BRIT award nominee S1mba returned to his roots at New College and revealed he owes his success to what he learned there.

S1mba – real name Leonard Rwodzi – inspired music students with a talk and advice, and then performed some of his hits in the Phoenix Theatre. 

The Rover artist, who studied Music Production and Music Technology at New College, hinted of his plans to provide Swindon students with more opportunities.

He said: “My team and I are working on a way to give places like Swindon opportunities.

“I would not be where I am today if I didn’t do this course, I swear down. If I didn’t take in everything I learned here with my own hard work outside the classroom, I would not be here. 

“I didn’t know what C or D minor was until I came here. The minute you understand the terminology, it can put you miles ahead and it helps a lot in the industry.

“Put your all in. You’re in good hands. Make sure you suck it all in.”

The 22-year-old went viral on TikTok with the Rover dance challenge. The song reached number three on the UK Singles Chart and was nominated for Song of the Year at the Brit Awards this year. 

He emphasised the importance of a strong work ethic and told students to believe in the music they’re creating.

He said: “If you ever have the mentality of saying 'I’m not going to be able to do it. I’m from Swindon, it can’t happen for me'. Trust me, if what you’re doing you believe in, it will happen.

“Don’t stop. You guys are talented people. It’s all about being putting all the effort and time in you can. I honestly don’t have any other secret other than keep working.

“Your love for music is going to keep you going. You get bored of the lifestyle, the money.

“People think music is easy because it’s a passion and a talent but we’re doing mad mathematics and physics every day. You guys are smart, intelligent people so just keep doing it.”. 

The Zimbabwean-born artist touched on the anxiety he feels now he has “made it”. He added: “My recording anxiety has got even worse. It comes down to being confident in what you’re doing. 

“Now I’m in the position where I’ve had a top five song so I’m thinking how am I going to top that?

“Everyone in the industry is there waiting for you to do something. But I do this because

I love music so you have to go back to that.”

S1mba recorded his debut single The Plan in the college’s studio back in 2018 and he released his debut album Good Time Long Time earlier this year.