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DMU alumna releases hopeful Christmas number one hit


Capturing the magic of the holidays with her latest single release, singer-songwriter Alice Kübe could be in the running for the UK singles chart Christmas number one.

Alice Kübe (right) with Morgan Munroe

I Believe in Christmas is released today across all streaming platforms by Leicester-based record label HQ Familia, spreading some much-needed festive cheer during the coronavirus pandemic, with 25p from each download donated to The Prince’s Trust.

The up-and-coming artist and De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate mixes elements of acoustic soul, RnB and pop flavours in her music. She has received support from BBC Introducing, Radio1Xtra, 6Music and Capital Xtra, alongside signing a brand deal with online retailer I Saw It First.

Co-written with artist Morgan Munroe, whose vocals also feature on the track, I Believe in Christmas is about that special someone in your life who can restore the enchanting festive feeling that fades as you get older.

“I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas song and HQ Familia has never released one before, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I see it as something positive coming out of a really tough year and a new personal challenge for me,” said 24-year-old Alice from Leicester.

“The song is relatable to anyone who has found Christmas challenging at times and sends a positive message to everyone struggling with the pandemic. I really hope people will love it and share it.”

In the recording studio with producer Jake Wincott

Alice, who has been singing and playing the guitar since she was 10 years old, returned to music after graduating from DMU in 2018 with a degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications.

She said: “The music industry can be difficult to break into, so I felt I needed to study something as a back-up. My degree has come in really useful though, because I am my own business and brand. It’s also given me the skills to work part-time at HQ Familia in the social media and marketing team.”

The Christmas single has proven to be a true DMU effort, with a number of current students and graduates having worked on the release, thanks to the university’s close ties with HQ Familia.

The record label has long provided placement opportunities through DMU Works and shorter internships through DMU’s Graduate Champions scheme.

Final-year Audio and Recording Technology student Michal Kais is the bassist on the single. Since completing a year-long placement at HQ Familia, he continues to work there part-time and also plays bass guitar with the label’s Harri Georgio & The Well Behaved Young Men.

The 22-year-old from Poland said: “The placement was a really good experience and it will help me to get more out of the last year of my degree because I have a better idea of what I want to do.

“The music industry here is much better paid than back home and I’m really lucky to have these opportunities. Being a part of the Christmas single was a lot of fun and shooting the music video was just what everyone needed after this year.”

Conrad Smart, who graduated with a Visual Effects degree from DMU this year is the videographer and editor for the single. From setting up lighting to framing shots, Conrad filmed the music video and is currently editing it for release on Monday 7 December.

“It’s a lot more commercial than what I normally do, so it’s been a really interesting experience. I found out about HQ Familia back in 2012 when I did a short music course there and I’ve worked with them ever since and throughout my degree,” said the 38-year-old from Leicester.

“I learned a lot during my time at DMU and made some friends for life. The tutors really went the extra mile, taking my dyslexia into consideration and making sure I had the support I needed.”

Sallyanne Kirk, who is on a year out from her Fashion Communication and Styling degree due to childcare challenges presented by the coronavirus, is the single’s photographer and art director.

The 44-year-old from Leicester said: “I was on set making sure everything happened on time and that we got all the shots we needed, plus I’m involved with the editing process.

“I can’t wait for the release of the music video – it’s so heart-warming and funny. I really loved working on it and it’s made me excited for Christmas despite the pandemic.”

Having worked in advertising for 10 years before returning to university, Sallyanne, whose partner owns HQ Familia, heads up the label’s marketing and social media activity.

“Taking a year off uni means I can be more involved with the business, but I can’t wait to return to DMU. Even though I was really worried about being a mature student, everyone accepted and welcomed me. I had the best first year and made friends for life despite coronavirus cutting it short.”

Posted on Friday 27th November 2020

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