Recently we dropped a short piece on Jupiter Grey and his release Hijacked. In that piece we highlighted the great visuals for the single. We wondered if the work was his own.
Well we were right. Indeed, the work was his own. We decided to talk to Jupiter Grey for our itchysilkLIVE section about the inspiration behind his intriguing storyboards.
So, we have checked out your single, but your artwork is great. First give us a bit of background on your journey into the art world.
I have always loved art from an early age. I studied art in high school. When I discovered Jean Michel Basquiat it was like a revelation. For the first time, I had seen art I felt connected with me which told my story. His art gave you a huge insight into the kind of man he was. For my music and artwork, I wanted to give people who follow me the same feeling.
We love Japanese culture and the manga/anime scene-your storyboard seems heavily influenced by it so tell us more?
Well, I am a huge anime fan. When I first watched the movie Akira (1988) I was really intrigued by the look. The dystopian cyberpunk tones caught my eye the most. This was a major influence visually. It gave me a direction for my art. At some point in my musical journey, I decided that I was going to incorporate anime as an aesthetic. I wanted Jupiter Grey to be bigger than music. Essentially, I created a fictional character with a whole origin story.
Some of your work has that dystopian, Blade Runner-esque vibe (check an interview we did with Liam Wong). It almost seems at odds with that rnb/ slow jam vibes you seem to love-talk about that more.
I am a huge fan of Liam Wong. It is a dream of mine to work with him. It will a hundred percent make more sense when you hear my debut project. I discuss an array of topics that will give the listener a more complete story. Love is very much a part of this world which people do not always see. Take the film Blade Runner (1982) one of the talking points in the film was the relationship between Rick Deckard and Rachael.
We note your use of purple-why does it feature so heavily in your storyboard.
Purple is my favourite colour. For me purple sets the tone in a cyber punk style aesthetic. It is an essential colour for the world I am trying to paint. It will also make more sense with my future releases, so stay tuned.
And let us get into the content of those storyboards-talk to us about what you were looking to achieve in terms of look, feel and the message you wanted to convey-we see the whole samurai flex-super-hero intentions?
I want to give the listener context into the character of Jupiter Grey. He is a fictional character who is on a mission to save the world but at the same time, the stories I talk about in my songs are all real. The samurai inspiration comes from Afro Samurai (1998-2002). Being a black man, he was the first superhero I connected with in terms of his look and his story. I was hooked by the mix of Afrocentric and Japanese cultures.
You told us in a private message on Instagram- “it gives me more context to the song” explain that a bit more.
Hijacked is about escapism. I sing about escaping my reality for a better existence but at the same time realising that I have a purpose that is bigger than me. I got Kadz Woods and Ray Wills to rap about their reality on the song. The story boards then show what all three of our realities look like when we all come together.
Anything you want to add or say about your latest music and indeed, what is coming soon?
Hijacked is just a buzz single. I spent all of 2019 working on an album which will be the soundtrack to an independent anime movie coming soon. I have not released music since 2018 so I did not want to jump straight in. I wanted to work with Kadz and Ray before I started releasing music from my debut project. Hijacked shows a different side to me as people will see when I start releasing more music. This year I have more singles coming from the debut album accompanied by my visuals.