David Knight - 19th May 2016

Having gone from talented on-screen performer to promising music video director with her last album, the Mercury Prize-nominated Hairless Toys, now Róisín Murphy takes things to the next level. 

Róisín's video for Ten Miles High, from the forthcoming LP Take Her Up To Monto, adopts a very different tack to the acclaimed videos from Hairless Toys, which were all inspired by the work of great directors of world cinema. This time her canvas is modern London, and operating like a guerilla-video artist, she performs the track in a variety of public spaces in central London, and the City - and mainly on the Tube.

Róisín also brings her highly developed sense of style to everyday London, but most strikingly – and appropriately, at a time when central London mostly resembles a building site – she's usually wearing the ubiquitous uniform of the Crossrail construction worker, blending seamlessly in with her environment. And the strangeness of this video art experiment is enhanced by virtually every image itself being manipulated in post in some way. 

With her development as a visual as well as a music artist reaching a new phase, Róisín Murphy is now also joining the director's roster of London-based production company Good Egg, for representation to direct videos for other artists, and other content. Promo asked Roisin about the video, and her future ambitions as a director.

You seem to have taken the changing face of London as inspiration for the Ten Miles High video. How would you explain the idea behind it? How does it relate to the track?  

This visual concept comes directly from my rather exuberant love of architecture, something I've had a passion for since my teenage years. I live in London and most of my days are spent marvelling at the ever-changing landscape. I photograph much of what I see. I engage in discussion on a couple of architectural-social-media platforms. All this means London as a shoot-location has been well scouted by me. But it's not just about buildings, I also find the transport infrastructure fascinating – the Tube, the Overground, the DLR and their stations became part of the video-art too. The desire is to show you how I see things in the here and now and to do so joyously. As far as connection to the track, I think it's asking you to elevate yourself stratospherically whilst keeping you feet firmly on the ground.

"I live in London and most of my days are spent marvelling at the ever-changing landscape."  

• Is this your first experience of guerrilla-style shooting? How easy was it to wander around, including being dressed like a Crossrail construction worker, and perform in public spaces?  

They know me now, the guys on the building-site around Tottenham Court Road and on several other sites in central London. I've been hanging around dressed in high vis trying to blend in. All the while I'm being surreptitiously filmed by a very small but quite miraculous digital camera. We are a small unit and light on our feet, we grab footage when and where we find it, without permission or permits. Although at first nobody knew what to make of this construction-woman dancing and singing at the edge of their turf, now they know me they just step out of the way and maybe throw their eyes up to heaven. The strange thing is people try not to look. I get on a bus singing and dancing and they all look away.

• It’s a real departure from your videos from Hairless Toys, both in the way it was shot, and the post production effects work. Did it turn out the way you planned it beforehand?

"My love for directing is getting deep." 

• After making four videos now of your own music you’ve now signed as a director to Good Egg. Are you ready to start directing videos for other people, or are you more interested in other visual projects? 

No point not being open I suppose. For sure it's gonna be interesting when/if I remove myself (my persona) from my work. Who knows where this is taking me? But my love for directing is getting deep. 

PRO Credits


DirectorRóisín Murphy
Production CompanyGood Egg
Executive ProducerJohn Hassay
ProducerRupert Savage
Production ManagerJoshua Carter
Production AssistantGraciela Romero
Production AssistantAlessandro Farrattini
Director of PhotographyBen Wearing
Make-upFemi Konteh
EditorJamie O'Donnell
CommissionerRob Anderson
Grading companyFour Walls
Post production companyFour Walls
Other creditsDrivers; Aden Ambado & Bill Byrne

David Knight - 19th May 2016

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