With Mariah Carey and signed school shirts, Raw Youth Collage is a blast from the past
A publication produced in conjunction with the release of Mura Masa's album of the same name, the mag features contributions from Slowthai, Dexter Lander and many more on the theme of nostalgia.
- Ruby Boddington
- 29 January 2020
London-based filmmaker and publisher Freddie Forsyth last graced our screens with a beautifully-designed manual of sorts for anyone trying to get into independent filmmaking titled Next 2 Nothing. This time, he’s back with a publication made in collaboration with Mura Masa and designer Alex McCullough.
Comprising contributions from a host of amazing creatives the publication, titled Raw Youth Collage, aims to evoke feelings youth, nostalgia and what it’s like to be young.
Freddie first became involved in the project when Mura Masa AKA Alex Crossan, reached out to see if he would be interested in producing a publication in-line with the release of his album, also titled Raw Youth Collage. Mura Masa had seen the project Freddie had done with King Krule in 2015 (A New Place 2 Drown) so dropped him a line.
“He had a very clear idea of what he wanted the publication to talk about, the feeling of nostalgia and personal memories relating to youth,” Freddie tells us. “I loved the brief and, coincidentally, my wife had just worked with him on a music video and he had been very supportive of the director’s vision, which is hard to find, so it felt like it would be a great opportunity.”
After fleshing out ideas around the idea of nostalgia, they decided the project should be a one-off publication, something Freddie is well versed in with his publishing house Topsafe. “I’ve always enjoyed them because they feel periodical with the design and format, but they have a timeless quality to them, like a book,” Freddie adds on this decision. He then brought Alex McCullough on board to art direct, who in turn brought on Kia Tasbihgou, and they set about drawing up a list of contributors alongside Mura Masa.
“The final contributors list features Leon Sadler and Yannick Val Gesto who collaborated on the illustrations throughout; Jet Swan, Roxy Lee, Dexter Lander and Finn Constantine created new photo stories; Charlotte Maeva Perret, DD Spence, Stefania Batoeva and Melchior Tersen also provided imagery. And words from Mura Masa, Georgia, Ellie Rowsell, Slowthai and Ned Green,” Freddie outlines. It’s an impressive list and one which was borne directly out of Mura Masa’s brief, each contributor helping to shape the hazy melancholy of the publication.
Jet Swan, for example, chose to document teenage girls in her local Ramsgate, focusing on their makeup. Charlotte Maeva Perret, on the other hand, shared her teenage diaries from 2001, adding annotations to fully explain the cultural context of each entry. Melchior Tersen, an artist who’s a particular favourite of Freddie’s, gave the team a giant bank of image relating to the theme. “He’s a monster when it comes to archiving themes that interest him,” Freddie adds.
While Raw Youth Collage flits between these different contributions, there’s no doubt that the publication feels succinct. With images of Mariah Carey and signed school shirts, it feels like finding that old box full of stuff you can’t quite get rid of from your teenage years, and the hilarity that ensues when you decide to go through it with a few old friends. This is only furthered by Alex and Kia’s design which looks to strike a balance between the three words on the publication’s spine. “The title, Raw Youth Collage, influenced everything about the product,” Freddie concludes.
GalleryRaw Youth Collage
Raw Youth Collage
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.