Karan Singh

Artist / Illustrator

Karan is an Australian artist and illustrator living in Tokyo by way of Sydney, Malmö, Melbourne and New York. He enjoys working with bold colour and pattern across a range of mediums including print, animation, fashion and augmented reality, culminating in playful forms which explore depth and dimension.

What influence does music have in your day-to-day life as a creative?

I feel an intrinsic connection between my work and music. Much like many of the other artists interviewed I’m interested in a broad variety of music which is great resource to pull from as an artist. I think the diversity of genres means I’m both never bored and always spoilt for choice.

Tell us about your playlist:

Music has this surreal quality where it’s able to transport you to a specific time and underscore these moments. It’s effectively a trigger for nostalgia and with the right combination can have you feeling motivated or dejected, inspired or homesick.

I’ve been fortunate to travel extensively in my adult life and often subconsciously assign a soundtrack to a place or time which subsequently leads me to think of people special to me. My childhood brings back memories of The Beatles, which always reminds me of Mum; the year I spent on exchange in Sweden where I met my girlfriend and made some of my best friends is aptly associated with LCD Soundsystem’s ‘All My Friends’ which also came out the same year; ‘Respiration’ by Blackstar evokes fond memories of my daily walk home from work in New York, starting near the Flatiron Building, cutting through Union Square and pausing at Washington Square Park to watch the fountain; and I just can’t listen to Talking Heads without thinking of my South African friend Patrick.

While you may not know Patrick or make sense of any of the other references, ultimately the beauty of these songs or any music for that matter is their malleability. An artist may create something with a specific intention, however upon releasing it, it takes on a life of its own and becomes significant to each us in our own way. We celebrate music in our own way, by associating our triumphs and tribulations with it. Its ubiquity often leads us to forget how much of the weight of the world music truly carries in our lives.

I struggled to summarise everything into twenty tracks so an unabridged version of this playlist exists here. These are but a snapshop into some of mine and I hope you enjoy some or all in your own way.

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Now & Then & Again

  1. While My Guitar Gently Weeps – The Beatles
  2. This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) – Talking Heads
  3. In A Sentimental Mood – Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
  4. Loungin’ – Guru featuring Donald Byrd
  5. Jazz (We’ve Got) – A Tribe Called Quest
  6. Respiration – Black Star featuring Common
  7. N.Y. State of Mind – Nas
  8. SpottieOttieDopalicious – Outkast
  9. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
  10. Blues in Thirds – Sidney Bechet
  11. Sober – Childish Gambino
  12. Jasmine(Demo) – Jai Paul
  13. Teenage Fever – Drake
  14. Novacane – Frank Ocean
  15. Run To The Sun – N.E.R.D.
  16. All My Friends – LCD Soundsystem
  17. Need U – Oceaán
  18. Inspector Norse – Todd Terje
  19. Be My Baby – The Ronettes
  20. Solitude – Billie Holiday