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24 Most Influential Bristolians Under 24: 2017 List

Here at Rife magazine we are all about celebrating and nurturing your talent. This is our fourth list of 24 Influential Bristolians Under 24.

If you’re young and making movements in Bristol, we want to know about it. And we want to write about it.

We’ve gathered together 24 influential people in Bristol under 24 below.


We want to celebrate everything they’ve done for Bristol and for youth culture in the city. This isn’t the be all and end all of lists – no, it’s a conversation-starter. It’s a list designed to get you thinking. Who are we missing? Who do we need to know about? We’re here to celebrate all the talented young people of Bristol.

Here are our influential Bristolians under 24, in music, film, social media, sport, social issues, politics and art, the 2017 class:

1.  ART: Jasmine Thompson

Jasmine is a Bristol-based illustrator and designer. Her work varies between live sketching, storyboarding, political cartoons, murals, infographics and portraiture. Her most recent work includes creating a mural in the Pervasive Media Studio, and in-house political cartoonist for Rife Magazine. Simply, her work can be defined as a form of storytelling, and through illustration she captures the essence and vibe of a person or place, and uses illustration as a platform for that story.

Jazz said: ‘Being a young person in the creative industries can be incredibly challenging, and finding opportunities can be few and far between. Coming out of uni with no connections in the city to being recognised as an influencer in the arts is incredible, I’m so so honoured and grateful. I hope this inspires young artists to actually pursue this route and fills them with the confidence that they can achieve something. I am so thankful for all the love and support.’

Find her here and here

2. ACTIVISM: Hack-A-Heckle

Hack A Heckle is a social action campaign run by a collective of musicians, creatives and activists aged 19-24 who are passionate about using the power of music to challenge gender-based harassment in Bristol and the UK. Throughout the campaign they organised a series of performances, conducted research and partnered with local organisations. Moved by various conversations, they also produced an EP to reflect different experiences people face as a result of harassment.

Will from the collective said, ‘The beauty of Bristol is the level of artistic innovation, social change and community spirit that resides here. This list helps prove that each year… To be included in it is humbling and an honour. Our group is a mixture of genders, backgrounds and talents, but we all had the common desire to make a difference using something we all love – music. We set out to inspire others and this recognition of our work feels so good…’

Find them here

3. FOOTBALL: Danique Kerkdijk

Danique Kerkdijk (born 1996) is a Dutch footballer who plays as a defender for English side Bristol City WFC and previously for FC Twente. At an international level, she plays for the Netherlands women’s national football team. At the age of 21, she signed for Bristol City W.F.C., who play in the English FA WSL 1 league. At the annoucement, she said that ‘I was really impressed at the club’s vision for the future, I believe this is the best place for me to grow and develop as a player’. She made her debut for the team in the 6–0 defeat against reigning champions Chelsea LFC in September 2017. During an interview following the victory, Kerkdijk expressed the hope that the increased level of training at Bristol compared to Twente would result in continual call ups for the national team.

4. ART: Nicholas Ogri

Nick is a freelance illustrator, comic book artist, learning animator and avid streetwear  based in Bristol. He is heavily influenced and inspired by comic books (manga), Japanese anime, american cartoons and streetwear. He mainly works digitally creating a very minimalist and colorful vibrant aesthetic which has been used as album cover and featured all over Instagram (hypebae and modernflex) but has also worked with KWMC on bristol’s streetpianos. He is in the process of creating his own comic book. He is also a streetwear enthusiast.

Nick said: ‘This is incredibly honoring and unexpected to be nominated for such an award, Its inspiring to say the least. I started  at the start if this year not expecting all the support which has been overwhelming in a good way. Being a young creative, its important to find what you love and put your energy into it.’

Find him here and here

5. PHOTOGRAPHY: Joe Varney

Joe Varney is a young photographer from Bristol. He has always enjoyed photography but in the past year has taken this to a new level, starting an Instagram account dedicated to photography and inspired by other photographers, has taught himself how to use a variety of programs to enhance his photos. He is working towards an Arts Award at KWMC and has recently enjoyed taking part in their Jump into Journalism course.

