This year has seen the first major steps for the ILLYR & SAMUEL collaboration, composing music, directing videos and choreographing performers in their first project ‘never let u‘ which was funded by ACE 2021.

Tylor is a black, queer, singer, record producer, director and choreographer working under the pseudonym ILLYR. Jacob Samuel is a working class artist and former Somerset House resident. Their collaboration combines ILLYRs choreographic work with Jacob’s visual work to meet in their shared practice as musicians.

Tylor was awarded New Voices, Composer of Sound and Music 2021 and has been in residence in the Cayman Islands, Palm Heights 2021.They trained at Rambert School and have worked across fashion, film, TV and theatre as a choreographer and dancer for Vogue Italia, Rebook, Tirzah, Goldfrapp, Southbank Centre, featuring in Dazed and Westwood Campaigns.

Samuel has shown work on BBC Radio 4, Cafe Oto, and multi-screen work at School in Vienna, developing into their most recent audio piece, New Americas, released on Blank Editions. In collaboration with musician Klein they performed at the Southbank Centre and the ICA in their theatre production ‘care’. Their music work has extended into composing for companies such as Dazed, Reebok and Channel 4.

The music and visuals are semi-autobiographical. We share a working-class background and despite our love for live music and theatre, we think this perspective is underrepresented. This project will explore this perspective through themes of protest and patriotism and their relationship to performances of masculinity.