City College Norwich is well known for nurturing ambitious, creative and talented students. But did you know that among our former students is a Hollywood actor, a songwriter, DJ and producer with a UK number 1 and a Casting Director for leading West End shows?
Here’s a list of some high profile names, celebrities if you will, who crafted their talent at City College Norwich in performing and creative arts. These are just some of the outstandingly talented students to have come out of City College Norwich.
1. Sam Claflin
The first name on our list is Sam Claflin, a Hollywood actor, known by millions of film-lovers around the world.
Sam may now often be in the company of Hollywood A-listers Johnny Depp, Jennifer Lawrence and the like, but prior to his rise to fame, he studying performing arts at City College Norwich.
After leaving the College, Sam graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 2009. He made his acting debut a year later, appearing in various award-winning TV series, before making his film debut playing footballer Duncan Edwards, in United (2011).
Sam’s talented was soon spotted by Hollywood producers and he was cast as Philip in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – a film than made £1bn worldwide!
More recently, Sam has appeared in one of the biggest box-office successes, The Hunger Games film series, and Me Before You (2016).
In Sam’s own words: “I come from the bottom of the ladder. I’m from Norwich. Not many people seem to know about it”
2. Bruce Fielder AKA Sigala
Next on our list is Bruce Fielder, better known as songwriter, producer and DJ extraordinaire Sigala. Bruce studied music at City College Norwich before achieving a degree in commercial music at the University of Westminster.
Since then it has been a meteoric rise to the top for this global superstar. His debut single ‘Easy Love’, although being a result of a few beers, was a UK number 1 smash hit in 2015 and Sigala has racked up three major UK hit singles in just seven months!
2 million sales worldwide and 300 million digital streams later, Sigala has signed a multimillion dollar licence deal with Ministry of Sound – not a bad year then!
Sigala is earmarked to be a huge global talent and begins his first UK live tour in September. Here’s a showcase of his amazing talent:
3. Jacob Sparrow
Jacob Sparrow is an outstanding example of one of the many ambitious young students at City College Norwich.
After completing his National Diploma in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) in 2011 Jacob moved to London to study Theatre Practice at the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
During his time in London, he secured an internship which saw him work with leading West End casting director Pippa Ailion on a number of productions including The Lion King and We Will Rock You. Continuing his outstanding success,
In 2013 Jacob worked as casting director on the cult musical sequel Cool Rider, the first professional West End show he has cast under his own name. The show achieved five-star success and due to demand was transferred to the Duchess Theatre.
As if Jacob hadn’t accomplished enough before the age of 20, in 2014 he spent 6 months in New York learning from and working alongside Broadway’s top casting director, Bernard Telsey. Take a bow Jacob!
4. Archie Lamb and Jack Foster
Not many people have their own record label and clothing brand – think Jay Z. But former City College Norwich students Archie Lamb and Jack Foster are two people that do.
Archie and Jack became friends at the college as students and formed their own record label, Takeover Entertainment, in 2006.
The first performer to sign for the label was British rapper Tinchy Stryder, and following its success, none other than legendary producer and rapper, Jay Z, got involved as a joint venture in 2010. The new company was named Takeover Roc Nation and has a recording studio in Norwich to this day.
In-between working with Jay Z, Archie and Jack, in partnership with Tinchy Stryder, launched fashion label Star in the Hood in 2007. The clothing label achieved great success, featuring in over 115 stores nationwide, including JD Sports.
I wonder what Archie and Jack’s next venture will be?
5. Collins Matsika AKA COLL
A name well known to City College Norwich students, COLL made a name for himself while studying A Levels at the College.
An aspiring rapper, producer and songwriter, COLL released his debut album, Blank Canvas, in 2011, under student-led record label Interim Records – a recording label set up by former City College Norwich business student Joel Siwale.
He then followed this up with the official City College Norwich song! The song was written to inspire other students and it certainly did that – you can check it out below:
Today COLL is still following his dreams, producing music, founding record label True Music Records and supporting chart topping acts including Lethal Bizzle, Devlin and The Jungle Brothers on their headline shows.