Joe said, ‘I was incredibly proud to be nominated for this award. Bristol is such a creative and diverse city, it’s an amazing place to live and I have met so many inspiring and interesting people it has really given me the incentive to work hard and keep making great connections both online and in person. In the future I hope to pursue a career in the creative media field and feel like Bristol is a great city to be in to realise this ambition.’

6. POLITICS: Jack Payne

Jack was elected as the 2017/18 Bristol Youth Mayor in February 2017. He champions the Bristol City Youth Council manifesto and meets with the mayor every 1-2 months. He was also last years Member of Youth Parliament for Bristol, which included him speaking at the House of Commons dispatch box! He also serves on the National NHS Youth Forum, where he help guides youth policy making and youth advocacy within the NHS.

Jack said, ‘I am honoured and frankly humbled to be on this years list. Having seen previous years lists, it’s pretty surreal to be on the same ‘influential’ par with them. Its a great feeling to be recognised for my work, but an even greater feeling to see the great work of young people in the city of Bristol.’

Find him here

7. POLITICS: Eve Szczelkun

17-year-old Eve Szczelkun is a Youth Mayor of Bristol. During her tenure, she has worked with the Mayor on the 2050 City Plan ensuring there is enough focus on the environment and building inclusive communities, as well as writing a bid to the EU and speaking on panels about topics like feminism, whilst completing her GCSE’s. She believes that there should be votes at 16, a universal basic income and more attention on climate change.

Eve said: ‘It is an honour to be nominated and I am grateful to everyone who has supported me: my parents, friends, the youth workers and the Mayor. I first became interested in politics after going to my best friend’s each Friday and chatting about feminism and politics with her and her mum on what we called ‘Philosophy Friday’, and it is to her that I owe many parts of my speeches.’

Find her here

7. POETRY: Craft-D

Danny ‘Craft-D’ Pandolfi is a spoken word poet, rapper and events co-ordinator originally from London. He is founder and artistic director of Raise the Bar, which includes monthly spoken word events at Watershed bringing headliners from around the UK and world, and providing a platform for Bristol’s emerging talent. He’s performed all over the UK including Camp Bestival, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ministry of Sound, 02 Academy Bristol, Roundhouse, BBC Radio Bristol and BBC 1Xtra.

Craft-D said, ‘I’m so lucky to have found such an amazing city, incredible friends and thriving artistic community that inspire me to create and facilitate, its a huge number of hardworking and selfless people that make this city and scene what it is. Bristol’s talent pool never stops amazing me, and we constantly find awesome new wordsmiths through Raise the Bar. To be included on such a prestigious list curated by a magazine I love and an Editor I admire is a personal milestone I’m so grateful for, and with cuts to the arts from this government it’s crucial we continue to support young creatives to find their feet and overcome the mental health barriers of today’s society to realize their potential.’

Find him on Facebook,  Twitter, YouTube

8. DANCE: Deanna Roberts

After 10 years participating and performing for the youth company as a founding member, Deanna is now proudly teaching under the RISE name. Newly graduated (2017) Deanna is only just entering into the dance industry, where she is now focusing on sustaining a freelance lifestyle as a dancer, performer, choreographer but main focus of practice, teaching.

Teaching styles of dance has become a new passion of Deanna’s journey, exploring styles within street dance and carnival culture. Teaching these style correctly and educating those with the background and formation is something again Deanna continues to do within her classes.

As well as working for RISE Youth Dance, Deanna also takes on many other teaching opportunities throughout Bristol delivering classes of many ages and styles of dance. Deanna is also currently involved in the Creative Youth Network at The Station named as an Alumni, where she can develop her working practice.

Deanna attends further afield classes on a weekly basis to keep fresh with movement vocabulary, to educate further and pass on this knowledge to those that she teaches and to develop herself and future ambitions.

Learning something new each day is something Deanna continues to do in order to grow as an artist. RISE Youth Dance will always be close to Deanna’s heart  as she works hard to give back to those all that was given to her.

