Why Manchester is the new creative epicentre of neo-soul and hip-hop
Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?
I was born in Cambridge, and grew up in a village on the edge of the fenland just outside the town. Big skies and black fields. After a stint in Surrey at University i’ve been living back in the heart of my hometown.
Where did you study?
I studied Animation at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design. The whole animation process slightly traumatised me (i needed daylight!) and i haven’t done any since, but it did help me develop my ideas and has informed the way i work now.
How did you get into illustrating artwork for music?
I grew up with a love of music but no musical talent. I’d always doodle covers for mix tapes i’d make for friends, even the rubbishy ones i’d make for myself of stuff taped off the radio. I’m basically still doing that now.
How do you go about designing a cover?
Intuitively i guess, it depends on the record. Hearing the records or seeing the bands live will inspire me. Sometimes i have something already done which i know will just work. If i think about it too much it never works.
Anything exciting coming up for you?
I’ve just put the finishing touches to a sleeve i’ve done for a record by The Doozer which will be coming out at the end of the year on Woodsist.
What music inspires you at the moment?
The underground scene in Cambridge is a big inspiration at the moment – The Doozer, Pete Um, C Joynes, Man from Uranus, are putting out amazing stuff which i get to see live all the time. Away from my doorstep it’s bands like Flower-Corsano Duo, MV & EE, and Sunburned Hand of the Man. I’ve also just acquired 225 Indian LP’s so i’m pretty overwhelmed by that right now!
What draws you to work in mixed media?
I like to experiment! Sometimes you hit it, sometimes you don’t, but you always learn something in the process.
How did you get involved making artwork for bands/music festivals?
When i got a job in a record shop i became more involved with the music scene and ended up making posters for shows, and later for the Palimpsest Festival. Through the shows i met a lot of bands, and some of them asked me to do covers for them. I’m basically just a massive fan.