you get into art?
it's something i've been into as long as i can remember.
i dropped out of school and ended up at art college,
doing sculpture mainly.
what happened after art college?
after leaving college i was very disillusioned by the
art thing and worked in graphic design and also took
more of a musical direction. i completed a programming
and live performance course at community music, london,
very closely linked to asian dub foundation, the bassist
taught there and the mc and live programmer / fx player
were students there.
you have a really strong style,
how did that develop?
dunno, really, just evolved naturally, with a few influences.
people like keith haring (american artist, famous for
his brightly-coloured paintings with 'jelly baby' style
characters), henry matisse and diego rivero (south american
muralist painter). i'm also into a lot of eastern stuff
and ethiopian art.
your paintings nearly always involve
these funny-looking characters, who are they?
i suppose they're just observations, things i see or
pick up around me. i watch people and might get an idea
from the way they're standing or their posture, for
example this one...(shows me a painting of a girl sat
with her head in her hands) i got from a girl who was
sat opposite me on the tube. i get ideas from people
round the market or from magazines and stuff. i saw
something recently in a clothes advert...i do a lot
of sketches of characters or ideas that just come into
how do you work, do you use computers
no, a lot of people think i do but everything is hand
drawn. i start off with pencil sketches and then paint
what sort of music are you into?
i 'm really into music. i love reggae, roots and dub
stuff. i 've played in samba bands and stuff. i 'm currently
rehearsing with a maracatu band (north brazilian street
drumming). i listen to a lot of new jazz stuff, my favourite
album at the moment is 'new conceptions of jazz' by
bugge wesseltofts. i like hefner, the other one, not
the indie one. i 'm also into hip-hop, like mos def
and hi-tec, people like that. music is a massive influence
what sort of things has your artwork
been used for?
obviously i mainly sell my prints on the market - prices
range from £30-£80. i 've also done loads
of flyers, for ministry of sound and some record sleeves,
i 've just done one for a new roots and reggae compilation
album called 'seven inch roots.' there's loads of t-shirts
i 've done as well that you can buy on the market. plus
of course the bravecaptain stuff.
so the bravecaptain stuff...how
did that come about?
martin just bought some of my work off the market. he
bought about about six pieces i think, including the
two pieces that he used on the single sleeve (the artwork
featured on the front and back of the 'better living
through reckless experimentation' single). after he
bought the pieces he just rang me up and said could
he use a couple of the pieces for the sleeve. i didn't
know a great deal about him at the time, although i
'd heard of the boo radleys.
what do you think of the bravecaptain stuff?
i like it. my favourite bravecaptain track is 'you
and me glue,' i love that. it's a bit different to the
normal stuff i like but the thing i love is that it's
always very creative. there's many different ingredients
there...i mean there's drum n'bass and stuff on the
tell me about the new artwork you're
doing for bravecaptain.
there's the album sleeve, which is the main thing i've
been working on. he rang me up and said could i do something
for the new album and also for the new single. he said
it could either be something i 'd already done or a
new piece. i sent him about half a dozen designs and
he picked this one (shows print). it's a piece based
on a sketch i did two or three years ago. i had a finished
piece done about six months ago.
the finished version is very different
to that original piece.
yeah. martin asked me to re-do it with a few changes,
like get rid of the floor and he asked for a blue background.
martin loves vibrant colours. i don't know why he picked
this one, you'd have to ask him!
why the melodica?
it's just an instrument i 've always loved (he's even
got one hanging from his wall). i 've loved it since
my reggae days, augustus pablo and stuff like that.
he remixed a boo radleys single
no way! you're kidding.
yeah, 'lazarus'. there's seems
to be a bit of musical overlap between you and martin?
i dunno, we've never really talked about it. i like
to think there's a bit of music in all my artwork.
what about the one he used on the
back of the 'better living...' sleeve, what's this about?
(it's the one of the bald bloke in a round chair).
i dunno if this is being used as more of a logo? i've
seen it on the website. i just loved those chairs, like
the bubble chairs. they can hang from the ceiling like
the plastic ones or even the whicker ones you could
who is he?
dunno. people say different things, like he looks like
buddha. but i 've done a sumo wrsetler as well and people
say he's buddha too. i guess i 'm just into the eastern
there's no obvious direct connection
between martin's titles or lyrics and stuff and your
sleeves, is there? and you didn't create them with his
music in mind.
no, i like that. i like it when there's a discrepancy.
i'm not an illustrator, i don't like it when it's too
your work does lend itself well
to the sleeves though, do you think they will become
part of the bravecaptain brand or style?
i dunno, i suppose they could do but we have spoken
beyond the new single and album.
are you into sleeve art in general?
erm, it does influence me when i 'm buying music yes,
definitely. i love a good record sleeve. i was really
pleased to see that martin brings out the bravecaptain
stuff on vinyl, the proper music format.
what did you think of the other
bravecaptain sleeves before yours?
this one was a jamaican photo or something (holding
'fingertip vol ii' sleeve). i love these photos (looking
at 'fingertip i ' sleeve). he's just in the middle of
this amazing studio with all these things going on.
it's like a scientist's lab or something, you can stare
at it for ages and keep picking things out.
what are your favourite record
i love the old blue note sleeves. the famous jazz label.
they were amazing. real quality, style, the use of the
graphics and the way these used the photos, like off-centre
and stuff. that was all new.
okay, so finally - give me your
top five all-time greatest record sleeves.
erm...that's a tough one! here's some from just diving
in my collection that i really like:
'head hunters' - herbie hancock
'midnight marauders' - a tribe called quest
'debut' - bjork
'rockers meets king tubbys in a fire house' - augustus
'it's monks time' - the lonious monk