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Our Aesthetes’ recommendations – from ambient folktronica to traditional Maliseet songs

Vinyl, books and turntables in sculptural lighting designer Lindsey Adelman’s living room
Vinyl, books and turntables in sculptural lighting designer Lindsey Adelman’s living room | Image: Nicholas Calcott

Lindsey Adelman, sculptural-lighting designer

“The last music I downloaded was by Burna Boy. I love several of his Afrobeats tracks, including Dangote, On the Low and More Life. A woman who works in our shipping department always has her earbuds in and she’s always super chilled-out, so I asked her what she was listening to and she sent me her playlist. This is amazing music that makes you want to dance, but in a really relaxed, mellow way. When I put Burna Boy on, I can feel the anxiety start melting away.” 

Lindsey Adelman is fond of Dangote by Burna Boy
Lindsey Adelman is fond of Dangote by Burna Boy
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Mutaz Essa Barshim, Qatari high-jumping world champion

“I like to play Pharrell on my record player. His album GIRL is my favourite, but I love all his work. I collect vinyl – not just for the music but because, for me, they are pieces of art.” 

High jumper Mutaz Barshim on his roof terrace in Doha
High jumper Mutaz Barshim on his roof terrace in Doha | Image: Anna Nielsen
Barshim’s favourite album is GIRL by Pharrell
Barshim’s favourite album is GIRL by Pharrell

Tory Burch, fashion designer

“My boys introduced me to London artist Bakar – he’s a friend of theirs – and he’s absolutely brilliant. I love his song called Hell N Back.” 

Fashion designer Tory Burch enjoys Hell N Back by London artist Bakar
Fashion designer Tory Burch enjoys Hell N Back by London artist Bakar
Spatial designer Robert Storey is uplifted by Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara
Spatial designer Robert Storey is uplifted by Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara

Robert Storey, spatial and set designer

“Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara has a beautiful voice and her songs are really uplifting. They just make me feel good.”

Furniture designer Ini Archibong at home in Neuchâtel
Furniture designer Ini Archibong at home in Neuchâtel | Image: Beat Schweizer
Gods in the Spirit, Titans in the Flesh by Blu & Nottz, Archibong’s music pick
Gods in the Spirit, Titans in the Flesh by Blu & Nottz, Archibong’s music pick

Ini Archibong, furniture designer

“The underground hip-hop album Gods in the Spirit, Titans in the Flesh by Blu & Nottz is incredible. I love this kind of sound and the main rapper, Blu, is a friend.” 

Paul Andrew, creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo, at home in Florence
Paul Andrew, creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo, at home in Florence | Image: Lea Anouschinsky
Oceans, the ambient folktronica release by Andrew’s two favourite artists Ry X and Ólafur Arnalds
Oceans, the ambient folktronica release by Andrew’s two favourite artists Ry X and Ólafur Arnalds

Paul Andrew, creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo

“Two of my favourite musical artists – RY X and Ólafur Arnalds – came together and dropped a track called Oceans at the end of January, and it’s been on heavy rotation in my office ever since. It’s ambient folktronica, and it’s pretty calming but with a modern beat. I discovered RY X (the Australian singer/songwriter Ry Cuming) after hearing his remix of Rihanna’s Love on the Brain.” 

Ballet dancer Lauren Cuthbertson at The ROH
Ballet dancer Lauren Cuthbertson at The ROH | Image: Sophia Spring
Cuthbertson has been listening to indigenous performer Jeremy Dutcher’s album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
Cuthbertson has been listening to indigenous performer Jeremy Dutcher’s album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa

Lauren Cuthbertson, ballet dancer

“I love the music of Canadian tenor and composer Jeremy Dutcher. He is an indigenous performer, and his album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa includes wonderful traditional Maliseet songs.” 

Sean Scully, artist

“When I paint, I listen to anything by Brahms and Lana Del Rey, and I love the album Aventine by the Danish singer Agnes Obel. She is classically trained and I love the way she fuses highbrow music with pop. Her sound is quite grave and austere. I also like jazz, particularly Miles Davis, and cello music, but in general my playlists tend to be women-centric; my mother was a vaudeville singer, so I am drawn to theatre.” 

Artist Sean Scully listens to Aventine by Danish singer Agnes Obel while painting
Artist Sean Scully listens to Aventine by Danish singer Agnes Obel while painting
Furniture designer Matthew Hilton has been playing At Fillmore East, the Allman Brothers Band’s first live album
Furniture designer Matthew Hilton has been playing At Fillmore East, the Allman Brothers Band’s first live album

Matthew Hilton, furniture designer

At Fillmore East, the first live album by the Allman Brothers Band, is great. I love the blend of rolling guitar blues and jazz. I was honoured to meet Chuck Leavell, the keyboard player, a year or so ago and he was charming. The Allman Brothers and Van Morrison were part of my first outdoor-festival experience at Knebworth in 1974.”

Almine Rech, art dealer

“I recommend Brad Stank’s Flirting in Space. He’s a young songwriter from Liverpool. My son Alex works at Universal Music and also has his own little music label, so he sends me recommendations all the time.”

Choreographer Wayne McGregor at home in London
Choreographer Wayne McGregor at home in London | Image: Harry Mitchell
McGregor gets lost in Shinichi Atobe’s Butterfly Effect
McGregor gets lost in Shinichi Atobe’s Butterfly Effect

Wayne McGregor, choreographer and director

“I love experimental electronic music. Shinichi Atobe’s Butterfly Effect is mysterious, visceral and otherworldly. It’s music to get lost to.”

Paul Cocksedge, product designer

“Repetition helps me get into the right frame of mind when sketching or thinking, and there’s something about the hypnotic tempo and texture of Radiohead’s How to Disappear Completely that aligns with my creative process. My music taste is as jumpy as my character, but Radiohead is one of my favourite bands, and no matter how often I hear this track, it never loses its impact.”

Product designer Paul Cocksedge finds Radiohead’s How to Disappear Completely fires his creativity
Product designer Paul Cocksedge finds Radiohead’s How to Disappear Completely fires his creativity
Art adviser Dominique Lévy added Niall Horan’s Slow Hands to her Bach-dominated playlist
Art adviser Dominique Lévy added Niall Horan’s Slow Hands to her Bach-dominated playlist

Dominique Lévy, art adviser, collector and dealer

“I love all kinds of music – but never anything harsh. Niall Horan’s Slow Hands is a bluesy pop song I Shazamed; it’s a great addition to my Bach-heavy playlist.”

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Erdem Moralioglu, fashion designer 

“Benjamin Clementine. If Nina Simone had a son, this is what he would sound like. I also downloaded a cover of Send in the Clowns by Grace Jones.” 

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