ICMP Release Radar - January 2021

The ICMP community never stops surprising us and, once again, they have provided the best monthly soundtrack we could ever wish for!

Here is a great selection of tracks being released this month, January 2021. Follow our playlist to not miss out on any new tracks by our students and alumni.



ELLA ELIZA • Alone With You



Born in Germany, raised in the USA, and relocated to the UK, Ella Eliza (BA Creative Musicianship) is breaking cultural and musical barriers with her unique sonic blend made of Contemporary R'n'B and Soultronic. First being introduced to classical music by her mother, Ella went on to develop her own artistic vision when she began writing songs at a young age. Finding herself exposed to various genres, Ella took inspiration from artists such as Frank Ocean and KAYTRANADA.

"'Alone With You' is not only a love letter to an impactful relationship but also an ode to my journey towards self-acceptance. Having been unable to collaborate as usual throughout the pandemic, I took matters into my own hands writing and producing a body of work in my bedroom studio."


LOS BRAVOS • Black Is Black


Bruce Game (MMus Popular Music Performance) moved to London from Iran in 2016 to study music at ICMP and ended up staying with us for both his BMus and MMus degrees. His latest release sees him joining the Spanish rock band Los Bravos for a live version of their classic 'Black Is Black'. Bruce is also writing and producing Los Bravos' new album and has already released two singles with them in 2020.  


CONOR HOUSTON • Problem Plays


Conor Houston’s (BA Creative Music Production) music is a product of both his origins in the north of England and his diverse ventures further afield. Alongside creating original music, he has worked extensively across the UK, US and Europe as a session musician. From appearing on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' behind a pop act to late-night studio work, via singing with orchestras, he has gradually cultivated a very personal approach to music-making.

'Problem Plays' is his latest release, a track that was recorded before the coronavirus pandemic, but didn’t feel right to be released it over the summer. The start of 2021 seemed more appropriate, with the hopes of a better year ahead of us than the last.

"The term ‘problem play’ is used for Shakespeare plays which cannot be classified as one specific genre, e.g. tragedy or comedy. This idea informed the mood of this song, as I wanted to compose something which was melancholic yet hopeful.
The lyrics are not particularly specific, though images of ageing and witnessing life pass by were certainly in mind. “Cheer up, ‘cause it might never happen” is a phrase my grandmother would say to me, meaning to stop worrying about things which you cannot control.

"The lyrics were written first, and when composing the music, I simply followed where the lyric took me. No section is repeated, and I feel this transience complements the lyrics’ mood."



PEPLOE • The Novice


Alt-pop duo Peploe consists of Gabrielle Thomas and Arvid Rongedal (BA Creative Musicianship). In Stockholm, Arvil grew up playing the drums in local bands, singing, and exploring different instruments. Discovering production at the age of 12, he started recording music with heavy use of both electronics and live instruments, shaping a unique production style and sound. Gabrielle has a suburban London background and has always been surrounded by music, with her roots resting in gospel and soul. She grew up writing music and singing as a hobby and later, in her teens, found it to be a good way to deal with her thoughts and feelings. The two met at ICMP late 2018 and, after several months, decided to start writing music together. 

"The original inspiration for 'The Novice'  came from reflecting over one's own obsessive nature and insecurities, written after an eventful night at a house party. Still wanting to have fun with the track though, we kept the instrumentation upbeat, exciting, and just a little chaotic to reflect the 'messy' mind presented in the lyrics."


DORA PAPADAKI • Love n' Hate


Dora Papadaki (MMus Popular Music Performance) recently released her latest track 'Love n' Hate', a new venture in the hip hop world. Several radio stations (UK and Greece) have been streaming the track, while it has reached 10K views on YouTube.

"The song talks about loving and hating a person at the same time."




Kaila Cooper aka Black Magic Womxn (Cert HE Creative Musicianship) is a songwriter and producer. The latest release, 'Bad For Me', was produced by Andy Yu. 

<"The song is about a toxic relationship, hence why bad for me."




Mateus Kogut Lessa de Sá (MA Songwriting) is a singer-songwriter from originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A songwriter since the age of 11,  he likes to experiment with different genres including folk, pop, hip-hop and R'n'B. His main musical influences include Justin Vernon, Kanye West, Jon Bellion and Jai Paul. His latest release, 'Wish', is a song about holding onto a 'wish to live' in the face of defeat and emotional unrest.

Mateus explored melodic vocals and a modern hip-hop production approach to add a more triumphant and optimistic upbeat vibe to the song.

"I was also inspired by a 2018 Guardian interview I read with Haruki Murakami (an author I like), in which he speaks about his nightmarish stories, saying: 'That's the fundamental structure of my stories: you have to go through the darkness, through the underground, before you get to the light.' 2020 seems to have been that darkness, that underground which Murakami speaks about. In a year so full of lows, working on 'WISH' has been very therapeutic for me, allowing me to channel my emotions into creativity. I hope its message can raise other people's spirits too."




Saara Kaldma (BMus Popular Music Performance - Vocals) is a singer-songwriter from Estonia. Although she has sung for as long as she can remember, she also plays the violin and the piano. Coming to London and study at ICMP is "a dream come true"

'This Bed' is her debut single, the outcome of one of the many sleepless nights during the first lockdown in March. Having spent a very busy summer back in Estonia, she managed to record the song there, right before returning to London for the new term. Due to the pandemic, she wasn't able to get a whole band together and therefore decided to go for a simple piano and vocal version, where the song started from anyway. 




Oliver Beardmore (MA Songwriting) is a singer-songwriter with a particular passion for alternative guitar music. His first musical memory was listening to 'Mind Games' by John Lennon in his dad's car at a very young age. "I really cannot express how much I love music", he told us. 

The lead single from his upcoming EP, 'Fiesta', delves into the wall of sound lineage. He has been drawing from acts inspired by Phil Spector such as the Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine. 

While the lead single being more of a jet-propelled pop anthem, the upcoming EP is expected to further explore combinations of prehistoric guitar walls and reverb-drenched synths, with ethereal hooks and traditional songwriting prevailing at the project's core.


Let us know what you're up to

If you're an ICMP student, alumn or tutor and have new music coming out anytime soon, please get in touch!

We are always happy to support you and share your new releases and career news with the rest of the ICMP community.

submit your project