Next up in our ‘Creative Rebels’ series, featuring those that inspire us by pushing the boundaries of culture through their craft, are three truly unique figures in music.
"I get obsessed by little nerdy things in my corner that no one else is interested in."
The undisputed, genre-defying, queen of the avant garde. Björk is a restlessly experimental creative force, who confidently and with huge character straddles the boundaries separating art from pop, mainstream from underground, analogue past from hi-tech present.
While her vocal signature is instantly recognisable, her chameleon-like creativity results in albums that seem to react against one another, testing the listener while moving between the extroverted and introverted, electronic and melodic. Each immersing us in a new universe of her own design.
And while ‘Björk the Brand’ sits central to her work, it’s the creative community she has curated that allows her to drift so freely between personas. She sees her work as an entirely collaborative exercise, combining musicians, technicians, instrument makers, producers, programmers, videographers and fashion designers.
“Being an artist is being unique and true to yourself"
Since first emerging to acclaim in 2011, singer/songwriter Michael Kiwanuka has grown to become one of the most eclectic yet distinctive voices in British music. A sound that merges folk, indie rock, and R&B with traditions borrowed from his Ugandan heritage.
Following two earlier nominations, his 2020 album won the Mercury Music prize. A complex, poetic, slow-burning trip into psychedelic soul. And a record conceived as a challenge to the playlist generation (it listens as a seamless musical journey strung together by instrumental interludes and interspersed with audio samples of civil rights memories.)
Kiwanuka speaks regularly of being plagued by self-doubt and imposter-syndrome, but this record marks an acceptance of himself. A confident statement of identity. A young black male reacquainting himself with his cultural heritage.
"You have to rise to it. Why not, if it’s what you want? I feel like I have the energy for it."
The American-born British singer-songwriter, accidentally wrote her first song when she was 16 years old when she was just messing around with her friend. Such is her creative talent that songs just spill from her naturally. She began her career back in 2014, she was signed to her record label in 2018 after another of our creative rebels, Michael Kiwanuka was captivated by her raw talent. And she received the BBC’s musical accolade of being the Sound of 2020 last year.
She even headlined the Other Voices event that took place in Cardigan in 2019 which left several of our staff transfixed by her beautiful voice.
With her debut album launching this year, it seems like the sky is the limit for this soulful star.
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Here's to the interesting ones!
We make jeans for some of the most creative people in the world. That’s not by accident. That’s because we believe in the power of ideas. When you do interesting things, interesting things happen. We’re an ideas company that happens to make jeans.
But ideas need ideas. Ideas feed on ideas.
Our Creative Rebels series features some of those we turn to for inspiration, in the hope their ideas may be fuel for your 'interesting' too.
Click to explore the other posts in this series: