FEATURE: Cameron Wright – A Look Back At 2020 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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We chat to some of our passionate and dedicated team to find out what they thought of 2020…with some occasionally sweary results! Here, Cameron Wright tells us about his past twelve months.

Sum up 2020 in three words

Time To Focus

Your favourite band/artist of the year?

Although there’s never been any doubt that Killer Mike and El-p’s duo Run The Jewels is an astonishingly powerful and crucial gut punch, with every album they release being exceptional, their newest release is dangerously potent and explosive. The album, coupled with Killer Mike’s impassioned talks and public appearances addressing the BLM movement and the live charity concert they did, cement this band as one of the most essential voices of 2020.

Your favourite album of the year?

There’s been some exceptional albums released across the board this year but I think the pop scene has had some genuinely top quality releases. I’d say outside of the most obviously incredible albums (like Phoebe Bridgers’ Punisher or Fiona Apple’s Fetch The Bolt Cutters) Lido Pimienta’s album Miss Columbia is one of the sharpest and most enjoyable pop releases I’ve heard this year. It’s a theatrical, grandiose and majestic blurring of accessible art pop and the exotic and euphoric sounds of her Colombian roots. Her vocals are so joyful and bouncy, yet the entire album has a quirky charm akin to the early Björk releases.

Your favourite song of the year?

When The Gods Meet by Blu & Exile from the album Miles. It’s one of the slickest hip-hop tracks I’ve heard this year, the immaculate production and those gorgeous vocals on the hook, mixed with the jazzy, spaced out rhythms manage to hit a serene balance. The whole album is really special. 

Your favourite film?

As cliché as it is for me to pick a music related film, David Byrne’s American Utopia may well be one of the best live shows I’ve ever watched. Constantly straddling the surreal with the poignant, Byrne provides stunning live performances, wonderfully striking visuals and an overflow of fun, jubilant performances. The concert perfectly encompasses the highs of his astonishing career and makes me superbly jealous of anyone who attended his live shows!

What was your favourite gig/live stream event?

Although I was lucky enough to see several of the fantastic live shows in Gosforth Park during the pandemic, which were all filled with so much love and energy – the best concert I attended was earlier on in the year when I caught Otoboke Beaver and Sage Gateshead. What I saw from the Japanese quartet is one of the most terrifyingly authentic and energetic punk performances I’ve ever experienced. The passion that erupted from each beautifully crafted song was unbelievable!

Any upcoming artists we should keep an eye out for in 2021?

Ashnikko is finally releasing her debut in 2021 and judging by the traction she’s already gained from her punchy and vibrant singles, I think she’s going to skyrocket when her album drops! I’d also say that Arlo Parks has her debut album coming out which is sure to be a smooth, catchy and endearing album. The singles so far have a very slick, older soul to them, matched by her warm, honest lyrics. I think she could really catchy some eyes next year! 

Predictions for 2021?

I’d say 2021 is shaping up to be a welcome change of gears. As exciting as it’s going to be to rush back into normality, I think it’s important to make a conscious effort to not shrug away the lessons learnt and the humility thrust upon us in 2020. I’m going to try not to relapse into regularity too quickly.

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