Jarvis Cocker to receive Honorary Doctorate

Jarvis Cocker, lead singer of Pulp and one of Sheffield's greatest musical icons, is to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University at a ceremony in November.

Jarvis is one of Sheffield's best loved musical sons, and as well as his musical career he has had success in documentary and current affairs broadcasting, video production, curation, and art installation.

Jarvis has a close association with Sheffield Polytechnic, which went on to become Sheffield Hallam University. He studied there and Pulp also received their first big break there. The band handed their demo tape to John Peel, who was DJing at the Polytechnic. He loved them and in 1981 he offered the band one of his famous Peel Sessions on Radio 1.

Following this early success, the band gradually drifted away as its members chose higher education. It was then that Jarvis enrolled for an Access course at Sheffield Polytechnic, which then allowed him to win a place at Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design in London.

After graduating, Pulp reformed and by the early 1990s they had achieved both popular success and critical acclaim. In 1994 Pulp was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize, and in the following year their signature single Common People reached number two in the charts.

Many of Pulp's songs and lyrics reference Sheffield, and Jarvis believes that music should have a strong sense of place.

Since 1999 Jarvis has expanded his repertoire, and as well as launching a successful solo career he has achieved as a film maker, radio producer and artist.

Jarvis explains, "It is great to receive an Honorary Doctorate from a university in my home town, and the fact that I have also studied at the University makes it extra special.

"Sheffield Hallam started my career in two ways - firstly as a musician because John Peel 'discovered' us at Sheffield Polytechnic, and then as an artist. If Sheffield Polytechnic hadn't allowed me to study on an Access course then I would never have got my place at St. Martin's.

"It is great to come back to Sheffield and to be surrounded by family and friends as I receive my Honorary Degree. I am more used to the City Hall as a music venue, so seeing it filled with students in cap and gown will be a bit of a change."


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