Written by cHLOE poLLARD


Rhys Hurd, a 19-year-old music student currently in his second year at Falmouth University has taken the music scene by storm over the last year. Originally from Torbay, Rhys has been surrounded by one of the best music scenes in the South West: the perfect place to debut new singles and get his message out there. Most recently he’s released Time to Say No; a single that raises the issue of climate change and Left to Say, written about a past heartbreak.

Rhys has been playing the guitar for around nine years, and his passion for music stemmed from there. It all came down to one thing: “if the parents say yes to guitar lessons...Luckily they said yes and then after about six to twelve months of playing, I realised that it was something I genuinely loved doing.”

The choice to study music at Falmouth University came from a combination of a love of the area and a passion for three different courses; one music and two photography! “I thought as much as I loved photography, music was kind of like that original passion I’d had and something that I’d carried through my entire secondary school.” Music does indeed seem to be a talent that comes naturally and Rhys’ passion for it really shines through in his work.

Positivity and an uplifting vibe are some of the main things he aims to achieve in his songs, mirroring an excited and optimistic personality and giving the music a sense of self. Inspiration-wise, Rhys’ music isn’t confined to a singular genre; “I draw from rock, I draw from blues, I draw from I guess more kind of indie-pop nowadays…And then I guess you could pull in metal as well to some aspects of it.” Not labelling music with a genre leaves a lot more to the audience to interpret which in many cases is an effective way of reaching an audience but in this case not conforming to one genre means uniting fans of very different types of music with one message.

Rhys has a clear idea of what he wants from his career, wanting his music to branch out more. “It’s extremely difficult in rock to ‘sound fresh’ so I think the ultimate goal would be to sort of find something there that sounds fresh.” Rhys is well on his way to achieving that dream, promoting a positive energy with his music while writing about subjects that mean a lot to him, and a lot of other people. In an ideal world, this energy could be experienced by a crowd live in a venue, but currently that can’t happen. 

Chloe Pollard Photography

However, this hasn’t stopped him! Leading up to the UK’s first lockdown, two gigs had been played and their promotion had just been finished. Rhys “was getting ready to release a new song, it was really, everything was kind of going up and then when covid hit, everything kind of did this sort of slump.” Left to Say’s release went ahead and kept Rhys’ music in the public’s ears, making sure they were listening for the release of what would become his favourite of the songs he’s written, Time To Say No

Time To Say No was written about climate change and is the most recent release of Rhys’. “I remember writing that I think I wrote it specifically for a gig I was doing at the time and for me it just felt really…It felt really special as a song.” This track always gets a good reaction and it’s easy to see why, its upbeat, memorable and impossibly catchy! It was written back in 2019 but released this summer. Rhys said that “even though it was a very simplistic song in many ways, it had a lot of qualities that at the time I hadn’t really written into my music before so it was kind of like a personal achievement.”

COVID-19 has hit the whole of the arts sector hard over the last nine months, making it more difficult to engage with people on social media and therefore harder to market new releases. Rhys’ work process has also been affected by the virus, but not completely in a bad way, “I think it has affected my music in many ways because I began to incorporate more electronic ideas…I would always write…For a live performance, and…I kind of began to explore things that I wouldn't necessarily be able to use in just a four piece band”  It’s good to see that COVID-19 has had some positive effects on individuals in the industry, and its good to see those opportunities being made the most of!

While the lockdown has also had a huge impact on the production of music and live shows, Rhys has taken a positive outlook on this too, commenting on the “levelling of the playing field” that the industry has seen.


While we’re all “limited to the internet you’ve all got the same tools at your disposal, you’re all confined in the same places…Even big artists now are having to do recordings at home they’re having to produce and make music at home in the same way that tonnes and tonnes of DIY artists are doing.” This has led to a reworking of live music, with paid livestream concerts and a lot more general live videos from artists. The whole industry has evolved to cope with this situation and Rhys is no exception.

Throughout the pandemic, he has found alternative creative outlets to substitute the lack of live gigs. Creative Chats; a new podcast series featuring many different guests from the creative industries and is available to view on his YouTube channel. Rhys believes that “there is nothing marketing wise that beats a face-to-face conversation. If you can go and talk to somebody face-to-face…They’ll always stick in your mind more than if you just send them a message,” so podcasts are an amazing way to keep the creative industries connected during this time. 


Make sure to follow Rhys’ social media to keep up with all the amazing things he’s currently doing and don’t forget to check out his music on Spotify and YouTube! You definitely don’t want to miss out!  


Interview by cHLOE poLLARD