9. POETRY: Marchant Barron

Marchant loves words; they swim in his head and only surface when he writes on his letter board. Marchant is a poet with an insightful voice, but more than that, he truly connects with people.  Eight of his poems floated among the autumn trees at Westonbirt Arboretum and featured on BBC Autumnwatch. His words resonated through the woods: ‘Even when we are tethered, we can be free in our minds.’

Marchant said, ‘I need to write, it’s the way I feel free. My book Autumn, Caught has taken my words into new worlds, it will even be held by a man on Death Row. To be seen is to be loved and I am honoured to be seen in this stellar city…’

Find him here

10. THEATRE: Elinor Lower

Elinor is a young theatremaker and aspiring playwright currently working as the Development Assistant for Rising Arts Agency to help widen access to the arts in Bristol. During her degree and beyond it, she has worked to create safe, inclusive spaces for creativity (as best she can!) whether that’s for comedy, theatre, or other visual arts. She is also part of the eighth cohort of the Bristol Old Vic’s ‘Made in Bristol’ scheme.

Elinor said, ‘It can feel so daunting trying to make your way in the arts—particularly as a young person—but with every day that goes by, and with every amazing other young artist/theatremaker/writer/person I get to work with, it gets a little bit easier. I’m incredibly proud to be included in this list and thrilled to have been able to worm my way into the city’s vibrant, passionate community of young people that are genuinely changing the way the arts operate in Bristol.’

Find her here and here

11. ART: Stacey Olika

Stacey Olika is recent UWE graduate and freelance graphic designer. Stacey has recently showcased an art exhibition titled ‘I Am Melanin’ which focuses on inclusivity within culture and race as well as equality. For the most part of the year, Stacey has been working alongside UWE to promote and embrace African culture.

Stacey said, ‘In all honesty, I didn’t know If my artwork would ever have an impact. I was always quite unsure of who I was, especially as a young black creative. My mantra is if put your heart and soul into a project, nothing will stop it from succeeding.

Find her here, here and here

12. VIDEO: Euella Jackson

Originally from the south-east, Euella moved to Bristol in 2013 to study sociology and has been here ever since. She is 22 years old and is currently a youtuber as well as being a content creator for Rife Magazine and ‘Bristol Is The New Black’. She loves singing and dancing and spends most of her time trying to figure out what she loves more; burgers or Beyoncé (it’s a tough one).

Find her here and here

13. VIDEO: Bethbabbles

Beth is a 16-year-old who makes lifestyle youtube videos, relatable to people of her age. Her videos portray a bright and positive youth who is using her time productively to produce content in order to entertain or educate her viewers. She creates a range of videos from ‘how to revise for gcse’s’ to ‘haul’ videos. In doing this, she hopes to inspire other young creative people to express and share the creations they make.


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Beth said, ‘I am a very hectic and loud person and I’ve never quite felt I ‘fit in’ anywhere really. Sharing my personality online has allowed me to build a platform, which I never thought I’d be able to build, in order to communicate with a wide variation of youth. I’ve been creating videos since I was 11, making random windows movie maker videos about art and scrapbooking and I then progressed in to making revision and fashion videos. Seeing my progression online has really developed me as a person and I feel it has completely improved my confidence; knowing people out there actually care about what I have to say.’

Find her here and here

14. ART: Nicholas Nikiforou

Nicholas, a Diana Legacy Award recipient, was born with a ‘facial difference’. As part of his campaigning for equality, Nicholas prints his own art pieces onto thousands of cards and physically hands them out to the public to advocate for kindness, diversity and equality. Nicholas outlook on life is; if we all embrace each other’s differences, no matter what they are, the world will be a better place.

Nicholas said, ‘It means so much to me being nominated for an inspirational magazine like Rife. My mission is to succeed in making the world a better place, and this nomination shows me my work is having an impact. I was bullied quite badly, so I know how other people feel when they are bullied and I don’t want other people to feel that way. I saw a quote once; “if we wait to do everything for everybody, rather than something for somebody, nothing will be done for nobody”. I live my life by this quote and hopefully one day, it will have a snowball effect.’

