Robbie Nelson - Breakthrough Engineer of the Year
UK - Alchemea College is celebrating the recent success of several of its former students at this year's BRIT Awards, Grammy Awards, MPG Awards...and on the charts.

Jimmy Napes (aka James Napier, Class of 2004) was both songwriter and producer whose work contributed to Sam Smith's BRIT Award nods for British Breakthrough Act and British Global Success, as well as nominations for British Album and British Single. Other Alchemea alumni represented at the BRITs include Steve Sedgwick (Class of 2002), house engineer for British Male Solo Artist nominee Damon Albarn, and Robbie Nelson (Class of 2001) who engineered Morning Phase by International Male Solo Artist nominee Beck.

Earlier this month at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, Napes' work was also acknowledged as Smith took home the prestigious prizes for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, as well as winning Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album. Napes also co-wrote Clean Bandit's Rather Be, which won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording. At the American awards ceremony, Nelson saw his work on Morning Phase awarded a Grammy for Album of the Year, Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, and Best Rock Album.

Nelson was further honoured just a few days later at the 2015 Music Producers Guild Awards, winning Breakthrough Engineer of the Year. Fellow alumnus Neil Comber (Class of 2003) was also a contender for Sound Engineer of the Year.

When asked for his advice for people wanting a successful career in the audio industry, Nelson stated, "Go to Alchemea. It gives you an amazing grounding in what you're going to end up doing. Of the runners and assistants that end up at RAK, by far and away the best ones are always from Alchemea."

As if winning some of the industry's most distinguished awards wasn't enough to celebrate, DJ Fresh (Dan Stein, Class of 1997) came just shy of grabbing the Number 1 position on the charts this month for his dance anthem Gravity featuring Ella Eyre.

"We are incredibly proud to have played a part in our alumni successes," comments Christian Huant, Principal at Alchemea College. "All credit goes to their hard work and dedication since completing the course. Of course, as education providers, nothing is more gratifying than seeing past students obtaining the highest recognition of their talent and technical prowess available, on the international stage. The fact that there are a few of them collectively rising to the top is outstanding. I also feel this could be the tip of the iceberg as we have many very promising graduates rising up to surface right now so watch this space."

(Jim Evans)

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