Stormzy – The Lyrical Translation

A few years ago, when I was working on Annie Mac’s show on BBC Radio 1, I was recruited by sister station 1Xtra to be the voice of MistaJam‘s Lyrical Translation feature.

Every week Jam would be joined by a famous guest – an artist played by 1Xtra – and would translate their own lyrics into the Queen’s English.

I would then read those lyrics back to them, and they’d have to guess which song we were talking about.

I was lucky enough to play this game with loads of really exciting names, including Janet Jackson and Riz Ahmed – whose testimony that I was ‘a confirmed G’ has been on my CV ever since.

But by far the biggest, and most entertaining artist we ran the feature with was Stormzy.

Can Stormzy Recognise His Own Lyrics?

Stormzy was in the office to promote his new album Heavy Is The Head which, as you no doubt remember, somehow only debuted at number 2 in the UK album charts behind Rod Stewart and some sort of philharmonic orchestra.

It also featured the single Vossi Bop, which famously includes the lyric ‘f**k the government f**k Boris’, and there was a febrile atmosphere when the great man came in.

I do say this about a lot of things, but this is genuinely one of the most fun and exciting things I’ve ever done, so I really hope you enjoy watching it.

And obviously, if you ever need someone to read something out in a very factual sort of a way (or any other sort of way, for that matter), please give me a shout.

Google UK: Saved By The Search

At the end of 2020 I took on a short freelance contract with Jellyfish, helping to devise a new approach to social media for Google UK.

One of the things I was tasked with was coming up with a new YouTube format.

Google wanted an idea that would entertain and engage young audiences, while demonstrating just how helpful their products can be.

That’s when Saved By The Search was born.

In each episode, a YouTube personality is faced with a challenge: The sort of thing a lot of people are searching for at the minute, but also something you’d probably need a bit of help to do properly.

To make things more interesting, the participants are given no instructions whatsoever. The first time they see their challenge is the moment the cameras are turned on.

To help them out, and to remind us exactly how brilliant Google is, they’re allowed to use a limited number of searches. But they have to be used carefully, because once they’re gone, they’re gone.

You can take a look at all the episodes of Saved by the Search here.

Creative concept by me, creative development and production by Jellyfish production.

Beyond The Woods Festival

In 2015, we had a party in our back garden for my brother Joe’s 18th birthday.

It was so successful that we decided to do it again the next year, and the year after, and the year after that.

Eventually JoeFest, which became Beyond The Woods Festival, grew into a 3,000 capacity event, with four stages, overnight camping, and some of the UK’s most exciting new artists coming to our little corner of Lincolnshire.

Holly Humberstone played the festival in 2017, and is now one of the UK’s most highly-rated new artists

Joe, who is now a music promoter, was in charge of putting the bands on; while as the managing director I looked after all the less-glamorous organisational things, like having health and safety meetings with the council.

There were late-night DJs, a secret bar disguised as a garden centre, and we were one of only very few festivals in the UK where you could start your day by feeding some deer from the back of a tractor.

Stourton Woods, where the festival was held, had its own deer park

Sadly, as with a lot of events like our, Beyond The Woods didn’t survive the Covid pandemic.

While the festival kept getting bigger, it was still organised by the same group of mates who were at the original garden gathering.

Although there was a brilliant sense of community behind the twenty or so people who came together to put this big party on every year, there was one thing we were missing: A huge corporate benefactor with fat piles of cash.

And so, after an incredibly memorable run, Beyond The Woods Festival was put on hold indefinitely in 2021.

The original JoeFest in 2015

Joe is still putting on gigs under the banner of BTW Presents; and I’ve still got the event management plan tucked away safely, ready for when we need to dig it out again in the future.

Suzuki: Good Different

I devised the creative for a new set of social media adverts for Suzuki.

Having spent several years working in social media at the BBC, I must have made loads of videos for the internet. This, however, was my first time making an advert, and it was loads of fun to put together.

Suzuki have just launched a new marketing campaign, Good Different, and asked Jellyfish to look after the social creative.

Very often, the video ads you see on social media are shortened version of the television advert. They’re not specifically designed for audiences on the internet.

We were tasked with coming up with something tailored to those social media audiences, while still using the same creative concept as TV.

I lead on the creative for Jellyfish, alongside my good mate Baz Williamson, our senior creative director.

Between us we devised a number of treatments. They appealed specifically to social media users, and would be re-versioned to meet the behaviours of audiences on different platforms.

We then worked with the incredible Chloe Shaw to cast, shoot and deliver the ads over a period of a few weeks.

I’m not sure I’m allowed to put any specific facts and figures here, but the early results have been really impressive. Keep your eyes peeled for some more creative bits and pieces with Suzuki later on in the year.

  • Creative: Me and Baz Williamson
  • Producer: Chloe Shaw
  • Agency: Jellyfish
  • Client: Suzuki Cars UK
  • Cast: Bibi Lucille and Owen Frost