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Jarvis Cocker

Honorary Doctorate - 2009

Jarvis Cocker is one of Sheffield's best loved musical sons and the founder of Pulp, who enjoyed an illustrious 24 year career after forming in the city in the late 1970s.

Jarvis, who has also had success in documentary and current affairs broadcasting, video production, curation and art installation, has a close association with Sheffield Polytechnic, which went on to become Sheffield Hallam University.

He studied there and Pulp received their first big break there. The band handed their demo tape to John Peel, who was DJing at the Polytechnic. He loved them and in 1981 he offered the band one of his famous Peel Sessions on Radio 1.

Following this early success, the band gradually drifted away as its members chose higher education. It was then that Jarvis enrolled for an access course at Sheffield Polytechnic, which then allowed him to win a place at Central St Martin's College of Art and Design in London.

After graduating, Pulp reformed and by the early 1990s they had achieved both popular success and critical acclaim. In 1994 Pulp was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize, and in the following year their signature single Common People reached number two in the charts.

Many of Pulp's songs and lyrics reference Sheffield, and Jarvis believes that music should have a strong sense of place.

Since 1999 Jarvis has expanded his repertoire, and as well as launching a successful solo career he has achieved as a film maker, radio producer and artist.

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