set apart gets to the heart of london's music scene with independent radio station nts
Set Apart is a thought-provoking look at the past, present and future of London’s musical hubs by those who have peppered its scene and become its pioneers.
In the midst of sky high unemployment, budget cuts, club closures, rising rents and low morale, the music coming out of London has never been better - amazing given the circumstances. We've got the city's gods of grime getting much deserved recognition Stateside, more festivals being thrown in the capital than ever before, and the homegrown music platform Boiler Room, alongside indie labels Domino Recordings and Young Turks, exposing some of the most innovative, independent new artists on the planet. In other words, in the face of adversity, the creative underbelly of London is still going strong and as any young person knows, in Cameron's Britain, you've got to jump on any chance to celebrate.
That is exactly what new short film, Set Apart, by London-based creative studio, Superimpose, does. The brainchild of Ollie Olanipekun and his co-founder Toby Evans, the studio offers creative solutions for the likes of adidas Originals, Palace and Cheap Monday, but they had a yearning to work on something that showcased the London music scene. Ollie comments, "We had wanted to make something like this for a few years. I had seen so many films made in regards to the NY music scene and wondered why there hadn't been a good one made about London, or maybe I just hadn't seen one that had done London justice."
Focusing on independent radio station NTS, the narrative of the film is provided by those who know it best: the station's talent. It navigates through the capital's vibrant music scene and explores the culture that it provides. "The NTS story was interesting as it is still in its infancy. Having them as the thread running through the film was really important to us, as not only are we showcasing what's going on today, we also want this to be an archival narrative that could be returned to in years to come and give its viewers a clear idea of the attitudes of a particular era," Ollie explains. From the childhood memories of pioneer DJ and artist Trevor Jackson, to the observations of the station by its breakfast anchor, Charlie Bones, to Sofie Fatouretchi's opening line calling out the importance of people in the future having the option of a station that offers quality music no matter where they are in the globe; the film is a thought-provoking look at the past, present and future of London's musical hubs by those who have peppered its scene and became its pioneers. "Each host is very vocal about the fact that they've never been told what to play. Anyone who's ever listened to NTS will be able to tell you that there's some unorthodox shows on there, sounds that you can't even describe, but that's what sets NTS apart." Ollie says. The film also acts as a reminder to future generations of the staunch importance of keeping creative cultures alive. NTS founder Femi Adeyemi concludes the 8-minute short with, "You can dig deep in London and you still won't get to the bottom of it." A message that is mirrored not only in music, but in the fashion, art and design scenes that still thrive in London. When asked what predictions can be deduced about the future of the London music and clubbing industry, Ollie observes, "Nostalgia can be a bad thing and we're in danger of letting it cripple us. I think what you've got in this younger generation is incredible resourcefulness. These guys are out there creating in a completely new way, in a completely new environment. They're the ones who are going to dictate the music scene and keep it moving forward."
Text Lynette Nylander