Alex Mullen; Creative Director, A&R, PR and talent manager has collaborated with some of the world’s most successful entertainment artists.
He has created PR campaigns and collaborated on projects for music artists, entertainment talent and organisations such as the late and desperately missed Caroline Flack, Dannii Minogue, One Direction, Tina Arena, Olly Murs, Kelly Rowland, Ant and Dec, Alexandra Burke, Fearne Cotton, Hillary Duff, Darren Hayes, Roger Sanchez, Matt Cardle, Eden xo, War Child, BBC, ITV, SKY, SYCO Entertainment, SONY, deconstruction, PWL, Virgin and The X Factor brand among others.
He has art directed editorials for Harpers Bazaar, tmrw, 1883 and FAULT; produced music videos and directed promotional imagery for television shows and music releases. AlphaOmega Records, a subsidiary of .apmmedia, is a new indie music label offering A&R, art direction, video concepts, remix commissions and much more. It works alongside Absolute Records for worldwide distribution. It has already released its first successful project, with new releases and artist development on the way.
AlphaOmega’s debut music release, The Question EP, by American artist Eden xo featured a body of work A&R’d at the label with writers and producers best known for their work with Lana Del Rey, Robyn, Bjork, Lewis Capaldi, Jess Glynne, Madonna and Kylie Minogue. Remixes by Just Kiddin, Pink Panda and F9 exploded all over the world, with club royalty Guetta and Tiesto endorsement. playing them from New York, London, Los Angeles, Ibiza to Melbourne. From the underground, to the commercial UK club charts. From Apple Music 1 to BBC Radio 2 and streaming hitting phenomenal numbers, the label’s debut release has set an exciting scene for the second project which is already underway.
Our recent chat with Alex discusses his favourite campaigns and talks about the overlaps between visual creativity and music.
I adore Aries Moross and his @StudioMoross. The colour gives me such a lift and a break from all the minimalist work we often see (me being guilty of that a lot!) and ideas such as utilising 1970’s BBC STUDIO cameras to recreate 70s Top Of The Pops style performances and inverting imagery are wonderful. @bjork’s latest work along with @mmparisdotcom on her new album Fossora is beautiful. Representative of the period during Covid where she went home to Iceland for lockdown, it shows her merging with the ground, becoming part of the landscape (she calls it her mushroom album.) No one is quite so original as Bjork.
This is a very unusual choice for me (not because there is anything wrong with her, but simply because her work is not normally my style) Demi Lovato’s album cover for HolyFvuk, with her laying atop a cross, is brave and exciting. In fact, I’m a little annoyed with her. I’ve wanted to direct a very similar work with a pop artist myself, but everyone gets cold feet! Grrrr, @ddlovato has beaten me to it. I’ll have to rethink how I would do it in future.
And finally, these lists must always include the best of them all: @kylieminogue of course! She never fails to thrill. From her recently reissued experimental and brilliant album Impossible Princess (which influenced @madonna and after hitting the top five 25 years later last year is giving new artists inspiration) her 2002 Fever Tour, one of the most influential and genius live works of all time (co-created with @_williambaker) to her most recent work on album DISCO and new record released shortly this year, Kylie went from the girl with the perm, singing in the bath, to a genuine artist few can hold a candle to.
@kylieminogue's What Do I Have To Do. Kylie had been dating Michael Hutchence and, three years after singing about being Lucky Lucky Lucky she was wearing Westwood and Galliano, looking like Bridget Bardo, Jane Fonda and Joan Collins in their prime and heavily hinting at lesbianism while looking like a model right out of Italian Vogue.
This might read like I’m obsessed now, but it has to be @kylieminogue again (she has been my creative and musical education after all.) Her album cover for Impossible Princess, shot by @StephaneSednaoui (Nirvana, Bjork, Red Hot Chilli Peppers) is like no other. No computer trickery on this 1997 art. Just 18 hour days and lots of light.
