Music Tech graduate credits DMU for helping her gain confidence to perform on a global stage
Rapper Lady Sanity has thanked De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) for giving her the confidence to take centre stage in front of a global TV audience of a billion people.
The Music Technology graduate was catapulted into the limelight when she was selected to perform on stage at the Commonwealth Games Handover Ceremony in Australia.
It was the biggest gig of her life as she had only previously performed in front of crowds of up to 500 people.
Sanity – whose real name is Sherelle Robbins – couldn’t believe it when she was asked to represent her home city of Birmingham more than 10,000 miles away on the Gold Coast.
The 23-year-old said: “It was amazing, such a great experience. Being part of it was so huge, and such an honour.
“I thought I’d be really nervous or anxious or even worse; fall over on stage. But all I felt was energy; I just got carried away by the excitement of it all.
“I really enjoyed the experience; being part of the Commonwealth Games ceremony was such a moment for me.”
Sanity performed her track Go The Distance, which tells the story of tackling challenges head on while staying true to yourself and the people around you.
Her performance with a four-piece band on April 15 was seen by about 25,000 people in the Carrara Stadium, as well as a TV audience of an estimated billion people around the world.
Sanity performed as part of the showcase Birmingham put on as it received the Commonwealth Games baton from Brisbane and launched preparations for the 2022 event.
She said: “Being active within the music scene gave me the opportunity to represent Birmingham on a world stage.
“I’d never have imagined I’d be where I am today. This is beyond my dreams. What an amazing journey – and I couldn’t have done it without DMU.”
The full-time rapper started her MC’ing career in her bedroom, teaching herself acoustic guitar from the age of about 15.
But it was only after graduating from DMU in 2015 that Sanity started picking up live gigs – and surprising herself by actually enjoying being on stage.
The first EP she released was even called ‘The Graduate’ as she sang about leaving university and the new opportunities available to her.
She has now performed at gigs and festivals both in the UK and overseas, including Glastonbury Festival, The Great Escape Festival in Brighton and the Hip Hop Conference in the Netherlands. She is a regular on BBC6Music and has recently received funding from the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) organisation to release future music.
Sanity – who describes herself as a rapper with a message - raps about gender, race and anything else affecting her day-to-day life.
Sanity said she fondly remembers her DMU years, especially enjoying being part of the Music Society and playing in the Women’s Basketball Team.
She said: “I had a great student experience. The Music Society really helped me to develop a stage presence. I became more social and came out of my comfort zone.
“Before DMU, I’d just been bedroom-based. It was just me in my bedroom with a guitar, trying to make my own fusion.
“I was naturally shy, I had no confidence. It was a struggle but DMU taught me to push myself. I was encouraged to network and meet as many people as possible in the music industry,
“I overcame my shyness and came out of my shell.”
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It is now Sanity’s ambition to progress into the business-side of music by setting up and running her own studio to share her knowledge.
She said: “I really believe in the power of education. I want to give back and help future generations to develop their own music careers."
Posted on: Thursday 26 April 2018