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China Bears are an exciting new band emerging from ACM Guildford, made up of five friends all currently studying on the Songwriting Degree here.

The band have been working tirelessly through the pre-production of their newest material with Kieron Pepper, our very own Head of Creative Output and Artist Development, and have recently been given the opportunity to perform at two ACM showcases, to a great reception!

We caught up with Ivan, frontman and lead singer of China Bears, to find out a little bit more about what they’re up to, and what we can expect from them in 2017.

Ivan. China Bears. Welcome! Tell us about yourselves…

We’re China Bears; an indie alternative rock band currently based in Guildford (whilst we finish our studies). We’re made up of myself , Frazer, Dean, Rosie and James.

Nice! Can you break down your musical style a little more for us?

We all have our own favourite artists, but musically, we mainly take influence from bands such as The National, The Staves, Arcade Fire, Dry the River and Bon Iver. We like the blend between acoustic and electric music. When it comes to lyrics we mainly write about things that have gone on in our lives or to those close around us.

What are your plans for 2017?

This is the year we begin to release music. We actually have our first single coming out on April 7th, which we’re all really excited about and we have a headline show at The Boileroom in Guildford to coincide with the release.

Cheeky plug?

For anyone interested in coming down, tickets can be bought through the Boileroom website.

How has the support from ACM been?

ACM has provided some great facilities for us to rehearse and record. Particularly their link with Metropolis Studios, which has given us the opportunity to record there. It has been fantastic!

We’ve met a lot of great people at ACM and made some good friends. Tutors like Kieron Pepper have given us their time and support to sit down with us and listen to our songs, come to see us play live, and offer their advice, which we’ve been very grateful for.

A little birdie told me that some of you have your own projects underway as well. Can you tell me a bit about what each of you get up to in your own time?

Everyone in the band writes and contributes towards songwriting both inside and outside of the band. Dean, Rosie and James are also working on their own solo projects, and they have some releases of their own planned for later this year as well.

Where can we find your music?

Soon you’ll be able to listen to our music through all the major platforms, until then we have a few live videos on our YouTube Channel and Facebook Page.

If you’d like to be a student at ACM to kickstart your career in the music industry like China Bears, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.

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