‘Most of my adolescent life was spent on Upper Street: working, eating, socialising. I loved how multicultural and vibrant it was. I used to go to a bar called Pitcher & Piano that had a really good DJ who would play R&B, hip hop and afrobeats on a Friday and Saturday. I grew up in a huge council estate and everyone from the estate would go down and fill it out every weekend.
‘There are also some really nice design shops in the area that I would always pop into for inspiration when I was trying to become a designer – places like Aria and TwentyTwentyOne. When I was growing up, there was such a community there: people really cared who visited their shops and made an effort to remember you.
‘Obviously, it has changed a lot since I was 16 – it’s a bit more bougie now – but it’s a place I’ve brought with me into adulthood. I’d love to do a mural or public installation on Upper Street, to give something back to the area, because it really shaped my experiences and my outlook. It shaped my work too: my art is very much about community, a sense of belonging and celebrating the power of multiculturalism in London.’
Read more from this series:
Yotam Ottolenghi reminisces about his training at Le Cordon Bleu in Marylebone.
Dane Baptiste on his first stand-up gig, in a London wine bar.