Leeds Arts University announces Skin as its first Chancellor

13 January 2021

Skin, acclaimed DJ, fashion icon, actress, activist and lead singer of multi-million selling rock band, Skunk Anansie, is to become Leeds Arts University’s first Chancellor.

Skin is one of Britain’s leading multi-talented artists. Born and brought up in Brixton, South London, she rejected the safe haven of soul and R&B session singing by literally diving headlong into hardcore rock. Since she emerged in the mid ‘90s with Skunk Anansie, Skin has been a groundbreaking presence, recently hosting her own radio show and publishing her memoir ‘It takes blood and guts’.

On accepting the appointment Skin said:
“I would like to say that I am absolutely delighted and honoured to accept the role as the first ever Chancellor of Leeds Arts University, which is the only specialist arts university in the North of England. I visited recently, met lots of the staff and I was just really impressed with the students and the set up. I'm looking forward to supporting everybody in their creative talents.”

Professor Simone Wonnacott, Vice-Chancellor, Leeds Arts University said:
“It is a great pleasure to announce that Skin will be Leeds Arts University’s first Chancellor. Skin has an ongoing relationship with the University, her visit in 2019 as a part of our Creative Networks events programme and masterclass was an inspiration to all our students. Skin’s creative background spans many areas of the creative industries including music, fashion and art, and makes her uniquely qualified to undertake the post of Chancellor.”

Skin by @arvedphotoImage: @arvedphoto.

The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the University and plays an important ambassadorial role, one who students and staff can look to for inspiration and who can speak on behalf of the University and the creative sector. This is even more important during and following the pandemic which has impacted so heavily on the creative sector.

As well as fronting one of the UK’s most successful bands, Skin is a multi-talented artist involved in various projects. She is an established DJ, playing Techno, Tech House and Minimal all over the world at classic venues like Output in New York, Sound Nightclub in LA and Fabric in London, and with Iconic Techno Dj Nicole Moudaber, Space (Ibiza) at Carl Cox’s Revolution (2016) and Coachella in 2016. She has also released Techno music under the guise of Juvenal on Nichole Moudaber’s Mood Records (2016).

Skunk Anansie became the first international multi-racial band to tour South Africa and also performed at a concert held to mark the 80th birthday of former South African President and global icon Nelson Mandela. In 1999 the band headlined Glastonbury just 4 years after their debut appearance on the main stage in 1995. In celebration of Skunk Anansie’s 25th anniversary in 2019 the British media embraced their importance within today’s culture with the likes of Channel 4 News, Newsnight, The One Show, Radio 2, Virgin Radio, national newspapers and broadsheets hailing them as iconic pillars of Britrock, as well as wide-spread acclaim from music and fashion press including Dazed & Confused, Phoenix Magazine, Diva Magazine, The Quietus, NME, Classic Rock, and Kerrang, who awarded the band their Hall of Fame Award 2019. Skin was also awarded with the ‘Inspirational Artist’ award at the 2018 Music Week Women In Music Awards.