On my radar: Joe Mount’s cultural highlights

The Metronomy singer on living in Paris, vintage curtains, and growing his own rhubarb

Born in 1982 and raised in Devon, singer and musician Joe Mount is the founder of the electronic group Metronomy. The 34-year-olds interest in music began at school, where he played the drums in various bands. While studying at the University of Brighton he became involved in the local electronic scene, later performing as a DJ. Metronomy have released five studio albums, including the Mercury-nominated English Riviera in 2011, and more recently Summer 08 a mix of wistful reminiscence and vintage bangers which was released to critical acclaim last July. Mounts range of influences include David Bowie, Prince and the German techno duo Funkstrung. Metronomy play Glasgow 16 May, Manchester 17 May and London 19 May.

1 | Music

SweetSexySavage by Kehlani

Kehlani: Every 10 years or so, I get really into one female R&B singer.

I remember seeing a picture of this album cover and thinking: This looks amazing. Its a rather beautiful image. Then I was driving somewhere and played it, and I really loved it. Every 10 years or so, I get really into one female R&B singer; its my biggest vice. In the 90s it was Aaliyah. This is very expertly produced R&B, and Kehlani has a beautiful singing voice. Shes someone who became famous the modern way and has been working since she was very young. The first thing she did was on Americas Got Talent with a band called PopLyfe, and I looked up this old video clip of them playing and you just see this teenage girl. Theres something really captivating about her kind of image, with all the tattoos.

2 | Book

The Collier Campbell Archive: 50 Years of Passion in Pattern

The Collier Campbell Archive: Simple, colourful, vibrant designs.

My parents have all these Collier Campbell curtains in their house, and there was an episode of Seinfeld I saw years ago where I saw a duvet cover and thought: Those are my parents curtains. When I first had to think about getting curtains myself, I did a bit of research and found them. Then I walked past the Fashion and Textile Museum in London not long ago and I saw this book. The designs vary quite a lot, but theyre very simple, colourful and vibrant. I think its one of those things, where your parents tastes resonate with your own or kind of create your taste. Me and my girlfriend have quite a few different Collier Campbell textiles that were waiting to turn into curtains.

3 | Documentary

Child of Our Time, BBC

Child of our Time: Youre seeing what happens to you and what will happen to your own children.

This is incredibly fascinating to watch. Its a programme where a group of maybe 10 children are followed from birth, and every so often theres a catch-up series. What youre doing is watching people grow up. Its incredibly unspectacular youre seeing what happens to you and what will happen to your own children. But at the same time, when you watch from a distance, you realise how incredible your own development is or was. Being a parent myself now, it has a very different effect on me. Not in a particularly romantic way I just look at the parents and, oh my God, theyve aged so much. It happened after the children turned 10. There must be something that happens then.

4 | Building

Philharmonie de Paris

Philharmonie de Paris: A spectacular metallic building that kind of looks like its been squashed. Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty

Ive been living in Paris for a while now, and in the time Ive been here this building is the one big thing thats popped up. Over the past 10 years or so weve seen this thing being built, and obviously getting into trouble. From what I understand, it was over budget and hugely delayed. Parisians generally hate every new building, then it becomes quite a symbolic part of the city. So they loathed it, but now I think they quite love it. Its this spectacular metallic building that looks like its been squashed. The exterior is very pleasing. And its gone from being a curiosity that Ive seen being built from afar, to where well be headlining at a festival this summer.

5 | Place

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Sissinghurst Castle Garden: Incredible smells and flowers… theres a Kentish renaissance happening. Photograph: Alamy Stock

This isnt very far from our place in Kent me and my girlfriend now live between there and Paris. I went there at the weekend, and it was just so hot and warm. Its a stately 1930s country home, very well kept by the National Trust, with a historical connection to Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. Of course, in the 30s, to be alternative you had to be quite well-to-do. More than anything, its just a very beautiful place to walk around, with incredible gardens, smells and flowers. Theres a Kentish renaissance happening.

6 | Design

Vola faucets

Vola faucets: Designed in the 60s or 70s… I covet them.

I first saw these in 2006, in the Standard hotel in Hollywood. They have these orange taps and an orange shower head. Ive always really liked them and I managed to find out while reading about the hotel where theyre from: it turns out they were designed in the 60s or 70s, and you can get them in any colour you want. And I covet them. They make lots of different kinds, but I like a particularly colourful one with this little lever you lift for the water. Its a very simple, compact, pleasing design. And theyre a signifier of the kind of things Im into at the moment: architecture, curtains and taps.

7 | Hobby


A globe courgette beginning to grow. Photograph: Alamy

We finally have a garden, and I just see myself getting into gardening. I like to think, somewhere within me, Ive got this gardener whos been there for years and years, who has awoken. Were starting with some herbs, and the garden already has rhubarb in it, and bramble, which I guess produces some fruit. If you look after a garden well, it can look after you in all kinds of ways. The past few weeks Ive been making the ground good for planting. Id certainly like to feed myself. My parents used to have a lot of success with courgettes I might start off with them, then maybe try something like avocados.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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