Find him here and here

15. DANCE: Deepraj Singh

Deepraj is a Bristol born and raised dance artist. From a young age he partook in many movement based extracurricular activities, which included Capoeira and youth dance groups based at Cotham School (Synapse) and around Bristol (Kinesis Youth Dance group).

He then auditioned for the CAT (Centre of Advanced Training) programme run in Swindon where he spent a year on the urban strand and two years on the contemporary strand before successfully auditioning for London Contemporary Dance School. Deepraj was also awarded the Duke of York scholarship whilst training at London Contemporary Dance School and graduated with a first in July 2015.

After graduating he is working as a freelance dancer and was co-founder/director of Tribe Dance Theatre Company with Liam Wallace. Since then he has worked on many projects with Cotham, Swindon Dance CAT scheme and Creative Youth Network to do with teaching and choreographing. Currently he is working with Gary Clarke on a professional show titled ‘The Troth’, which will be touring India and the UK in 2018. He is also a part of Swindon Dances Young professional programme, which looks at helping graduates to further their exploration of dance, past graduating.

Follow him here https://www.instagram.com/deepyraj/

Deepraj said: I think it can be hard starting out, but also incredibly exciting and invigorating to start piecing together your own practice for your art form. Maybe your practice will stay as your own? Maybe it will cultivate and become other people’s practices? Either way, sharing your medium with others creates a connection like no other.

16. MUSIC: Polly Rorison

Polly is a 21-year-old musician from Bristol. She keeps herself busy being a performer, composer, manager and teacher. Polly was part of the group of young people setting up the label ‘Temple Records’ and now works with The CYN. She runs her own business or performing musicians and gigs regularly, highlights being Glastonbury 2016 and 2017. Polly enjoys spreading her talent for music and drama by teaching children from babies to primary school.

Polly said, ‘When I found out I was nominated I became extremely emotional, to think that the crazy things I do and put myself through are actually recognised and appreciated means the world to me. I know that I always push myself to my limits (sometimes too hard), so knowing that I’m not doing it for nothing makes me feel I’m doing something worth doing.’

Find here here and here

17. ACTING: Scott Bayliss

Scott Bayliss is a Bristol-based actor and model. Scott was part of the Bristol Old Vic’s Made In Bristol programme which helped him co-found the theatre company Propolis Theatre, touring in: Bristol, Plymouth, Coventry, London and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Scott is also the co-founder of SON Tribe Media, a Bristol-based platform providing diverse entertainment in the form of film and comedy. He has modelled for companies such as ASOS and Zalando and is currently studying at the Identity School of Acting.

Scott said, ‘It feels great to be nominated, it’s also great that platforms such as Rife are commending fellow Bristolians. We all like to be told when we are doing well, we have a lot of talent in Bristol…’

Find him here and here

18. FILM: Chris Pugh

Chris Pugh is an emerging filmmaker based in Bristol. He wrote and directed ‘String’ for Random Acts with Calling the Shots. The film was broadcast on Channel 4 in September and has been entered several film festivals. Since directing ‘String’ Chris has gone on to study Filmmaking at UWE and is currently working on several new film projects.

What happens if you let go of the string? | String by Chris Pugh | Short Film | Random Acts

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Chris said: ‘It’s great being a young person in the creative industries, having the opportunity to produce meaningful work and seeing it recognised is really exciting. Bristol is full of talented creatives so to be seen as part of that community is inspiring.’

Find him here and here

19. SOCIAL MEDIA: Olivia Tripp

Olivia is the founder of Weekend:IN, a Bristol-based business that helps independent brands grow their audiences using social media, influencer marketing and event organisation. Olivia launched Weekend:IN at the end of 2016, with an event that connected a number independent businesses with influencers through a day of workshops/talks. Olivia’s unique authentic approach to influencer marketing has helped her stand out from the crowd and created amazing results for her clients.

