I have said so many times just how instrumental and influential music is to my art, art that is a reflection and a response to my life and it’s experiences. The past year has seen me create pieces such as ‘Mad For It’, a 90’s inspired ‘brit-pop’ image and ‘Glasto!, a celebration of 50 years of headliners at the Glastonbury music festival. I love how the power of music can transport you back so easily to a period or a moment in your life and hold you there until you decide to turn ‘auto repeat’ off – something that expands over several days for me when I’m in that mindset to create a piece of art.
I’m one of those people who genuinely has a really diverse taste in music that includes bands that you are proud to know because you know the majority have never heard of, and yet are cursed with the ability to completely forget all of these when asked ‘so what music are you into’ and just blurt out the generics! For those who follow my social media posts you will know that the majority of my videos have often obscure tracks playing in the background. You know when you have a really good one when it is so left field (close to being a pun!) that the powers that be don’t delete your video and scald you!
Music is always on in the studio, currently it’s ‘Some Kind Of Peace’ by ‘Olafur Arnalds’ because I’m waffling through these narratives that need to go to print ahead of the collection release and I’m absolutely bloody knackered. Three more to go and a few cups of tea later and it will be on to spraying more original works so by that time it will have probably switched up to the likes of ‘Slipknot, ‘Chevelle’ and ‘Metallica’. Anyway! Let’s talk about this piece, ‘Ghetto Supastars’ and leave the darker stuff for another day, another piece.
Some great memories of my love for ‘hip hop’ and rap music as a teenager include asking my grandparents for ‘Cypress Hill’s’ ’Black Sunday’ for Christmas and hearing my mum trying to explain it to them over the phone. It was the thought of them going into ‘HMV’, or ‘Our Price’ (remember that?!) and asking for it that always drew a smile. Another was handing my Dad a tape to put on in the car on the way back home and watching his disgust build as I cringed in the back seat – the tape was ‘Death Certificate’ by ‘Ice Cube!
The 1990s’ and early 2000’s were brilliant for hip-hop and rap music, way too many to list here but the most iconic are all hidden within this piece, the perfect ‘lockdown’ boredom beater! ‘Ghetto Supastars’ is set on a gritty American basketball court in the inner city and literally littered with cracking details synonymous with the ‘baller’ lifestyle, some blatant, others more subtle and linked to song titles. Speaking of which can you work out what song the title is inspired by? I chose to add people into this piece and have done in a poignant way to pay homage to three true icons that have passed. ‘Tupac’, ‘Biggie Smalls’ and ‘Lisa (Left Eye) Lopez. The subtle dove and angel wing detailing adds something really special to this piece that has been created to just be bloody cool.
I hope you love seeking out all of the details within this piece, I loved creating it and it’s different which is a good thing for both artist and collector. I’ll be honest, I switched to ‘Black Sunday’ at the start of paragraph 5. Playing ‘Cypress Hill’ just got me thinking back to listening to the album on family holidays in Menorca, and how we would love to be back there right now eh. The power of music and the power of memories. So, bollocks to NAS, Hip Hop ain’t dead mate!