SEMSU is the student run Society for Electronic Music at Southampton University (bit of a mouthful, but hey). Now going into it’s third year of existence, the society has provided a much needed hub for electronic enthusiasts at the University of Southampton. The society’s group on Facebook — the dropbox — has provided plenty of music discovery for myself and everyone on it. The group is a bucket of tunes members post with the sole intention of sharing the music that they love. The diversity is great, from people posting electro swing tracks to the dark depths of drum and bass.

The society often provides its members with discounted tickets to events in Southampton. So, if you’re an incoming fresher be sure to get yourself on board ASAP.

SEMSU frequently partners with local labels and DJs to collaborate on events and produce podcasts. The last year saw the society run a recurring event “Horizon”. which brought in Southampton’s local talent to one of the smaller venues inside SUSU.

We caught Joe (the current SEMSU president) for a few words about the society:

Questions by Iggy Willats, given in plain text.

Answers from Joe Manghan, given in italics.

To begin, how did the society come about?

So often we have people approaching us saying that they’ve been desperate for a society like ours for a long time, as they have no friends that are interested in going to see the same DJs and artists. This is precisely the reason this society was first conceived back in 2011. We provide a community of electronic music enthusiasts — easily reachable online through our Facebook page/group and via email (as well as all the other social media outlets) —  that can socialise together and go to the best club nights and gigs in Southampton with good company.

The Electronic Dropbox” was actually the first project that we started pre-affiliation with SUSU. I was always looking for new music, which can often be time consuming. Having a group with hundreds of people posting such varied music was inspiring for me as an electronic music lover. I check it every day there are always new things to find.

Tell us a little about what the society got up to last year and what we can expect this year?

Last year was our first full year as an official affiliated society, and we squeezed a lot in. We released regular podcasts throughout the year, featuring music from local artists and DJs in Southampton, as well as music posted in the dropbox. We went to some fantastic nights out that are too numerous to list here, but Ild say some highlights for me were MILK with Cashmere Cat at Unit and Joy Orbison at Junk. We also began a series of laid-back electronic nights in the SUSU building called Horizon and co-hosted the Future Gardens event Into The Night.

This coming year we’re hoping to release podcasts even more frequently, and plans are in the works to start airing them on Surge Radio. We have another great calendar of events lined up (some of which have already taken place such as SEMSU hosting a room at the Oceana Freshers Rav). We’re also hoping to run more of our own SEMSU nights throughout the year so we can make electronic music even more available for our members.

One big thing we’re doing in the first semester is going to The Warehouse Project in Manchester on December 13th. Amongst many others, Jamie xx and Flying Lotus are playing, legends in the business, and we can’t wait to go on such an epic trip with our society.

How has the Southampton nightlife and electronic music scene changed/come along since you’ve been here?

Southampton nightlife has had plenty of ups and downs over the last few years, and we’ve done our best to do positive things by supporting as many venues as we can, selling tickets and bringing popularity to artists that deserve full dance floors. But certainly, the Southampton music scene is improving constantly. Fantastic acts are getting booked all the time, there’s so much choice. I think the future looks good and I can’t wait for SEMSU to be a part of it.

Photo credit: Alex Paterson via Boxed Sound.

For those that are interested in joining, SEMSU how can they get involved?

SEMSU offer various ways of getting involved, and are planning more for the future (more coming soon on that). First off, people can check out our website at On there you can find our upcoming events, news and features, contact details, tickets, SEMSU t-shirts, podcasts, and links to all our social media sites. We have a Facebook page and account that people can like and befriend … and a Twitter, SoundCloud and Mixcloud that you can follow. On our Facebook page you’ll find updates on what’s happening, links to events and pictures. By befriending our Facebook account  you’ll make sure to be added to all SEMSU social events so you don’t miss anything.

If you’re a student at the University of Southampton then email us (from your address) with your student idea and we can enrol you officially. If you’re not a student at the University of Southampton then you can still get involved. Just email us and we’ll tell you everything you need to know!

We organise regular SEMSU socials to go see the best acts in Southampton and support great people. We always host a little gathering before the gig/clubnight at a committee member’s house, so you can come say hi, have a few drinks and listen to music before we head off to see the real thing.

One last thing: Let’s have your favourite track from this summer!

Best track this summer would have to be hearing Flume’s remix of Disclosure’s track “You & Me” live at Pitch Festival, Amsterdam (a group of SEMSU members went there together). That was incredible!


About Author

Iggy is a student at the University of Southampton and co-founded SOTONIGHT with Adam out of an interest in contributing to the city's scene. Iggy is also involved with SEMSU.