Updated: Apr 1, 2020
After a rather large hiatus due to holiday, sickness, and the current pandemic, I'm back with some more incredible artist recommendations for you! There's no theme this week, just 3 super talented individuals who I believe deserve a little more credit for what they bring to their respective industries! So let's jump straight back into things with our first artist!
Shaun Hill - Poet
Known mostly for his spoken word poetry and his work with young people, Shaun Hill is one of the most beautiful voices to rise from the bustling Midlands scene. When I was first blessed with the opportunity to see Shaun perform live, I found myself sat in one of Bristol's landmark theaters in anticipation - I had heard a lot of good things about Shaun, and I was excited to find out if he was really as good as everyone said.
His quiet command of the room had me entranced from his first word. Whilst the spotlight shone upon him, Shaun made it feel as though every single person in the room was bathed in light, too; that he could see us as clearly as we saw him. His soulful narratives and stunning imagery had the whole audience hooked, and by the end of his set, I found myself sat in silent streams of tears. His beautifully tragic depictions of queer trauma, and his stunning renditions of his own experiences left the audience hungry for change.
Since that performance, Shaun has only continued to grow, bouncing from strength to strength. It appears he is on a trajectory that only goes up, and I am intoxicated by everything he does. His humble attitude towards his own work, and his gentle and kind attitude makes him a pillar in the UK spoken word scene, always on hand to offer help and advice to other poets, regardless of age, race, gender, class or quality. He is a beacon in the darkness, and the most generous and gentle man I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and performing alongside.
You can find Shaun in the following places:
Chloe Glover - Musician
Singer, songwriter and musician Chloe Glover possesses a hauntingly soulful voice which reaches into your very bones and pulls you closer to the true meaning of hope. With lyrics steeped with emotion, and narratives coated in understanding, Glover's work has an ability to allow you to fully immerse yourself in your own truth, as well as hers, and force you to confront your own subconscious thought.
It's growing more common for artists to be willing to talk about mental health and the implications of not looking after yourself, but Glover was doing this long before it was cool, or the norm. Her frank depictions of what life with mental illness is like provides a safe haven for plenty of punk fans to belt out her catchy lyrics, whilst simultaneously absorbing their meaning. Her work even, in some regards, points fingers at the stereotypical "punk" lifestyle and forces the community to confront the idea that they're perpetuating poor behaviours - something which Glover herself has been open about struggling with.
Her debut EP, Dark Matter, was released for purchase and streaming on Friday 20th March. It's clear to see that a lot of hard work was put into making this happen by the team behind the EP and you should definitely give it a listen!
You can find Chloe in the following places:
YouTube: Chloe Glover
Spotify: Chloe Glover
Autumn De Wilde - Director & Photographer
Born in New York in 1970, Autumn de Wilde began her career as a photographer and is best known for her portraiture and commercial photography of musicians. This led her to directing music videos, such as Death Cab for Cutie's 'Different Names for the Same Thing', Elliott Smith's 'Son of Sam' and Florence + The Machine's 'Big God'. I can't say that I know much about her work as a photographer, or as a music video director - that would be untrue. In fact, I've only recently come to know her name. I learnt of de Wilde's talents after seeing her directorial feature film debut - Emma. - which was adapted from Jane Austen's novel of the same name.
As a major bookworm, and a big fan of Jane Austen (I know who to thank for that...), I was overjoyed to see a film adaptation of my favourite Austen novel was in the making. I was even more ecstatic to find out that it was to have a female director. Emma in itself focuses a lot on female empowerment and it seemed only right to have these themes mirrored in the production team. I was, however, dubious. A directorial debut usually goes one of two ways and I was not ready to see such a loved narrative be ruined by poor directing...
I needn't have worried. Autumn de Wilde's appointment as director could not have been a better decision. I was blown away and quite frankly astounded that she had not managed to secure herself a directing role earlier. The plot of the novel was followed to the letter, with adaptations to character remaining minute and only being imposed when absolutely necessary to enhance the plot and to ensure clarity. The character of Miss Bates, for example, had her comical side exaggerated slightly - with the help of Miranda Hart's incredible acting - to help the audience understand the seemingly dry humour of Austen's time. It is clear that de Wilde started her career in photography as the attention to detail in every shot is stunning. The scenery, musical score and characterisation come together seamlessly under Autumn's direction to create one of the best move adaptations I have personally ever seen.
You can find Autumn in the following places:
That just about wraps things up for today! I hope that you're inspired to check out at least one of these artists' work and let me know how you feel about them in the comments. Join me on Wednesday when we'll be kicking off National Poetry Writing Month!
Peace and love,