HE IS the former Hampshire schoolboy who went on to become one of the world’s best-known musicians.

Now Coldplay drummer Will Champion has visited the University of Southampton to talk about his rise to fame and share his experiences of the music world.

He chatted to staff and students about what influences the band’s music, creative process and enduring success.

Coldplay was formed in the mid-1990s, achieving global fame in 2000 with their debut album Parachutes.

Since then they have won countless awards, including seven Grammys, and sold 72 million albums worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling music acts.

Will spent an hour sharing his thoughts and answering questions on topics such as composing, studio recording, live performance and managing stardom.

He told students: “Some of you will hope to be producers, solo artists, session players, in a band – whatever you do, it’s very important to maintain what’s special about your group or your music; that is the thing you have to hold above everything else. Don’t stop believing what you can achieve.”

Will, 39, has strong links with Southampton.

He grew up in the city and both his parents were senior academics at the university. The former Cantell School pupil did work experience at the Nuffield Theatre, sampling life backstage as well as the box office.

Will has appeared at major venues around the globe and talked to students about the thrill of live performances.

He said: “Playing live is one of the things we’ve always loved - it’s a wonderful experience.

“It’s a great experience to work in a studio and try to create, but where you actually get to deliver it to people is the most important thing for us.”

The visit was arranged by Dan Mar-Molinero, the university’s head of jazz and pop and lecturer in music.

He said: “We’re honoured to have Will share his insightful and inspirational thoughts with us.”

Earlier this year it was revealed that Coldplay had made a “significant” donation towards the cost of the £25 million Centre for Cancer Immunology being built at Southampton General Hospital.

Top scientists will be brought together under one roof, enabling teams to expand clinical trials and develop life-saving drugs.

The state-of-the-art complex is due to open next year.

Will knows the devastating impact cancer can have on families, having lost his own mother to the disease in 2000.