Gold Coast Trading Co and Kent Andreasen go on a magical mystery tour with African metal band Vision

Gold Coast Trading Co creative director Emeka Alams is collaborating with Nataal contributing photographer Kent Andreasen to document the brand’s SS16 collection. The capsule range of graphic T-shirts, hooded tops and accessories were inspired by little-known African heavy metal band Vision and act as a precursor to the upcoming ‘documentary’ about them by NYC-based filmmaker Clayton Vomero and Major Lazer’s Jillionaire. Alams’ streetwear brand is well known for creating digital symbolism and he’s previously worked with Nas, Damian Marley and M.I.A. So by reimagining Vision with Andreasen, Alams brings these two wonderful worlds together. Here he reveals all to Nataal.

So why Vision and who the heck are they?
This all came about from a conversation I had with African music scholar Dr Markus Coester on a recent trip to southern Germany. He was researching the origins of highlife music and as he showed me his findings I came across an early recording of Vision, which was amazing. So I kept digging. The band's origins are a bit hazy, and after researching them for the past year or so, the puzzle still isn’t 100 per cent complete but their story is really interesting nonetheless.

Intriguing indeed. Tell us more.
I was fascinated by their sphere of influence. There were five members that hail from all over Africa - Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria - and one from Atlanta, Georgia. Some started playing music in church, others were in punk bands, others were experimenting with traditional and electronic music but the sound they came up with together was so singular.

Why work with Kent Andreasen?
Kent is genius and his eye is so exact. I knew he would be perfect to capture the other side of this process through photography. The first set of images were inspired by tour memorabilia and shot in different spots between Washington, San Francisco and New York as a comment on the reality of the American dream.

What can we expect from the next visual instalments?
We want to capture those familiar or touched in some way by the band such as fans or even a roadie. I really can’t say too much but Kent and I will be shooting some cool cameos in Cape Town and Koln. We also have a few recording sessions planned with some artists who will rework Vision’s music and then continue to build on the story closer to the release of the film.

If you were on tour in a band like Vision, what hi-jinx would you be getting up to?
I can’t self-incriminate! I've done a few short runs with bands before so I know touring tends to be boring with a few short sparks of extreme crazy fun along the way. It always has potential to be a good time and maybe some of that will make it into the film too.

Who will wear this collection?
Everyone from old metal heads in Hamburg through to kids in Brooklyn. I just want it to be as accessible as possible and to share this story about great music and how Africa sets the standard.

Words Helen Jennings

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