The onslaught of the millennium brought with it the age of the internet and with that the consumption of music was changed forever. Instant access meant no longer channel surfing to catch a glimpse of your favourite video, or waiting anxiously for an album release and then ripping the sleeve out of your newly purchased cassette to learn the lyrics and read the band’s thank yous. Today we live in a disposable reality, yet – from fashion to film to music – the 90s remains one of the most referential eras for the Gen Z.
“I think that it takes a generation to make you nostalgic for the past,” Samuel says. “I remember in the 90s people would talk about the 70s. The 90s were still analogue, we weren’t self-programming like we are today. It was pre-Kardashian, pre-reality TV. Some of my friends that are celebrities are always scratching their heads being like they don’t sing, they don’t act or dance but because they have 100million Twitter followers or whatever the fuck it is, they’re considered relevant. I mean, we even have a Twitter president now and I think we’re nostalgic for the days when that didn’t exist.”
“We’re in a weird new reality, but I do think that for every action there is a reaction, so for every Trump there will be another Obama, and in that vein, I’d love to see another Nirvana come out.”
“Great art is made when you’re in tune with your environment. We live in a mad world now, and the art I try to create is always a reaction to how I see it,” he says. “I started to understand the power of art through my mother, who was a painter. She died very young of cancer and she painted while she was dying. That had a huge impact on me as a child, and more recently David Bowie’s death had a very profound effect on me. I found it so beautiful that he wrote a record when he was dying. It reminded me of my mother. I sometimes say it’s the responsibility of the artist to be affected by the world, and I believe that you have to make art like you’re going to die tomorrow. You can’t get more real than that.”
Taken from issue 13 of Hunger magazine, Mad World, out now