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James Gabrillo

James Gabrillo

PhD student


James Gabrillo is a PhD candidate at Peterhouse, supervised by Nicholas Cook and Matthew Machin-Autenrieth. Funded by a Cambridge International Scholarship, his research focuses on popular music and culture in Manila, Philippines, where he was born and raised. His research interests include Western music of the 20th and 21st centuries and the use of music in political contexts.

He has presented/is due to present at the conferences of the Royal Musical Association, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, and the International Musicological Society. He has also presented papers at the Music and the Moving Image Conference, the International Hip-Hop Studies Conference, and the British Forum for Ethnomusicology Research Students' Conference.

Prior to coming to Cambridge, James was a full-time journalist and has reported from cities including Abu Dhabi, New York, Tokyo, Sydney and Berlin. His work has been published in Al Jazeera English, The National, Rolling Stone Italia, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Rogue MagazineHis article analysing a six-hour rap performance inside an art gallery will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Popular Music Studies.



Departments and Institutes


Key Publications

‘The Rapper Is Present: Sound Art, Liveness, and the Negotiation of Identity in Jay Z’s “Picasso Baby”,’ Journal of Popular Music Studies, accepted for publication.

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