It’s been almost a year since the UK first went into lockdown, and yet life for many of us remains on pause. Amid the quiet chaos, however, a new generation of artists has risen – and a new playlist by Spotify, titled Our Generation, aims to celebrate them.
Dazed has teamed up with the music streaming service to bring some of the playlist’s more accomplished musicians together with their favourite upcoming artists. Over the next few weeks, slowthai, Arlo Parks, and Bakar will go head-to-head with the up-and-comers you need to know.
Last year, Spotify asked 22-year-old Melbourne-based illustrator Eliza Williams to create a visual identity for the playlist. The artist’s creations are bursting with rainbow colours, and depict a surreal world where armchairs have eyes and cows have pink spots. Williams also designed portraits of some of the artists featured on the playlist, depicting them in her multicoloured, utopian universe.
Speaking to Dazed, Williams says she “created the imagined ‘worlds’” of the playlist by using “a mixture of my own artistic style and inspiration from the incredible music featured on the Our Generation playlist”.
She continues: “Each of the Our Generation worlds are inspired by the different genres and vibes of the music involved with the playlist – from bedroom pop to alternative rap, I wanted to capture all the different sounds as best as I could by transporting the listeners and artists somewhere else.”
“Most of my work is inspired by music and the way it makes me and others feel – (it’s about) creating a world bursting with colour and life. It’s a place where we can connect and escape to.”
“There’s always been such a wonderful link between music and artistic visuals, but there’s so much opportunity to further this experience in the future,” says Williams. “Whether that’s through augmented reality or animation, it’s exciting to see how the listeners experience can be expanded to a totally different sense – from hearing to seeing, to maybe even touch and taste!”