I’ve always loved the album art for Barbra Streisand’s Butterfly. I’d love to have been in the planning meeting for that one.
Well, the album is called Butterfly, so we could incorporate that beautiful, fantastic creature, or our instantly recognisable iconic artist, or….. In addition (and probably a little less tongue in cheek), the Grace Jones trilogy of albums she made with Tom Moulton: Portfolio, Fame and Muse. Designed by Richard Bernstein, who is best known for his work at Interview Magazine. Not only are the albums sonic bliss, the cover art is striking and framing worthy!
The most recent campaign I’ve enjoyed working on has been Erasure’s The Neon.
Getting to work with Vince Clarke and Andy Bell over the past few years has been an absolute thrill. They are individually and collectively responsible for the soundtrack to much of my life, so being able to work with them both, and have their complete trust in me and the team at the label is amazing. Releasing an album during a global pandemic was never going to be an easy challenge, but we had started planning the release before lockdown and felt that as they had delivered such an upbeat and positive record, it was really important to share it with the world.
We had to make a few changes to the campaign and the timeline, but it all worked out for the best and gave the band their highest charting album in 26 years. We’re a year into the campaign now and about to release The Neon Remixed, a collection of brand new remixes that I A&Rd with the band which will be followed by (finally) the album tour and a few other surprises.
The most recent brand collab that caught my eye was Honey Dijon and Arca’s collaboration with Calvin Klein for Pride.
We worked with Arca on her first 2 albums, Xen and Mutant and watching how she has exploded over the past few years has been amazing. This whole campaign was a celebration of queerness and to have the trans community at the forefront of such a massive ad campaign was amazing.
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
For me the most creative and original music video of the past year is - I’m going to have to go with one of my own - Erasure’s Nerves of Steel is just a powerhouse of talent.
Heading into lockdown we knew that filming a new music video was going to be tough, but watching how Drag Queens were pulling out all the stops for at home performances, I wondered if it would be possible to bring that aesthetic to an Erasure video. Drag was not exactly a stranger to the band (see their video for Take a Chance on Me) and the band's music certainly wasn’t going to be new to many queens. After a bit of research, I reached out to Brad Hammer who had directed a number of videos for Queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race and we got to work.
The reaction from the drag community was fantastic and we soon had over 20 queens involved. The videos quickly rolled in which was a fantastic way to spend a working day going through the rushes! With Brad and editor Tyler Stone, I feel we created something magical and one of the strongest ‘at home’ videos during the pandemic.