Emma Fee, the striking lead singer of local band Happy Endings, is convinced that Hull’s already vibrant arts scene will receive national recognition when the city takes on the mantle of 2017 UK City of Culture.
Fee, who also works in the University’s facilities team looking after on-campus furnishings, floorings and designs, believes the year-long festival will let more people in on a secret that locals have known about for years.
She said: “I’ve always been proud of Hull – it has a great community spirit. This place used to get bad rap, but mostly from people who have never visited, the City of Culture label will help show people what they’re missing and change their minds!”
“The cultural scene is really thriving in Hull. Art and photography seems to be particularly doing well with small pop-up galleries appearing alongside established venues like Artlink.
“Musically things are really progressing, with bands like Black Delta Movement, Life and the Fronteers getting a lot of recognition outside of Hull.”
And Fee says that she never gets bored in either her day job at the University or in her music career, recording music and playing pubs and clubs in the city, both with Happy Endings and as a solo artist.
“The University and surrounding area is a hive of activity with fantastic venues and social scene. It’s a lovely environment, there’s plenty of greenery and no busy roads breaking the campus up like there are at many others,” she said.
“There’s always so much going on here. The University is a friendly place to work, the architecture is varied and interesting and it has a real buzz to it especially with all of the new-builds.
“There’s always a new challenge – I can’t say I’ve ever been bored working here! But I’ve always loved music too; I wouldn’t know what I’d do without it! Hull’s music scene is so vibrant and it’s given me plenty of opportunity to pursue my passion.
“I love songwriting, performing and recording music. I’ve met so many amazing musicians along the way. I love listening to and watching other musicians and being inspired by them – it fuels what I do as a performer.”
Fee is also excited by the way Hull has risen up to the challenge of becoming the UK City of Culture and is impressed by new developments, such as the burgeoning Fruit Market area in and around Humber Street on the waterfront.
She added: “I’m looking forward to seeing how the Humber Street development works out – I’ve always loved the Humber Street Sesh and the redevelopment will enhance that area further.
“It will be interesting to see how many other venues pop up now we are the UK’s City of Culture 2017.
“I have already seen some attractive new venues doing well in the city centre – Kardomah94, Fruit, Furley and Co – so I’m also looking forward to seeing more people being drawn to the city and having a great time here!”
“The University and surrounding area is a hive of activity with fantastic venues and social scene."
“I’ve always been proud of Hull – it has a great community spirit."