🎵 IT072: Turn It Up – Music to pretend you’re in a music video.
✏️ Scotty Gillespie
🗓 20.08.20

Scotty is an artist, illustrator and ceramist from Manchester, currently based in Exeter, UK.

Hey Scotty. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

Hello and thanks for having me! I am a child of the 90s and spent many hours watching MTV. When a song really hits, I always visualise myself in my own personal music video. I think we’ve all been there right (I hope it’s not just me) This tape is a collection of songs to get lost in your own intimate music video montage.

I have chosen tracks that really focus on creating soundscapes that submerge the listener. There are a lot of ambient, repetitive and ethereal beats.

What direction did you take with your cover art, and what was your process?

I made a list of places that really get me into the prime music video zone. Places like a commute on the train, a windy walk in Dartmoor or even in the gym.

Recently I have been combining lots of little images to create one singular bigger illustration and decided to go with that. I just kept drawing till it looked right, starting with really rough sketches and moved them to digital. I like to keep the process simple otherwise I tend to lose sight on what I want to make and do.

What are your fave album covers, records with a great music and artwork combo, or musical projects with a visual component?

I used to work in HMV before I studied Illustration at University. I didn’t know anything about FKA Twigs, but I was struck by the vibrant and saturated colours of the cover. I later found it was made by Jesse Kanda. An artist, animator and musician who makes these wild hyper- realistic digital creatures.

LP1 – FKA Twigs
2014, Young Turks
Artwork: Jesse Kanda ‎

I really could go on and on about how much I adore Björk, it was quite difficult to narrow down which album to pick. For me Biophilia’s concept, execution and visuals were incredible. She created an app that you can make music on, had dresses made from seaweed and man-made crystals just to name a few things she did for this record. I was fortunate enough to see her live in Manchester during this album tour and hands down it was one of the most impressionable and immersive experiences I have ever had. Set inside the Manchester Science and Industry Museum, she had a full islandic choir, video screen that moved to sound, a harp that made music to the moons gravitational pull and Sir David Attenborough introducing each song. So yeah, I was in awe lol. The dress is made by Iris Van Herpen who makes otherworldly clothing and costumes. The cover was illustrated by illustrated by M/M Paris and photographed by Inez and Vinoodh.

Biophilia – Björk
2011, One Little Indian
Cover: M/M Paris

Sometimes you just see an album cover and go “ok, that’s hurting my eyes, but I need to listen to this right now”. I know, quite specific but M.I.A. hooked me on her music by the intense visuals. The rest is history as they say.

Kala – M.I.A.
2007, XL Recordings
Artwork: M.I.A.
Add. graphics: Carri Mundane, Steve Loveridge

I am a sucker for a strong female, and I can’t think of a stronger figure than Grace Jones in this album cover. I saw her live once and she performed “Pull up to the bumper” while hula hooping in a leotard with a bowler hat made of disco ball like glass while a light shone on to it, refracted the light back into the crowd disco ball style. It was amazing. The cover was photographed by Jean-Paul Goude

Island Life – Grace Jones
1988, Island Records
Cover: Jean-Paul Goude
Design: Greg Porto

What did you listen to growing up?

When growing up my mum listened to a lot of Sister Sledge, CHIC and Sylvester. My sister was really into RnB so a lot of Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Missy Elliott. I, on the other hand, played a lot of industrial and metal music like Nine Inch Nails, Korn and Coal Chamber. I am not really sure how it all amalgamates to the music I listen to now, but I do sometimes pop on “Freak on a Leash” by Korn when I want to feel nostalgic.

And what’s on heavy rotation for you at the moment?

KiCk i – Arca. This has been on repeat for a few days for me now. It’s sometimes quite a jarring thing to listen to but I am really loving it. It’s also perfect to drown out next door's screaming child.

What’s happening in your creative world at the moment?

I have a few projects that I am super excited about, but I don’t think I can talk about at the moment. Apart from those I have been keeping myself busy with making ceramics mostly these days. Lockdown has given me the time and space to make work but also gives me some needed down time. I also have been learning how to use a loom, which is super exciting!

Where can we find you?

Instagram / WebsiteTwitter

Thanks Scotty!

SUGAI KEN - Wakihi / Björk - All Neon Like / Kraftwerk - Aéro Dynamik (Live) / Mount Kimbie - Made To Stray / Kelela - A Message / Arca - Thievery / The Knife - The Captain / Chromatics - Tick Of The Clock (Film Edit) / Fischerspooner - Emerge / Hercules & Love Affair - Painted Eyes / Planningtorock - Doorway / Ssion - High / Goldfrapp - Thea / Forest Swords - Anneka's Battle / Actress - Caves of Paradise / Andy Stott - Numb / Metronomy - Boy Racers ︎