I spent many years managing and A&R’ing the record label RAMP Recordings, working with many noted artists like James Blake, Sampha and Flying Lotus early in their respective careers. As a label, we always felt a strong bond between aural and visual, and worked with esteemed designers like Kate Moross and Shoji Goto across many releases. In my opinion, we operated in one of the most fertile and creative times in British music history, but as time passed, the music that was once vital and exciting, became boring and formulaic. Big labels signed our bigger artists. Many projects started to lose a lot of money. I moved on.
I began experimenting with my own music, and after a number of short projects, I came across the idea for Girls of the Internet; a full live electronic band, a band with no face or identity. So often in electronic music, you have a white middle class male, sampling or using the voices and music of middle aged black vocalists and singers. Girls of the Internet will take the identity away from the producers, and put the sample sources to the front of the stage.
The first track I made was signed to esteemed British House label Classic/Defected.
As well as influence from faceless musicians such as Underground Resistance or Drexciya, icons like Rammellzee, and the experience of helping launch the careers of faceless producers/DJ's Zomby and SBTRKT, I have always had an affinity with Drag, and noticed incredibly strong parallels to a lot of music I was interested in, and even concepts that are touched on in films like Being John Malkovich. From my love of Leigh Bowery and RuPaul in the 90’s, to Sylvester, to a morbid obsession with the New York Club Kids, and the shocking story of Michael Alig. Young queer kids, who have often lived through hardship and ridicule, become superheroes. By removing their identity and super-feminising themselves, they become looming, terrifying, aggrandised figures, who in turn bring joy to so many, and are even currently stepping into the mainstream.
Girls of the Internet’s 4th release, ‘Remember My Name’, I had an idea for the sleeve that would represent the powerful message behind the song - a painted Drag Queen. Having spent all of my money on studio time, singers, musicians, I did not have the funds to engage a artist or designer as usual, so I painted the image myself.
After some encouragement, I painted a little more. I was able to explore the same concepts in my painting as I can in my music, the concepts I have seen echoed in art and performers I’ve followed for years; the removal of one’s self from art, the re-purposing of material to tell an unrelated, personal story.
I’m able to berate myself for past failures and personal insecurities mercilessly with both music and art, and have found they work together in unison to create something that gives me grounds for hope.
'What Is A Man' is my first time showing my painting to the public. I have no formal training. I picked up a paintbrush for the first time outside of school 7 months ago. I touched oil paint for the first time 3 months ago.
My debut album ‘SYRUP’ will be released on July 12th.
Selected Group & Solo Shows
“What Is A Man”, Asylum Studios, U.K. (solo show)
49 Questions and Art Ain’t 1
1 Name the Place you’d most like to live in? New York or LA
2 Seaside or Countryside? Countryside
3 You’re hosting a dinner party what’s your signature dish? I can cook anything mate. If I cook for my Mum, she gets angry if I don’t make cheesecake.
4 Dogs or Cats? I judge each animal individually. I’ve met plenty of cats who are dicks, and I’ve met plenty of dogs who are a nightmare. I’m probably slightly more of a dog person, but the best animal I ever met was a cat.
5 What was your nickname at school? Big bloke, due to being 6’2 when I was 11
6 Most influential person in your life? My Mother. Thom & Stevie. Carl Craig, Peanut Butter Wolf & James Lavelle. Lots of other people.
7 If you could go back in time to which period would you go to? The Music Box, Chicago, nineteen-eighty-something
8 Name an Instagram account you follow. @ragamiffin_nyc
9 Favourite Museum or Gallery? Kelvedon Hatch
10 If money was no object, what luxury item would you buy yourself? A big ol’ house
11 First single/album you bought? “Turtle Power” by Partners in Kryme
12 Person you’d love to meet? Larry David, Rammellzee, Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Thomas Bangalter & Guy Manuel De Homen Christo
13 Describe your ultimate romantic date. What’s romance? What’s a date?
14 You are happiest when……. I’m with my friends
15 What makes you sad? I lost 2 businesses I started over the past few years, and I happened to live on my own for the first time around that time. When you’re a teenager or in your 20’s, you’re constantly surrounded by friends and you assume that will never end, but I’ve found as I’ve got older, I still have friends, but I have less and less close friends, or people I’d speak to on a day-to-day basis. Dealing with failures, coupled with periods of isolation, made for one of the lowest times in my life. Having a lot of thoughts and feelings that you can’t get closure on is difficult.
16 If you could change one thing about the world. I’d reduce the poverty gap. I have no problem with people working hard and becoming rich, but billionaires should feel utterly ashamed of themselves if they aren’t doing good with a large chunk of their money.
17 Whats the first thing on your bucket list? Painting was on there – I thought it would be something I’d take up when I’m much older, but I seem to be doing that already. I want to visit Japan and the US.
18 Favorite Restaurant? I can’t choose!
19 Book shop or Record Shop? I buy both online at the moment. I’m was a teenage record shop whore though.
20 Name your favourite book? I buy loads of books, but I so rarely sit down to read them.
21 Pet Hate Rude people, and people who don’t understand other people’s personal space
22 Prize Possession My records maybe? I have too many though. Once you’ve moved a few times with many thousands records, you begin to view them with a little contempt
23 Gym or Jim Bean? Gym Beam
24 What colour are your eyes? Blue/Gray
25 Junk Food which is your dirty secret? It all tastes great and makes me feel bad.
26 What’s your poison? Gin or Rum with Ginger Beer. No big brands.
27 Describe your morning routine. Wake up, vacantly stare at the ceiling until my brain works, drink coffee
28 Where do you call home? Suffolk
29 What makes you laugh? My friends. I’m well into Sitcoms – Curb, Atlanta, Silicon Valley, Transparent.
30 What perfume/aftershave do you use? Cologne by Thierry Mugler
31 Whats you favourite season and why? I don’t have a favourite – I like living somewhere where you get to experience a range of weather. My favourite season of Drag Race is 8.
32 Describe the wildest night out you’ve ever had. We went for a meal to celebrate my friends birthday on a Thursday evening. He went home at 1am. We kept celebrating until Monday night. I only went home because I ran out of money. It might not have been the wildest, but it was very silly and a lot of fun.
33 What opportunity have you turned down? I’ve turned down a number of poorly paid jobs at labels and distributors. University.
34 Have you ever been arrested? Of course.
35 Favorite Quote? I find picking favourites so difficult – every day things are different
36 First Gig? Bad Brains, Fishbone & The Goats
37 Biggest Regret? Turning a blind eye. Not cutting my losses. Not starting to make music earlier.
38 Describe something that you are proud of “When U Go”
39 Describe yourself in 3 words. Ask my friends
40 Favourite film. Being John Malkovich & Adaptation
41 How many pairs of shoes do you own? Too many. I have an addiction to Nike trainers.
42 Describe a favourite walk I like to walk in the rain, it smells nice
43 Tell us whats in your bag/pockets Pockets: phone, keys, wallet. Bag: A pen, ?uestlove’s new book, a half used disposable camera, Anadin Extra, a notebook, phone charger, lip balm
44 Who was the last person you called? Linda Muriel. Diva.
45 Whats the tune/band that you are listening to the most? Current faves are MC Pinty & Jitwam. I like anybody who can take something familiar and make it remote.
46 Whats your cure for a hangover? Time
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