While it is by no means the result of A$AP Rocky and Drake showing massive love – and not to mention knowing all the lyrics – to some of the finest grime MCs and their tracks, having the support of some of rap’s biggest stars has definitely given the London-born genre the nudge forward. But its success truly depends on the homegrown talent that has thrived for over a decade to help give it the recognition it deserves, and as grime music continues to garner traction on the world stage, there’s an equally ambitious and talented group of visionaries keen to capture it. Of course, we have to pay homage to pioneering lensmen like Ewen Spencer and Simon Wheatley, but here we spotlight four London-based rising photographers to watch out for.
If you’re going to a grime gig, or anything grime-related, in London then you’re definitely going to see Vicky Grout up the front. While she might be small in stature she is one of London’s most formidable up-and-coming photography talents right now. You might remember her from that epic night that Drake dropped into Shoreditch’s own Village Underground for some stage time with Section Boyz – where she was on-stage shooting the whole time. But far from an observer, grime is what Grout lives and breathes, and her intimate shots of Novelist – who she most recently shot for the Spring Summer 2016 issue and cover of Viper magazine – at Nottinghill Carnival or on set with Skepta for the video for “Shut Down”, prove that.
Sean Carpenter tried to fly under the radar with his talent for capturing live shows for a little while, until he casually shared some shots of FKA twigs at Field Day last year with us. Not only is he a credible colleague of ours at Dazed, he’s a brilliant photographer who has been running all over London shooting Skepta, A$AP Rocky, JME, Kelela, Run The Jewels, Vince Staples and Joey Bada$$... seriously, I could go on, but you’re best to just look at his feed.
Photography duo Marco Grey and George Quann-Barnett might be best known under the moniker Wot Do You Call It, and any London music fan worth their salt will immediately clock the Wiley reference and realise what they’re getting when they look through Grey and Quann-Barnett’s work. Whether capturing live shows or candid, off-hand shots of artists like Elf Kid holding an ‘I’m Murkin It’ tshirt on set for his “Lewisham McDeez” music video or at legendary nights like Boxed, this dynamic pair are one to watch.
If you’re at a gig with photographer Ashley Verse then you’re bound to know about it. Standing at (an educated guess) over 6ft tall, he’s a looming figure both physically and figuratively speaking – as one of London’s rising talents. Never stopping, when he’s not shooting London’s music scene, he’s busy with its fashion one.