Coronavirus has scuppered too many best-laid plans to mention but, in spite of social distancing and WFH for what feels like forever, we’ve seen plenty of innovation and creativity over the past few weeks and months. As we start to ease out of lockdown, we took some time to look back on our favourite isolation creations (so far).
How long will will we be here? Nobody knows, but out of adversity comes creativity, and that, at least, feels like something we can get excited about…
Our friends at Ask Us For Ideas (AUFI) launched NOW NEEDS NEW – a free initiative connecting brands in need of strategic help with the industry’s top creative agencies. Available internationally, the scheme continues to support businesses in need of creative counsel, by pairing brands to an appropriate agency who, through remote workshop sessions, shine a light on the different ways that business might adapt, communicate, pivot and thrive. Kingdom Collective are delighted to be involved and will be offering our time, alongside a whole host of other wonderful creative agencies.
In line with the launch of Boiler Room’s hugely successful Streaming from Isolation Series, the platform partnered with Ballantine’s to offer a six-figure fund in the form of twenty £5000 grants to creatives across the music industry. The grants were distributed to 20 community-driven collectives to use as they saw fit, to support those most in need within their immediate community. Amoung those featured were Discwoman, Moonshine, Pxssy Palace, BBZ, Room 4 Resistance and BRUTAZ, who, in addition to receiving the grant, curated a line-up for a ‘Stay-In Saturday’ takeover of Streaming from Isolation.
May kicked off with Remote Utopias, a 24-hour radio takeover over at NTS in aid of Global Foodbanking Network. With the support of Jameson, NTS was able to enlist a line-up of talent from emerging through to established talent. Highlights from across the weekend included meditating with soul-legend Erykah Badu, the Cheryl Cole remix from Four Tet, celebrating the rare-set of FXHE bossman Omar S, the deep reggaeton mix from DJ Python and so much more – we didn’t turn it off all weekend..!
In response to the concern amongst venues, artists, promoters that the economic impact of COVID-19 could decimate our culture and nightlife, when the government was calling people to stop going to clubs, pubs and festivals, Resident Advisor launched the global campaign, Save Our Scene. By an open letter, Resident Advisor called upon the music industry and fans of it for collective action to to support the artists, venues and promoters who are integral to the survival of the dance music and live events industry. Now signed by over 3,000 people across five continents including the likes of Boiler Room, Helena Hauff, Unsound Festival, and more.
With two weekend-long sessions taking place across March and April, Club Quarantäne has filled a rave-shaped hole in the hearts of the KC team. The virtual club, which features as part of Resident Advisor’s #SaveOurScene campaign served up 36 hours of incredible music, as well as allowing attendees to catch up with fellow clubbers from around the world via toilet chat rooms (hilarious). The third edition is set to take place on 28th June and will feature a line-up curated by Ash Lauryn, founder of Underground & Black, who will focus on showcasing Black artists, art and culture.
London creative agency Uncommon and fragrance brand Earl of East have teamed up to release the ‘Scents of Normality’ candle collection inspired by three of the UK’s most loved locations – the pub, the cinema and festivals. The fragrance of the candles include the scent of spilt beer, cut grass and salty popcorn. Popular illustrators Thomas Hedger, Victoria Sieczka and Lan Truong have been enlisted to create bespoke designs for the packaging and print ads. Profits from the Scents of Normality sales will be donated to Hospitality Action, a charity which aims to support workers impacted by coronavirus.
Ciaran Thapar and rapper Mehryar Golestani (Reveal), the duo behind “inclusive music education programme” Roadworks teamed up with Mixtape Madness to create a brand new video series Drillosophy in an attempt to continue their music-led youth work during isolation. The six-part series takes famous philosophical concepts and breaks them down using the metaphors thrown up in drill and UK rap’s most popular songs. First episode, Skengdo’s Cave, explored the concept of Plato’s cave by dissecting the lyrics of south London drill duo Skengdo x AM.
London’s National Gallery partnered with advertising company, Ocean Outdoor, to showcase a select group of paintings from their permanent collection from Van Gogh to Vigée Le Brun on giant outdoor screens around the country. The gallery launched billboards screens in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Southampton with the paintings in each location changing daily.
Before reopening it’s doors to the music industry once again, London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios offered aspiring songwriters the chance to win online feedback sessions with a panel of megastar judges and mentors. For seven days, the studio invited songwriters to record original songs on its free songwriting app ‘Topline’ and submit the tracks alongside their name, country and song title with a chance to win online mentoring sessions with Nile Rodgers, Jamie Scott, Giorgio Tuinfort and Poo Bear.
Boiler Room’s found a new home for Low Heat, their seasonal series of weekly get togethers, which used to take place in the Boiler Room studio, on Zoom. The exclusive RSVP-only club nights kicked off with an event featuring incredible sets from bass heavyweights Sherelle, DJ Taye & Kode9. Similar to the live events they are renowned for, the digital space was created to offer a two-way interaction between artists and attendees, with the opportunity to provide support for artists through an in-room donation – a direct initiative to support the scene.
In line with the launch, new electronics company KORG Germany released a free online cookbook featuring original recipes from KORG staff, affiliates, and artists across the electronic music scene. In a time where cooking is therapy, The Pyjama Cookbook: A Guide To Self-Feeding aimed to instill solidarity whilst encouraging friendship during these extraordinary times. The book features recipes for food and drinks from the likes of Objekt, Alva Noto, Suzanne Ciani, among others.