Sasha Receives Honorary Doctorate from Bangor University

Jul 11, 2022

John Cameron

2 min read

Sasha once commanded such a strong presence in dance music that indulgent journalists suggested he might be the “son of god” on magazine covers. Nearly two decades later, his influence on the culture has earned him a relatively modest accolade: an honorary doctorate from Bangor University.

Sasha (real name Alexander Paul Coe) was born in the Welsh city of Bangor and first performed as a DJ and producer at the Bangor University Student Union. He did not need to complete any coursework to earn his doctorate in music from the university on Tuesday, July 5th. The progressive house mainstay was instead awarded the honor for his influence on electronic music culture over the years.

“It gives me great pleasure to present Bangor-born Sasha for this honor,” said Bangor University Vice-Chancellor Andrew Edwards. “Sasha has made an outstanding contribution to culture, language, music, and the arts through his creative work. An honorary doctor of music degree is well deserved.”

“I didn’t expect to go back to Bangor University to get a degree as it was where I did my first Student Union job and it has taken me around the world,” said Coe, who returned there for a performance in November 2021.

Coe cut his teeth playing acid house records after attending events at legendary Manchester venue The Haçienda in the late ’80s. By the mid-’90s, his and John Digweed’s names had grown virtually synonymous with the emerging progressive house sound for their back-to-back performances at Mansfield nightclub Renaissance. Sasha and Digweed achieved great success with compilation albums like Renaissance: The Mix Collection and Northern Exposure.

The two artists stopped performing together in 2002 — although they never formally announced that they had parting ways. They played back to back once again at Ultra Music Festival in 2010, and following a surprise set together in 2016 at Ministry of Sound, their paths have crossed far more often, including a return to Ultra Music Festival this year.

April saw Coe celebrate the tenth anniversary of his label Last Night On Earth with the release of ten new collaborations. Later in July, his travels will take him to Sunrise Festival in Kolobrzeg, Poland, and RADIUS in Chicago, US, for a back-to-back set with Digweed.

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