Two fairly recent projects stand out miles ahead of anything so I have to pick them. First and foremost, my former client, who was among my very closest friends, the sister I never had Caroline Flack and I worked on so many projects together. One of which I’ve never spoken of before. We were in fact planning an album. Caroline was such an accomplished singer playing on the West End, and the public had already seen her dance prowess. She was extremely shy about the idea and we had barely started the serious planning before the most horrific tragedy struck (something I will never recover from, only learn to live with.) Producers were coming on board and we knew the direction was to be jazz, but with an urban overtone. Caroline was a massive fan of jazz and urban artists of colour, as well as dance music. We would have paid tribute to artists like Nina Simone and Lauren Hill, artists Caroline had such reverence for, and also included dance influences which she also loved. We agreed we would only move forward on a project which was genuine and exciting. No ‘cash in’ covers record. She even wanted to write. We had visions of the music videos were would make. Caroline atop a piano, and others with intensive dance. I feel terribly sad this didn’t happen, not for me, although I would have embarrassed the hell out of her with my pride at launch (she would have smacked me and whispered her typical bashful ‘Al, ssssshhhhh’ in my ear) but because I know the kind of record she would have achieved and just how surprised people would have been. There are actually some retro demos she did at the start of her career online somewhere. They don’t do her justice, but they give the tiniest preview of just how talented she was.
The other has to be working on the first release on my record label @AlphaOmegaRecordings, an alt-pop EP, called The Question, a couple of years ago because the freedom and excitement was insane.
I was able to be creative director for all imagery and design ideas (I wanted the pictures to be simple, glamorous and iconic: Barbarella on the beach was my mantra!) A&R (we went with electro sounds as our base, with house, RNB and trip hop influences. The insanely cool Just Kidden remixed the poppiest song and we thought using it as a reprise was really interesting and unusual, label manager and artist management all in one. To say it was an intense experience would be an undersell.
We were aiming for underground as it was our first work, but Apple Music 1 got hold of the first single and played it on rotation. That was quite a shock. Support from the BBC and KISS followed and mixes by @wearejustkiddin and @f9_audio went crazy in London, New York, LA, Melbourne and more. Spotify and Apple Music featured songs on their playlists. TMRW Magazine and PopJustice were crazy for it.
For a record which was supposed to almost be a white label, it turned into a fully fledged EP release, complete with a gorgeous clear vinyl limited edition we were able to create, which sold out quickly. Distributer Absolute even picked it up as our partner. We did actually begin a second project with the same artist, Eden xo, and we filmed an amazing video in a 17th century church. Unfortunately the age old issue of ‘creative differences’ put paid to that, but I wish her lots of luck!
I think DuaLipa is an interesting artist, still in her cocoon. She hasn't matured yet, but when she breaks out all hell will break loose and she’ll put out something provocative and essential. It’s clear she’s political, and desperate to offer her message. Until then, I’ve loved her for covering Freedom by George Michael, a song which itself hints at world commentary, and the hook up with YSL Beauty. The perfect match.
HOTTEST RECENT VIDEO
@bjork's Ancenstress. A seven minute, genius epic with Bjork performing a perhaps pagan ritual, finally releasing the suffering of a dying man as he wriggles is pain. Is Bjork playing death herself?’ Perhaps. Either way, this is a simple yet extremely effective and emotive piece, showing off the Icelandic landscape is perfect as imagery for this melodic song which might be Bjork’s best work in years. The irony being that it is more effective than any of the high-budget work we've seen in the last quite boring year.
Ancenstress is an ode to Bjork's mother's death. The video features the performance of a pagan ritual, releasing a dying man's agony with compassion. Or at least that is my interpretation.
Bjork is still utterly gorgeous and she appears like a divine creature with the power to grant life and then take it away when she decides her subject has reached her potential; completed their work in this life. A whale in the otherwise sparse ocean of creativity in 2022.
I’m not sure whether this is a work of art and a tough stand against society’s indisputable ageism, or a nervous breakdown in real time. Knowing Madonna I sense the former. A real ‘fuck you’ to the many who pour scorn on a 60 something woman doing what she wants with her body. Her attitude reminds me of her in the early 90s, my favourite time in her career.
@Madonna, Erotica album cover. Steven Meisel.
The image was taken during the photoshoots for her S.E.X. book. I love that she’s embracing that work again after years of being embarrassed. She just exhibited it in New York. I hope it comes to London.