artists from various disciplines, and the influence his work has had on the poetry scene, Tom has cemented himself as one of Bristol’s most prominent cultural ambassadors.
Tom said: ‘Lists like this one serve to remind us of the breadth and depth of talent in our city. To see my own ludicrous, bat-eared visage planted among these glorious individuals is an honour whose absurdity I will aim to reduce. Thank you, Rife, for this pair of shoes I hope to grow into’.
24. POETRY: Imogen Downes
Imogen is a writer, theatre maker, and performer. She has previously worked for Rife Magazine, is a young mentor for Cheltenham Literature Festival, and is a member of WILDERBEAST, a theatre company born out of Bristol Old Vic’s Made In Bristol scheme. Her work, which has been shared in a number of venues and festivals across the UK, always aims to reveal something about the human condition; transcending everyday experiences to lay bare what it means to be human and to be treated inhumanely. Imogen is also a workshop facilitator, and has taught at Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory Theatres, and a number of schools across the South West.
Imogen says: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled to be featured on a list alongside so many wonderful people, many of who have influenced me greatly in my own work. Platforms like these are so important for the young people of Bristol. Whilst there may be a long way to go in terms of developing youth services and support, they tell us that our work is being recognised, people are listening, and you are a necessary and valued voice.’
Check out of the pieces Imogen wrote when she was a Rife content creator here
That’s all for the 2018 list. See you at the launch events!
Tweet us @rifemag #24under24 and let us know who we’ve missed and why.
Support more young people to have their voices heard
Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.
We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.
In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important.
Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.