University of Oxford

Kanye West speaks to the Oxford Guild



Kanye West spoke to the critically acclaimed and award-winning Oxford Guild Society, Oxford’s, the UK’s and Europe’s largest and oldest professional society, dating back to 1897, on Monday 2nd March 2015 at 3pm. This was an unprecedented, history making opportunity to hear from and ask questions of such a high profile figure and was a truly exciting event and a momentous occasion at the historic Oxford University Museum of Natural History which was established in 1850. Over 5,000 students balloted for the event which was announced 16 hours before it was due to take place and Kanye had widely been described as one of the biggest speakers that Oxford and any society in the UK has seen in the past decades. This was the most oversubscribed event at Oxford in over 15 years. The event was covered in over a thousand newspapers, magazines, websites and TV and radio outlets globally in over 100 countries (everything from BBC World News to Vice’s Noisey). Guild Chairman and re-founder Abbas Kazmi hosted the event with President Rohan Arora and Vice President Irenne Ighodaro, and commented that ‘It was a true honour to be able to host and welcome Kanye to the Oxford Guild, and the reaction since the event has been huge! The event was covered in over a thousand newspapers, magazines, websites and TV and radio outlets globally in over 100 countries (everything from BBC World News and TIME to MTV and Vice’s Noisey) and I had to juggle a huge number of press calls, emails and quote and interview requests! I’ve even had people emailing opportunistically to put his team in touch so they can organise their own events (the most bizarre was for someone’s 16th birthday party!) It was amazing President Obama himself commented on it on multiple occasions, let alone one, and it even featured in a Kanye song with Tyler, the Creator and Lil Wayne. It is great to see the hard work pay off after having spent many hours negotiating against the odds and keeping things under wraps to secure this event which is a real coup for the Guild, which I am proud to see continuing to grow from strength to strength, reaching even higher heights and winning ever more national best university society awards and accolades. Special thanks must to go the committee for their efforts, enthusiasm and commitment which make sure the Guild continues to be the premier university run organisation not just in Oxford but across the UK and internationally. The event was incredibly well organised and put together at short notice – the Guild has a unique, tried and tested, successful ticketing policy for its largest scale speakers and social events. We do not want students to waste their afternoons queuing outside the Union chamber in Frewin Court for example, only not to be let in and to be left disappointed. Nor do we want students to ballot and then not turn up leaving empty seats which have been taken by others. We minimised these risks by opening a random ballot list and ensuring every seat was used by those who were successful in the ballot. Never content with complacency and settling, there are plenty more high profile speakers, exciting events and developments to come – we have been working industriously behind the scenes ahead of next year and would recommend you watch this space!’

A full transcript is available here: http://thegatewayonline.com/student-life/on-campus/gateway-exclusive-kanye-west-speaks-to-the-oxford-guild-in-the-biggest-talk-of-2015. This was a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging talk from the legendary Kanye West and we hope you will enjoy watching the video recording online. Kanye West is a multi-award winning American rapper, songwriter, record producer, director, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. West is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 21 million albums and 66 million digital downloads. Over the course of an illustrious career, West, having first gained prominence as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, has received 124 awards out of over 387 nominations, including 21 Grammy awards making him the most Grammy-awarded artist of his age and one of the most awarded artists of all time. Named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, West is a worldwide taste-maker and trend setter with a global presence through his musical artistry and stylistic endeavours across a variety of media.

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