Talking arty stuff with Notts DJ, Ex Friendly…..

What first sparked your interest in your particular art form? Did a specific style or artist inspire you to go for it or was it independent of that?

I always loved music but had this idea that I wanted to be a visual artist my whole life and as I couldn’t play anything particularly I didn’t think about it too much. However, when I finally got to art school, I realised that sound making IS an art form and started to look into artists who messed with sound and visuals. I kind of realised that I wasn’t cut out to be a visual artist as I enjoyed using all kinds of stimuli including sound in my ‘work’ which at the time was pooh poohed at the Uni I was at and I was partying a lot which didn’t help! I met my best mate Johnny at Uni and he was way ahead of me in terms of making odd noises and together we experimented a lot with sound and eventually set up our band Idiot Joy where we were able to treat music with the same art techniques that we both did with our visual stuff so I personally stopped focusing on painting etc and just did music. So I’d say his influence and help is probably as important an influence as any artist or music I love.

What’s the next Steps for you as an artist?  – What excites you about the future?

Getting back to creating! I curate and run events so work a lot with music and visual art but haven’t got my head down in a studio for a while though intend to soon. I co-run an arts and culture thing called Truth & Lies and we are curating and DJing in a tent at Houghton Festival under the banner ‘Revolution & Change in Venezuela and the Tropics’ in August so I’m pretty hyped about that!

If you could have chosen a different art form to pursue what would it have been and why?

Plenty of cleverer people than me in the past have suggested that I should have done print but I knew better. Maybe I should try it.

There are many things that help drive and inspire an artist but if one of those things were a musical soundtrack, what music would help to get the creative juices flowing?

Music inspires me far too much, it’s my life! But it also hinders my creativity as it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the quality of music being made out there and sometimes puts me off getting back into the studio. Silence is where I hear my true thoughts as music hits me too emotionally if that makes sense. A clean canvas as it were.

Describe the perfect day for you, combining and balancing a day of creative productivity, along with the necessary unwind?

Waking up on a beach. DJing and dancing all day on a beach. Going to bed on a beach. (I need a holiday).

If you could own any painting in the world, which one would it be and why?

Too many to mention but I’ll throw ‘Ma Jolie’ by Pablo Picasso (1912) because when I first started taking painting seriously in my early teens, early Cubism blew my mind.


Half of Truth & Lies Music, former singer in Idiot Joy and Junkateer, occasional solo releases as Ex-Friendly and also DJ regularly under that name. I stage manage festivals, art and dance events, am a sambista, writer and troublemaker.