Having blown the crowd away with his set at the 2016, Liverpool Disco Festival, Louie Vega marked his return to Merseyside with a UK debut of his acclaimed “Flashback” party and a very special art installation.
Working tirelessly throughout February, street artist Richard Wilson created an unprecedented, one-of-a-kind mural in memoriam of Loleatta Holloway, who tragically passed away in 2011. Featuring on Vega Records as a posthumous release, Holloway’s forthcoming single ‘Can’t Let You Go’, was commemorated and celebrated with a six metre portrait on the walls of the New Bird Street Warehouse: the same venue that saw thousands gather to watch Louie Vega and other legendary disco artists as part of the inaugural, Liverpool Disco Festival.
Written and produced by the supremely-talented, Yvonne Turner, who was a great friend of both Vega and Holloway, the EP features three remixes and three additional dub versions of the track. Touching on the impact the mural had on her, Turner said she felt “overwhelmed” by seeing the art come to life.
With the project commencing back in February, London-based street artist Richard Wilson can consider painting murals of musical legends as second nature, having previously worked on portraits of Frankie Knuckles, Alicia Keys and Roy Ayers. However, just 18 months ago, Richard had to completely rekindle his love for the spray can and the open wall after over 20 years of being completely disillusioned with the graffiti world. Never leaving his subconscious however, Richard tell us of how street art permeated his everyday life. From walking down the street to sitting on trains, he doesn’t deny that he wasn’t an avid spectator for street art. Throughout his childhood, Richard would play around with spray paint but never took the art form too seriously. Where he found his passion for the discipline again is unknown. Experimenting with oils and acrylics, Richard found himself increasingly magnetised to portrait-based artwork. As the projects became more ambitious, the canvasses ballooned in size, allowing Richard to create ever-more detailed and intricate works…and what bigger canvas could you get then a blank wall!
Taking inspiration from his heroes, whether musical or otherwise, Richard chooses to paint those who have impacted upon his live. Whilst he cites Roy Ayers as a personal favourite, one to remember will always be Portuguese football star, Cristiano Ronaldo. Coming in at 10 metres high, Richard’s piece proudly overlooks the footballer’s hometown of Santo António and is a particular point of pride for all the locals.
Similarly, our Baltic Triangle community and the rest of Liverpool can join in with this sense of pride. Now engrained into the history of the area, Loleatta Holloway’s mural represents a coming together of transatlantic forces; from London-based street art to Chicago disco and New York City house, this cultural exchange has given life to a blank wall in one of Liverpool’s most important musical space.
|| The release is out now on all digital outlets and can be found via Traxsource now ||
|| Vinyl copies will also be available from 22nd April as a Record Store Day special release ||
Mural photography by Hannah Metcalfe.