When I talked to the guys at CALM, there was no way in hell that I would have signed up to direct a campaign, given that I had never done anything close to this before, without knowing I had a team of close friends who would be up for the challenge.
In instances like this, doing a project that might, at times prove a heavy load, you need to know who’s in the trenches with you. I met Danny Allison at The University Of Central Lancashire in 2004. We would later become close friends and share a studio and it was during the challenging induction to the world of freelancing that he would help me through with selfless advice. He is known for his stunning illustration, but his photography is equally beautiful and I wanted to bring him on board to showcase that side of his talents. Thankfully for me Danny saw the worth in the opportunity. Danny will also feature in the Xpress campaign for his creative work.
During the crash course in freelancing, one of the first guys to give me a break in editorial illustration was then Big Issue Art Director Sam Price. Sam is skilled in Graphic Design, Layouts, Branding and general Art Direction. We had previously talked about collaborating on such a project as Xpress. One phone call later he was on board, branding Xpress and designing the website.
The website was coded and built by web designer Ryan Addams. Ryan cut us an unbelievable deal on the site, given the benevolent intentions behind the brief and like everyone involved, it could not have happened without his magic.
The past three years have been spent building my music company, Quenched Music with co-owner Danni Skerritt. Danni is a writer and has recently developed into a great DJ Dirty Freud. Danni has an insane knowledge of all avenues of music and his work in and beyond Manchester over the last few years has afforded us an unrivaled knowledge of new music. Danni is curating the Xpress album and it hasn’t been off the Quenched Music office playlist over the last few weeks.
In 2013, we’ll all be challenged like never before by the workload that Xpress will bring, but also thrilled to be heading such a great project.