Image of the day: Soundway artwork by Lewis Heriz

Computer Arts: Tell us about the project ...
Lewis Heriz:
This is the latest in a long-running series of compilations by Soundway that presents tracks from African countries – so far, Nigeria, Ghana and, now, Kenya – that are more unusual in style than those you normally hear on comps. The Nigerian releases were already out when I came on board, and I had to build upon the aesthetic the label had already developed.

All of the designs begin with choosing the photo. Miles Cleret, who runs the label, presents, at most, two or three shortlisted photos he found while collecting and researching for the release, which I digitally cut out and play with compositionally. In this case, colour was very significant: whereas the Ghana Special was a bright turquoise and gold – referencing Ghanaian fabric and its mineral reserves – the burnt orange, here, is a nod to the colour of the earth in Kenya. The other elements pay tribute to the design conventions prevalent throughout the era the original records were produced: the floral patterning is often found in the 7" record sleeves; many used cut-outs of the band members, placed on an illustrated background; the type was often either Letraset or hand drawn, so here I included both. The music is beautiful, but it's also rough and heavy, so there has to be some immediacy to the design to convey that. I added those beams behind the figure of singer D.K. Mwai for added righteousness.

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