A typical British February day at 2pm is cold, wet and grey. I walked to meet the man called Filfury, creator of J Hus’s iconic ‘Common Sense’ album cover at The Mill in Central London. While getting closer to the front entrance it dawned on me that I actually didn’t know Filfury’s real name, was it silly to presume Phil? Luckily I stuck with Filfury. We met and proceeded in an elevator up to a private room on the top level. Sitting down to chat with a cityscape of London as the backdrop our interview, we jumped straight into it.

So Filfury tell us a bit about you.

I go by the artist name Filfury, originally from Brum a.k.a Birmingham. I didn’t do too good at school and finished early. I went on to Art College and worked my ass off – I bloody loved it, before going on to University and winning a design award at the end of it. This confirmed my belief that design is what I’m supposed to be doing. It was my calling. Then I moved to London to get busy.
Traditionally I trained as a graphic designer then went into print design before falling in love with motion design, animation and graphics. In the last seven years I’ve lived in London, Sydney, Amsterdam and Brighton, working myself up the career ladder. Now here at The Mill as a director of TV commercials, I’m also always doing art.

You mentioned other routes of the artwork, what were they?

I had a few more banana ideas; the final concept definitely fell in the middle. As I said before I was originally briefed that the album was going to be called ‘Fisherman’ so I had a lot more conceptual ideas such as a council estate flooded with water and he was standing in the middle of a floating car with a fishing line and all this kind of stuff.

I had loads of variations; one was playing with Mercedes cars due to his famous line in ‘Did You See’. I love to keep my artwork as symmetrical as possible, so I had mirrored the cars on different angles. I had a lot of portrait options, one had diamonds for his eyes and I was playing a lot with a fishing hook quite a lot with a piece of jewellery as a J. It was going to be a diamond encrusted J with Hus next to it.

With the album cover being a success, what’s next for you?

Many people probably didn’t realise but I directed J Hus’ ‘Bouff Daddy’ video as his team heard about what I do with The Mill and all the adverts I direct. Off the back of the ‘Bouff Daddy’ music video I have had a lot of other music management teams approach me to direct their artists, but for me it’s about picking the right one. I am still on this planet to learn different techniques and visuals and will continue to do so.

This is an extract from Viper’s SS18 issue. Buy physical and digital copies via Viper World.

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