Raleigh Ritchie talks balancing acting with music

Masterclass

Raleigh Ritchie, aka Jacob Anderson, is one of the UK’s most promising rising stars.

The 25-year-old shot to stardom following starring roles in Game of Thrones and Broadchurch. His critically acclaimed debut album ‘You’re A Man Now, Boy‘ has also won him a cult following. We recently welcomed Raleigh to BIMM Bristol for another exciting Masterclass.

The session covered a broad range of topics, from Raleigh’s success on the silver screen to the artists that have inspired him over the years. Speaking to a packed audience, he revealed how his taste in music was partly inspired by his parents’ love of dance music.

“Both my parents are into very bassy music, my mum would listen to a lot of house and techno, and then my dad was into dub and roots,” he told BIMM Songwriting tutor Annie Gardiner.

Raleigh also spoke about his early love of pop and chart music, before later delving deeper and broadening his musical horizons.

“A friend of mine handed me a copy of Innervisions by Stevie Wonder; that album changed my life in quite a big way.”

The Bristol-born rapper later went on to talk about moving to London, aged just 17 years old; a decision made after months spent commuting to and from the capital for early morning auditions.

“I was getting up at three, four in the morning,” he said. “It just made sense for me to move. I think I wanted a change of scenery.”

Raleigh told the packed room how his acting and music careers took off at the same time. He actually signed a record deal with Columbia Records in the same week he landed his Game of Thrones role. It was fascinating to hear Raleigh speak openly about his part in the hit TV show, particularly about the mixed impact the series has had on his career.

“I think Game Of Thrones has kind of hurt me in some ways, but I think it’s also been good,” he quipped. “I like to keep them [acting and music] as separate as possible.”

On whether or not he approaches his music video with an acting frame of mind, Raleigh said:

“I was really resistant to it at first. I didn’t want to be in any of my videos, I didn’t want to be on any artwork, I wanted to keep them completely separate.”

The lively session ended with a Q&A. Our students were eager to find out more about the actor’s career and his advice to those looking to follow a similar path as an actor and musician. Raleigh told them: “If you wanna do anything creative, you have just got to do it because you love it. Because you get constant knock backs. But it’s so worth it when you get to do the fun things and the things that you enjoy.”

Following the Masterclass, we caught up with BA (Hons) Music Production student Elliott Tottle to get his thoughts on the session.

“It’s interesting to hear from the MDs and people like Jacob, who have got acting involved,” he told us. “He talked about Bristol being a good hub for his confidence and creativity. It’s nice to know that he started here.”

Echoing his comments was the session’s host Annie, who praised the star’s humble nature:

“He was a real sweetheart and very generous with how he comes up with music. He was first inspired to write by Kizzy Morrell, a renowned Bristol singer, who was running Songwriting classes at Lakota, a local house and techno club. He spoke in depth about how he saw acting and songwriting as something entirely separate and had been lucky enough to experience both.”

We’d like to thank Raleigh for taking the time out to speak to our students. His encouraging words about overcoming setbacks while pursuing a creative career really struck a chord with the audience. We hope to welcome him back to BIMM very soon.


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