Last week saw Italian sportswear heavyweights Stone Island head to Glasgow for its second instalment of Stone Island Presents, in collaboration with NTS Radio.
Previously hosted in London, the second intimate event saw select fans brave the minus six chills of the Glaswegian winter to celebrate the UK’s electronic music scene in warehouse art space SWG3.
Kitted out with a thumping soundsystem and alluring visual projections, the curated event featured performances by homegrown underground artists including Covco, Trevor Jackson, Sega Bodega, Darkstar, Elliott Power and elusive XL Recordings DJ and producer Zomby, who all performed high energy sets to a packed out audience, as well as being broadcast live via NTS.
After the event we caught up with singer, songwriter and producer Elliott Power to talk about his live performance, his ties to the brand and why it’s important to host events like this throughout the UK.
How did the opportunity to perform at Stone Island Presents arise?
The opportunity to perform at Stone Island Presents came about after Nick Griffiths and Heidi Fearon of creative studio &SON saw me play live right at the start of the year. They thought that I’d be a good fit for Stone Island.
We’ve noticed you seem to be a little elusive when it comes to online social media. Is there any reasoning behind this?
I’m not deliberately elusive on social media, I’m just not good at the whole celebrity thing. I’m not anti-celebrity, I just don’t have the time between music and my other two jobs to spend all day on social media. Also there is a whole world outside of the internet. It’s important to take online relationships into reality. This numbers game that a lot of people seem to be playing isn’t real and it often doesn’t correlate with sales/push of product (music, fashion etc).
Do you think being given this opportunity will help you to gain real life exposure through live shows?
Since March 2016 I’ve had no label, no manager, no publisher, no press person and no live agent. So live shows are pretty thin on the ground for me, I’ve played live eight times ever. Six of those eight in 2016, four of the eight outside of the country. I’ve been paid for every single show. There are artists that are in major deals that have played every major festival over the last two years and not been paid once. I’m not anti-major label, but at the same time no company has/will ever exploit me. The point is ‘to know your worth’ and if your product is good it will stand up and people will eventually come round, so yes the few live bits I’ve done help. The less is more approach seems to be working a little bit for me. I’m tired of hearing “but it will be great exposure” every time any old free-no budget opportunity is thrown at me, unless it’s for a good cause. You don’t get up and go to work for free, so why should I?
The first event was held in your hometown of London last year. Do you think it’s important for brands such as Stone Island to move away from the capital and expose other cities around the UK to home grown talent?
It’s so important for brands and companies to look further afield than just London. Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool are just a few of many cities in the U.K. That have such a rich music history and vibrant music scenes that Stone Island can tap into.
How do you think your music relates to the brand and its wearers?
Stone Island is about performance, innovation and details. My approach to music is the same, I’m obsessed with the details and finish. Stone Island is a staple for many and it’s wearers don’t need to shout out about it, if you know you know. Same as the people who like Elliott Power… if you know you know.
We’ve noticed you started to work across other music and fashion-based projects including The Salvages and modelling for Goodhood. Have you always had an interest in merging the two, and if so where do you think this stems from?
No modern musician can solely exist off just music alone maybe with the exception of Adele or Taylor Swift. You have to be multifaceted now and venture down other avenues. I’m from a visual background and have always been interested in clothing. To be honest I’m probably wasting my time with music, I should probably try and get an art director job at Saatchi & Saatchi or something. I think I first became interested in clothing through the early street wear dons like Hiroshi Fujiwara, Ian Brown, James Lavelle, Nigo and Pharrell. Then my introduction to high fashion and womenswear came through my girlfriend. I like going between worlds and will continue to do so.
Does the Stone Island brand hold any significance to you personally?
Stone Island represents timeless quality to me and it also holds significance because as a company it understands that in order to know where you are going, you have to know where you’re from. They achieve this by digging from a rich archive and playing by their own rules, these are things that I also try to apply to my own projects.
Lastly, can you give us a few words to sum up the experience and your performance?
The experience and performance were considered, cinematic and inspiring.
Check out Elliott Power’s 2016 album ‘Once Smitten’ below, or head over to Stone Island to shop the current collection.
Lewis Munro is Mixmag’s Online Fashion Editor, follow him on Twitter