Next up on Quick Fire 15 is Somesuch director, Rollo Jackson, a British director and a prolific documentarian of underground culture. Reliably ambitious and technically inventive, his work explores the overlapping worlds of UK fashion, sport, hip-hop and dance music.
He’s directed music videos for artists as varied as Obongjayar, Jamie XX, Georgia, Chase & Status, Hot Chip, Toddla T, James Blake and The Streets. In 2017, YouTube and Fader commissioned him to make a 20-minute narrative film for Stormzy’s now seminal album, Gang Signs & Prayer. The following year, he directed a feature length documentary for VEVO, ‘Still Storch’, following the return of super producer Scott Storch.
In 2020, he directed an innovative lockdown video for ‘Betty’ by Pa Salieu, and a celebrated campaign for Palace x Evisu, which recently spawned a sequel.
Then in 2021, he directed ‘It Makes Sense’ for Walkers x KFC. The commercial starred Gary Lineker and was shot almost entirely using a drone. In the same year, he also directed ‘Future Proof’ for Deutsche Telekom, starring Billie Eilish.
Rollo has also worked on campaigns for Mercedes, Nikelab, Adidas, Arsenal FC, Liverpool FC x Standard Chartered, Google Pixel, Adidas, Supreme, Carling and Ray-Ban.
Rollo spills all on his admiration for Werner Herzog, his earliest and latest record purchases, and one of the best choices of karaoke tune we've ever heard.
1. What bands or artists are you listening to most right now?
New stuff - John FM, Dave, Overmono, Wesley Joseph, Andy Stott, Anz, Lukid… the list goes on! Also, a few wicked compilations like Felix Hall’s ’Now Thing 2’ and 'Members Only' Worst Edits, plus mixtapes from Josey Rebelle, Ben UFO, Chanti Celeste...
2. What was the first record you bought?
A Guy Called Gerald ‘Black Secret Technology’ and Andy C’s ’Speed of Sound’ LP.
3. Favourite podcast?
These betray my interests lol… Football ones basically, a mad American technology one, then I also try catch up on Benji B, Heartless Crew and Joy Orbison’s radio shows. Those aren’t really podcasts but in my head they are.
4. What was the last gig you saw?
Last gig was either Real Lies, or Obongjayar.
5. Favourite album cover?
Prince ‘Lovesexy’ - made me think a lot when it came out.
6. What's your go-to karaoke song?
Ebeneezer Goode by the Shamen, cos you don’t really need to sing. And. I. Can’t. Sing.
7. Favourite music video?
Roll Deep’s 'When I’m Ere' meant a lot to me for a long time, it came out just when I wanted to start making music videos, and it was so brilliantly simple and unpretentious… But I don’t really have one.
8. What song gets you dancing in your living room?
Sophie BIPP / anything on the ‘Buy Out’ riddim by Tony Kelly.
9. Favourite movie soundtrack?
The Heat soundtrack is pretty great.
10. If you could direct a music video for any artist/band, who would it be?
I feel pretty lucky that I’ve worked with a lot of artists who I love so probably someone like a 2000s Vybz Kartel, or a young Prince? Nowadays, Dave maybe? To be honest though a lot of electronic music that I love doesn’t necessarily translate into videos.
11. Film director idol?
Herzog because of his relentlessness and unwillingness to compromise but also that he crosses between narrative and documentary.
12. What can’t you live without?
Headphones, no question.
13. Greatest influences on your career?
Filmmaking wise - Herzog / Gondry / Relph + Payne - but mainly other art and music made by my friends or anyone making shit on their own terms.
14. Your favourite use of music in a commercial?
Nike ‘Parklife’ and Nike ‘Kick It’. Since then… the Wiley track I used in Adidas ‘Blah Blah Blah’?! Was an excruciating process but the proof is in the YouTube comments :)
15. What band / artist is your guilty pleasure?
Not sure… Bieber’s 'Sorry’? but I don’t feel very guilty, it bangs.
Thank you Rollo!