Last night saw the return of Ignite’s Run Your Mouth – a series of monthly creative talks, giving some of the finest minds we know the opportunity to run their mouths, sharing stories, insights and anecdotes about their work in the creative field.
David Davies, this month’s esteemed guest, produces live shows – primarily Grime acts – including Skepta’s legendary show at Ally Pally, the recent J Hus tour and The Mercury Prize, amongst others.
Referred to in the industry as ‘The Whitest Man In Grime’ and, occasionally, ‘more hamster than gangster’, Davies described the very fine line that his job as producer straddles between creativity and project management. While the creative aspect might involve innovative and experimental set designs for his artist’s shows, once these have been approved and signed off, Davies’ concerns range from engaging the craftsmen and specialists who bring these sets to life, evaluating safety and expenditure, and juggling the seemingly endless personnel who come together to bring his visions to life.
This, of course, and any capricious last minute requests that come from the artists he works with themselves. One example: an eleventh-hour desire to scrap an expensive firework finale in favour of a rainbow-flagged Gay Pride tribute – something that Davies, as a gay man, found more inspiring than irritating. Regarding the uncomfortable weaknesses of inclusivity often perceived within the Grime genre and its audiences, Davies was confident that the biggest names in Grime are doing more than their fair share to spread the love and create an equal-opportunities playing field.
The highlight of his career (so far – we’re expecting many more great things from you, David!) was Skepta’s Ally Pally show, a fiery spectacular in one of North London’s most iconic venues, whose alarming history – it’s burnt down twice already – proved no obstacle to Davies and his team who spent months designing, building and safety testing a burning car which Skepta was determined to have as his stage’s centrepiece.
You can listen to a podcast version of the entire interview, conducted by our own eminent MC Chabbi on Spotify, here. If you’d like some more info on David Davies and his spectacular talents, you can find him on Instagram here.