Oxford University is renowned for being an institution of excellence, but students Nick Hampson and Jack Saville have now revealed it to also be a musical mecca.
Their new platform the Vulture Sessions aims to enable young artists to get their work seen and, with more than 20,000 views, is doing just that.
The two friends decided to set up a new music platform exclusively for students after Saville discovered they "don't have the time or money to try and push for recordings or videos". Their inspiration for the page is derived from platforms such as Sofar Sounds and La Blogotheque. Oxford is already a breeding ground for musical excellence with bands like Radiohead, Foals, Stornaway and Glass Animals all hailing from the city.
The backdrop is no coincidence, with Saville recognising sessions "not only celebrate unsigned local musicians in a community, but also celebrate the place itself". Hampson adds: "Oxford is a goldmine for beautiful little spots and corners and stunning scenery and so we decided we would film artists all over town."
Each artist chooses and arranges their location, which have so far included coffee shops, ancient cloisters, chapels, libraries and gardens to name a few.
The pair's ultimate aim is to create a database "like a sort of visual performance based version of SoundCloud in the form of a website". The students want to enable people to be able watch "amazingly high quality content from universities all over the world, specifically in the form of pro-shot sessions with local and student musicians".
"We want the platform to act as a kind of middleman for record labels looking for new acts," Saville explains. In the meantime they simply aim to "film beautiful live sessions that feel raw and real", and to focus on "original music by unsigned artists".
But the music doesn’t all fall into one genre, as Hampson explains: "Yesterday we filmed a large electric funk band doing an acoustic salsa version of an eighties hit in my back garden."
If that wasn’t eccentric enough, Saville recalls "a mandolin looper who played us a medley of Arctic Monkeys songs and one folk four piece who did a great cover of James Bay's 'Hold Back the River', which was completely rearranged".
Hampson urges students to get involved and follow the channel because "every session is a private concert with some of the finest up-and-coming musicians around". Despite the hard work required, the pair are enjoying the process with Saville explaining "it’s a great laugh".
The channel is moving on to great things with aims to expand to the US. It has had interest from several institutions; New York University and University of Southern California, among others.
Whether the pair stays in Oxford or moves across the sea, Vulture Sessions are destined to set the beat.
If you want to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org