This September, our new Confetti London campus will be opening its doors. Based in London E1 – a stone’s throw away from the popular destinations of Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market – it will replicate the success of our Nottingham facilities, with a new 600-capacity venue that will host live music, entertainment and esports events at the heart of the capital.
In anticipation of the campus launch, we recently caught up with Darius Khwaja, our new Campus Director. From securing a record deal with his band to launching the first combined degree in music performance and production, Darius has lots of industry practice experience and has been working in specialist music higher education since 1996.
Read on to find out more about Darius and why you should consider studying and living in London.
Hi Darius, please tell us a bit about your background
Yes, of course. I began my career as a musician, guitarist and frontman of my own band, which went on to achieve a production deal. My bandmates and I gigged for a number of years before we parted ways and I began to do sessions and play for other bands. Alongside my work as a musician, I have run – from an academic and commercial perspective – specialist music higher education providers. I focused on innovation in course and curriculum design and improving the student experience. I was Head of Education at Musicians Institute London and co-founded the London Centre of Contemporary Music (LCCM) in 2002.
LCCM is a specialist higher education college for music, writing and entrepreneurship. I enjoyed 17 years with the institution, initially serving as Academic Director before becoming its Principal and CEO. During my time with the organisation, we launched the first-ever combined degree in Music Performance and Music Production and developed a £34 million new specialist building, ‘The Music Box’, in South London where we installed a basement music venue, performance spaces and recording studios. As part of the strategy group to sell LCCM, I continued to lead the organisation under new ownership with the aim of growing London to full capacity and expanding with new international sites. LCCM is now the highest-ranked provider of music performance and music business degrees in the UK by student satisfaction (NSS 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022).
In 2018, I was approached to lead Wac Arts, a registered charity based in Hampstead, North London, that provides inclusive performing arts and media programmes for young people aged 4 – 30. The opportunity aligned with my interest in improving access to the arts and I chose to move on from LCCM. After three years leading the business transformation of Wac Arts, increasing its beneficiary numbers and growing its unrestricted reserves by 116%, I set my sights on Confetti and NTU’s new London campus.
What makes Confetti unique and why should students study at the new London campus?
Confetti’s vision for high-quality, entertainment-industry education completely aligns with my own. I have dedicated my career to advancing the best music and creative education for everyone and like Confetti, believe the best educational opportunities must be open to people from all backgrounds.
The Confetti model is an inspiration. Part of Confetti Media Group – it takes an entrepreneurial approach to education. Learners study hands-on courses in a unique suite of commercial businesses like Metronome and Confetti X that support the student learning experience.
We are developing what we have learned from almost 30 years of running an innovative and forward-thinking education programme in Nottingham, one that is backed and supported by industry.
Reflecting the course offer in Nottingham, the student experience will be underpinned by a proven curriculum, world-class learning opportunities, and extensive industry connections.
This will allow students from campuses in Nottingham and London to collaborate on live projects, access work experience across the UK, and spend parts of their study across both campuses.
Based on personal experience, why would you recommend students study and live in London?