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Lynx Africa 18 – Simon Milner

Friday 06 December 2013

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Words Spindle

Lynx Africa has reached its 18th birthday! 

Can you believe the deodorant choice of a nation is all grown-up? To celebrate this milestone, they’ve teamed up with 18 different artists to produce works inspired by the iconic fragrance.

Simon Milner, of Is Tropical fame, created a film for the #Africa18 project depicting a Ghanaian prize fighter practicing in his local gym. Spindle caught up with Simon to ask what inspired him and how Lynx Africa has impacted his life.

You created a piece for Lynx Africa that blends film, music and local culture: tell us about how you hit upon the idea for the piece.
When I was asked if I had any work in mind for the Lynx Africa project it was perfect timing as I was heading to Ghana with our band. I wasn’t 100% sure what I was gonna film out there as I didn’t know what I would end up doing on our time off. Ghana feels very safe and so we didn’t feel worried about just walking into the slums with a camera and having a walk around. What we didn’t know was that each slum had a head chief that on entering his area you had to respect him by taking a bottle of local booze and having a sit with him for a talk. After this with our new friend and guide ‘Nice One’ we could go and explore. This included the gym.

I knew I wanted to create a one shot video with no edits so when I came across this boxer sparring it seemed perfect. Also I have been collecting recordings to use for a new techno-esque project and things sort of fell together.

It was filmed on a new Cannon 700D we bought on the way out. Onsite recordings done with a ZOOM and finished with recording the African percussion at home on a SM58.

is tropical lynx africa 1

What are you hoping people will take away from the finished piece?
The insight to a world far away that in some way is on our doorstep. With the sounds coming in and out in a repetitive manner I also wanted to create a sense of endurance. Hypnotic workout.

Do you think your music inspires your art? Or is it all drawing from the same well of inspiration?
I guess it all becomes a package. Soon I would like to be skilled enough to make everything as I’ve done for this project, from the whole production of a track to the whole video.

What would you say is your proudest achievement in your work?
To able to be in this gym with some of the poorest people in the world and just hangout.

is tropical lynx africa 2

And what inspires you when you go to create a new artwork?
The overall need to create.

Lynx Africa debuted in 1995: what music were you listening to in 1995?
Cypress Hill – Black Sunday, thank god I wasn’t born in the Youtube era because there would have been so many videos of me rapping as a child.

And how did you celebrate your 18th birthday?
On a surf trip in the South of France, seeing who could nail a box of red wine first.

Scents are so evocative: what’s your favourite smell that transports you to a certain time in your life?
Sunscreen always reminds me of carefree beach vibes going back to Mexico where we lived on a beach.

What does the smell of Lynx Africa remind you of?
My school changing room – Lynx Africa was what all the hard kids in school used to wear. I was more of a Lynx Apollo.

You can also check out all 18 stunning artworks submitted for the #Africa18 project.

Words: Thomas Dearnley-Davison
Images: Is Tropical for Lynx Africa