Mason – first up! THANK YOU for designing the cover art for our London Citylist, talk us through your illustration and why it represents London to you?
My illustration is based on Ridley Road Market in Dalston which is a place that sums up what I love about London – its a global city where you can walk 10 ft and meet people from 10 different corners of the world. The Market is the centre of one of the trendiest areas in the City having been here since the 1880s and is home to a lot of different communities from Caribbean, Turkish, Jewish to West Indian.
We first discovered you through your creative work at Boiler Room and your work for souled out London music collective – Touching Bass. What is it about London music culture that excites and inspires you the most?
I guess the most inspiring thing is that all this music is being made with no public funding and whilst people are having to work low wage and zero hour contract jobs to fund their creative endeavours. It’s really great that people find ways to make music or do radio shows even when it’s difficult.
Is there another city or creative scene that’s caught your eye?
I went to Tokyo not too long ago and I love it there. You can go walk around these hectic, bustling shopping districts but also go and find an intimate bar on the 2nd floor of what looks like a residential building. We went to one which seated like 8 people, was covered wall to wall in shelves stuffed with Jazz vinyl and only served whisky. The proprietor would play one album at a time, the whole way through, it was great. We also went to tiny cocktail bar which again only seated about 8 people and one of the chairs was taken up by the owner’s dog which sat bolt upright on a bar stool all night as if he was a regular.
Let’s talk trips! You did a bit of travelling last year, where did you go and how was the experience?
My absolute favourite place I went to last year was Iceland. Everyone had told us what the landscape was like but nothing prepares you for actually driving through it – it all feels so massive and you feel so tiny. We stayed in the North of Iceland in a place called Akureyri and had to drive there from Reykjavik. It was supposed to be a 5 hour drive but ended up being about 7. I’d assumed that along the way there would be a load of towns we could stop off at for lunch and breaks and stuff, but there is nothing. We drove for hours without seeing anything more than small clusters of houses and I really loved how peaceful it all felt. There was one part of the drive when we were heading through heavy snow and were driving at 10mph. Everything had been very noisy and intense inside the car as we were convinced that we were about to slip off the road and die. So we pulled over for a second and I stepped outside the car into complete silence – literally no one else anywhere, no animals and the only sound I could hear was the snow hitting the car, it was a surreal experience.
What are your must see’s & do’s when Trippin?
My favourite thing to do is just walk around whenever I visit a place, I could do that for days. I just like seeing mundane day to day things, supermarkets, people on their way to work, vending machines. I do also really like eating food, I always try and visit at least one really nice restaurant wherever I go.
What’s on the horizon for Mason London?
Quite big things actually. I’m moving from London – where aside from 3 years in Brighton – I’ve lived all my life and moving to Sweden. Specifically a small town called Uppsala about an hour north of Stockholm. I’m going to be living next to a lake and in the winter there’s a small ski slope opposite so it’s going to be a pretty big change from my life at the moment where my lounge overlooks Kingsland Road – the “Las Vegas Strip” of Dalston. Work wise I’m hoping for more of the same from last year – music projects mostly.
Give us 5 of your favourite spots in London!
- The Eastern Tea Company in Dalston. A Japanese restaurant that’s only opened recently but does amazing Katsu Curry, Chicken Wings and dumplings.
- Screen On The Green in Islington. I love going to the cinema and this along with the Rio in Dalston is my favourite. It has full on sofas in the back and you can order drinks to your seat.
- Brilliant Corners A great, intimate music venue in East London with an amazing sound system.
- Faltering Fullback Pub in Finsbury Park. A deceptively large pub in North London covered with ivy. It has a cosy interior and enormous multi level garden out the back.
- Richmond Park it’s enormous, beautiful and has wild deer and parrots in it.
Lastly, submit a track that makes you feel like Trippin for our Spotify playlist.
You can check out Mason’s artwork for our London City List plus all his travel tips on the Trippin App! Download here :)