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One thing that the English artist Eliot Sumner once shared with many teenagers is their deep, lasting love of music. The one thing they probably didn’t? Having Sting as their dad. Yet despite any of the striking resemblances people might no longer unsee once they’ve made the connection, Sumner has definitely carved out a creative path of their own. One that weaves through all of the crowds they’ve captivated as a bandleader and DJ, the set of the newest James Bond film, No time to die, and into the eclectic cast of young creatives who’ve teamed up with Gant to reimagine the future face of sportswear. We sat down with Sumner to chat about inspirations, future prospects, and the importance of feeling yourself.
Coming from a family of artists, has art always played an important role in your life?
Music has always played an important part in my life. Instruments were always available to me so I gravitated towards that.
Who or what inspires you the most? How do you tap into that without losing your own voice and style?
Inspiration can be a fucker to find sometimes. Usually, a toxic amount of coffee will trigger something off.
Many of us love music, but few actually pursue it. Was there ever a moment when it changed from an abstract love to a personal outlet – became something you would pursue?
I always wanted to play the guitar but I never really remember wanting to sing. I started writing songs when I was a 14 year old and it happened like that. It never felt forced.
Although many readers will know you as a prolific musician, you’ve ventured into many other creative industries. How do you know when a particular idea, project or collaborator is a good fit?
Acting is a very good outlet for me. I’ve been so lucky. Sometimes is nice to be someone else for a while and it’s also quite liberating to be told what to do and where to stand, and tell someone else’s story.
You’ve successfully ventured into film, including the upcoming instalment of the James Bond saga. What was it like to be part of such an iconic British franchise – especially during the pandemic?
I have been obsessed with 007 since I was 5. So that experience was the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. I feel incredibly lucky.
This isn’t your first time working in fashion as well. Could you share any memorable moments from past collaborations? What sets the Gant campaign apart from the rest?
I felt very and seen and heard by the team at Gant. Everyone on set was hugely supportive and really easy to work with.
The campaign features a diverse ensemble of artists. Were they good company?
The line-up is insane. I love Joe Talbot from Idles and I felt in very good company.
As someone who’s done and seen countless live performances, how important is it to have the right look before facing a massive audience?
If you feel good in something, that can be the best feeling ever. On tour, it’s whatever you have that’s clean to wear. It doesn’t matter as long as you feel yourself.
Throughout history, musicians have inspired numerous iconic looks and fashion trends. Any personal favourites?
Prince Naseem, Dennis Rodman and Liam Gallagher.
How do you see the future of music, fashion, and your role in them?
Hopefully, music will be something that people respect enough to pay less than a coffee for.

Julija Kalvelytė

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