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Creative Corner with Sim Rollison

December 2021
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Based in London, Sim Rollison works in the marketing team for Columbia Records looking after digital strategy for a varied roster of UK and international artists. He’s been in the music industry 10 years in various social and digital roles.

Our recent chat with Sim discusses his favourite campaigns and talks about the overlaps between visual creativity and music.

I’m wrapping up a big year for Rag’n’Bone Man and currently working on releases from Davido, Khalid, Rosalia and Da Beatfreakz among others.

I'M LOVING

2021 has been Little Simz' year, no doubt about it.

Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is arguably the album of the year and her strongest to date but more than that the whole creative package around the release has just been excellent.

The photography by Nwaka Okparaeke for the cover, the creative direction from Jeremy Cole, Salomon Ligthelm's Introvert, Ebeneza Blanche's Point and Kill, the whole team deserve every bit of praise.

FAVOURITE VIDEO

I’ve always been a fan of Chis Cunningham.

His work with Bjork, Leftfield and Madonna is all outstanding but it's his collaborations with Aphex Twin that always stood out to me, especially Come To Daddy. Part horror, part comedy, it's a disturbing watch and portent of the deepfake videos that are rife today.

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BEST ARTWORK

Under the name Sepalcure, Machinedrum and Braille released a self-titled album back in 2011 and I've always loved the artwork for it.

It's not my favourite ever album cover but it did introduce me to the work of Sougwen Chung who I've followed ever since. She's such a talent and does these incredible live performances where she draws in tandem with one or more AI-controlled robotic arms. The idea is that artist and machine respond to each other's actions in real-time and make a truly collaborative piece – it's awe-inspiring work.

RECENT CAMPAIGN

It's been a privilege working on the Wizkid Made In Lagos campaign over the last two years.

He was already a superstar but seeing how people responded to this album, watching Essence become the song of the summer and then ending the year with three sold-out shows at The O2 – you can't beat that.

BRAND COLLAB

I'm a big fan of Kelly Lee Owens. Aside from producing two of my favourite albums of recent years, she's put out some really interesting videos (see Corner Of My Sky starring Michael Sheen) and is one hell of a live performer. Even so, I was shocked when I heard she was releasing the official song for the 2023 Women's World Cup. Usually Fifa or Uefa or whoever go for some bland pop collaboration but this is actually good and it's great to see opportunities like this be given to an artist who's going to do something interesting with it

CREATIVE VIDEO

A few years ago as part of The Blaze, Guillaume Alric won a Cannes Lion for Territory which was a masterpiece. This year under the name Enfant Sauvage and in support of his debut solo album ‘Petrichor’, he released a trio of videos that tells a single narrative about a young couple. Alric has a distinctive directorial style and these videos aren't a departure from what we've seen from him before but he's given himself licence to tell a more involved story over the course of the three videos and he doesn't disappoint. The second part Time To Fall is my pick of the bunch but I'd highly recommend watching the trilogy in full

GO FOLLOW

Go follow Berwyn. Super talented and the first artist to get Mercury nominated for a mixtape earlier this year. Huge things from him in 2022 I’m sure.

 ICONIC

The most iconic music photograph is (I'm going to cheat here) any frame of Keith Flint from the video for Firestarter.  The Prodigy were the first band I ever truly loved and Keith was the embodiment of everything they stood for, especially so in that video.

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