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Published: 12 October 2020

DMM alumni ‘Know Where They’ve Been’ for feel-good lockdown cover

To boost their spirits and continue to produce and record music over lockdown, past alumni and current students from the Department of Music and Media have collaborated to create ambitious covers from well-known musicals, from their own studios and bedrooms at home. Featuring over 20 artists, the latest video is a cover of I Know Where I've Been from the West End production of Hairspray.

Olivia Zacharia
Olivia Zacharia

Produced by Music BMus graduate Olivia Zacharia, with Music and Sound Engineering (Tonmeister) alumnus Jen Paterson and video editor Rebecca Waldron, the video released on YouTube features past and present students from the Department’s Music, Creative Music Technology and Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) courses. 

The project came about after Olivia stumbled upon an online version of This World Will Remember Us from Bonnie & Clyde. She worked with Jen to re-record a cover version in PATS Studio 2, before editing and uploading it to YouTube in the early stages of lockdown. Since then, the team have recorded covers from Grease, Heathers and Be More Chill, with I Know Where I've Been being their biggest recording to date, both in terms of alumni numbers and online views.

Olivia commented: “My YouTube videos feature predominantly Surrey grads at the moment, which is great because it's an excuse to get everyone together online and perform again at a time where we can’t in person. I also stay in touch with other alumni from the Musical Theatre Society, Big Band and PATS as a whole - everyone was friends with everyone.”  

The project has received a great deal of support from friends, family and the music industry, including recognition from the composer of Hairspray, Marc Shaiman, who commented: "Beautifully done, from top to bottom. Thank you to everyone involved!". 

To allow for everyone’s busy schedules, Olivia and the team works in a six-to-nine-week cycle of sending out parts, receiving them, editing and mixing the final piece. She says: “We're all very collaborative on this process, with videos and audio files being sent between the three of us always sharing ideas and solving problems.”

Professor Graham Miller, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, commented: “As we start what is going to be a very different semester, this video I think is a helpful reminder of the talents and skills we are helping to develop in our students. I would strongly encourage everyone to watch the video and I defy it not to put a smile on your faces!”

Olivia has a lot of exciting projects coming next and is looking to branch out to her network to other performers who may wish to feature in up-and-coming new recordings. 

Watch the full YouTube video on Olivia’s YouTube channel:

Learn more about studying for a Music BMus at Surrey.

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