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David Bowie: An Inspiration

11th January 2016
Music and performance
As the world wakes up to the news of David Bowie’s death, Martin James, Professor of Music Industries at Southampton Solent University, credits the music legend with shaping his life and career. His music hero ignited in him a passion for the arts, writing and academia. Bowie influenced his MA, PHD and even became the subject of his inaugural professorial lecture.

Speaking about him this morning Martin says: “He is the most important artist of the last 50 years. He broke barriers in music, art, identity, sexuality. He inspired a generation to embrace music and all of its possibilities and to embrace change. He was never static – always pushed himself and his fans. His new album felt like he was close to creating the definitive Bowie masterpiece… I’m actually really devastated.

bowie-tweet“I was talking to my kids on the way to school and trying to explain why Bowie has been so important in my life. He was the first pop star to stop me dead in my tracks and make me want to know more. He introduced me to so many different types of music. He influenced/inspired almost all of my favourite musicians since the 1970s.

“Because of him I hung up my footie boots and became a musician. I was useless at school, but because of him I started to read books that he talked about. I discovered artists, film makers, poets because of him. I became interested in great thinkers after he discussed them in interviews. I went back to study as a mature student because of his inspiration.

“I became a writer because of the fires he lit in me. This inspiration led to my MA & PhD. The last academic paper I published was about his comeback album, The Next Day and last year I gave my Professorial lecture about him.

“In so many ways David Bowie was my teacher. My love of his music and what he represented inspired me to continually reach, reinvent and discover – without cynicism.”

If you would like to interview Martin call Southampton Solent University’s Media Office on 023 8201 3040.

About Professor Martin James
Prior to becoming a lecturer in 2004, Martin was an internationally renowned music journalist who had worked on the editorial teams of some of the biggest magazines on the market. He also regularly contributed to almost every major music and lifestyle magazine, and numerous daily broadsheet newspapers. Martin has also written several internationally published and critically acclaimed books about music, including biographies of The Prodigy and Dave Grohl. A full biog can be found on the Southampton Solent University website.