Olivia said, ‘I’m so pleased to be included on the 24 under 24 list! I feel like this is such an exciting time in my life for me and my business, with lots of amazing opportunities. I’m really grateful to be from Bristol as there are so many incredible creatives to inspire me…’

Find her here

20. VIDEO: Ciara Hillyer

Self-confessed coffee and camera addict, Ciara, creates videos that documents her life in Bristol. She has Cystic Fibrosis and through honest and creative posts about living with a chronic condition, including her intimate and personal experience of the NHS, Ciara invites people to experience the diversity of unpredictable health. She continues to engage and educate others using social media platforms, resulting in positive and emotive responses in her role as an advocate for her disability.

Ciara said, ‘Being creative through social media platforms has enabled me to reach groups of people that are personally affected by CF. I have been contacted by families who say my open and honest videos have helped them deal with the difficult issues of growing up with a life limiting condition. Being recognised as one of the most influential people makes me feel incredibly proud and humble that sharing my experiences has helped others.’

Find her here, here and here

21. MUSIC: Scarlett Fagan

Scarlett Fagan picked up on her mums love for Motown and soul and has become a strong exponent of blues, soul and jazz classics.Her modern yet authentic delivery draws on her love and understanding of the great songstresses such as Etta James and Billie Holiday. Scarlett is currently performing a varied mix of original material and classics and is excited to be recording an EP in the new year.

Scarlett said, ‘I am so shocked but so so happy to see that my creative work is being recognised by people! actual people! Thank you soooo much, 2018 come at me…’

22. ACTIVISM: Ceini Bowen

Having recently graduated from the University of Oxford, Ceini is currently a postgraduate student at Bristol, studying for an MA in History. Specializing in twentieth-century gender history and contemporary feminisms, Ceini is passionate about gender equality. She co-organised, alongside Bristol SU Women’s Network Committee, Bristol’s Reclaim the Night March in November 2017. Outside of the University, Ceini further undertakes weekly voluntary work at Bristol Women’s Voice, an organization working towards making Bristol a gender-equal city.

Ceini said, ‘This nomination is so exciting – Reclaim the Night was such a fantastic event this year and I was so proud to have worked with the wonderful and inspiring women who make up the Women’s Network Committee in order to organize it. The march was a great way to start conversations, across both the university and the city of Bristol, about sexual harassment that are much needed – hopefully this nomination will ensure that these conversations continue.’

Find her here

23. ACTIVISM: Sally Patterson

Sally Patterson is the elected Women’s Officer for Bristol SU, and a third year UoB student. She recently launched ‘Reclaim’, a month-long campaign about Body Positivity and sexual assault on campus. As President of Bristol University’s Television Station, she strives tt spread the message about gendered violence. Sally co-founded the first student Nisa-Nashim charity, bringing together Jewish and Muslim women to fight hatred, and will represent Bristol at NUS for the second year running.

Sally said, ‘It is a real honour to be nominated. During my time at University I have been lucky enough to work with students who are changing the status quo, and standing up against injustice. My role allows me to give them a platform and I’m most proud of my work which has enabled their voices to be heard and their achievements showcased. It continues to be challenging to be a young woman in the political arena, and without the hard-work and bravery or our mothers and grandmothers we would not be where we are today. They have passed the baton onto us, and we must strive to continue to create a safer, more equal and more united society.’

Find her here

24. LAW: Hana Kapadia

Hana Kapadia has been named the overall winner of Future Legal Mind 2017. Hana, currently studying at the University of Law, has been named ‘Future Legal Mind 2017’, winning £5,000 and a placement at law firm Simpson Millar. When asked what inspired Hana to study law, she said: ‘My undergraduate degree in International Relations kick-started my interest in law, as it pervaded many aspects of the course, which led me to write my dissertation on international law and transitional justice. My decision to get into law was cemented by the work experience I’ve taken in Cheltenham, which showed me how so many areas of the law are interconnected, and inspired me through the exciting, dynamic and intellectually challenging nature of the work lawyers take on.” Here are some words from the Chair of judges, Simon Trott: “We were extremely impressed with Hana’s essay. It was thoroughly researched, lively, and showed a deep understanding of the UK legal system. Hana’s perception of the development of society and how this affects the legal profession was profound.’

That’s all for 2017. See you next year.

Tweet us @rifemag #24under24 and let us know who we’ve missed and why. 

Head to the Rife Guide for ways to up your game and improve your skills