RAG N BONE MAN
Rum Committee legend Cory Graham, aka Rag n Bone Man, has a diversity of singing styles in his repertoire.
Solo releases and collaborations with a variety of other artists sees Rag n Bone Man put his voice to a number of tracks from blues to hip hop and soul. All of his songs are masterfully varied and never compromise on his distinct style.
Working closely with UK hip hop label High Focus, Rag n Bone Man released the Dog ’n Bone EP in 2013 collaborating with emcee and producer Leaf Dog. A collaboration with Dirty Dike (on the production) was released the following year named Put That Soul on Me.
Moving to the south coast, Rag n Bone Man teamed up with hip hop super crew Rum Committee. A collaboration of emcee’s and producers, Rum Com project the vulgar alcohol-induced sound straight from the underbelly of Brighton town.
More recently the single Human helped Rag n Bone Man picking up a Brit Award in early 2017 for Critic’s Choice. This grand achievement preluded the release of the artist’s chart topping debut album by the same name. A faultless record that stayed true to Rag n Bone Man’s craft, it helped secure another Brit Award for Best Breakthrough Act.
Rag n Bone man remains one of the largest and realest talents to grace modern music.
Illustrating Rag n’ Bone Man
The influences of blues, soul and hip hop fuel Rag n Bone Man’s powerful voice and pungent sound. For this reason, I wanted to create a piece of art which captured the singer and songwriter in his element.
He has the real hip hop mindset; a love for the music, putting passion into everything he does. The goal of my illustration was to show him as he hits those powerful notes in his songs. Encapsulating the moment when you can see the clear passion in his craft.
The illustration depicts the subject with his closed eyes and scrunched up face singing into the microphone. To illustrate this I looked at many different references from a number of photographs. Consequently I was able to capture the detail in Rag n Bone Man’s facial expressions. Even without the eyes, a defining characteristic of a persons portrait, the illustration clearly articulates the subject.
Strangely enough the main reference photograph I used to capture Rag n’ Bone Man’s stance showed him sporting a longer hairstyles with a side parting. In the beginning of the process I illustrated this hairstyle before deciding to re-draw him with him more contemporary look. Presently, Rag n Bone man has a shaved head so illustrating him with this feature is how most people would recognise him.
Consequently, this eliminated a lot of the detail in the illustration. However, a lot of time was dedicated to capturing the detail of a shaven hairstyle. Illustrating this feature is something that I had never attempted previously.
Tattoos & Typography
A lot of time was also put into researching and capturing his unique set of tattoo’s too. Similarly, scanning photographs, watching music videos and live performances all contributed to capturing them the right way.
The main tattoo’s seen on his left arm are the bold lettering of Rum Committee and the infamous mark of the High-Focus Records logo. I thought it was important to capture Rag n’ Bone Man with these tattoo’s on show as they depict landmarks along his musical journey, including the places where I first came across his unique sound.
One of the final decisions was to illustrate the script-style lettering of ‘Human’ across his chest for the T-shirt design. This reference to one of his most popular songs is the latest destination on his journey.