Daphne Guinness has been many things throughout her life: muse, film producer, actor, curator, designer, and philanthropist. She’s worked with many visionary creative minds, from the late Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld, to artists and photographers such as David LaChappelle and Nick Knight. She has designed collections with Comme des Garçons, consulted for Gucci, and ventured in the world of film, co-producing the Oscar-nominated short film Cashback and also starring in the art film The Murder of Jean Seberg. Daphne’s television appearances have included two seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race as a guest judge, and as special guest on Joanna Lumley's Great Cities Of The World. She has lectured twice at the V&A Museum, including their ‘In Conversation’ series. Along the way she has amassed hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok with her disarming humour and willingness to poke fun at herself. It may be an over-used term, but Daphne Guinness is a true cultural icon.
The thing Daphne was always ultimately destined to do was make music. She sang as a child and had planned to study music at the prestigious Guildhall School in London. Life had other plans, however, and her musical ambitions were pushed to the back burner, until the moment came when Daphne was ready to take up her calling...
This came amid tragedy: following the death of her brother and close friends, Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen, Daphne headed to Ireland where she planned to record a cover of a Bob Dylan track. Instead, she started writing her own music. An encounter with David Bowie, who became a mentor to her, put Daphne in touch with famed producer Tony Visconti, who would go on to produce her debut album, Optimist in Black, described by Interview magazine as “a complex 14-song exploration of everything from identity and alienation to peace and love.”
This was followed by the second album with Visconti; Daphne & the Golden Chord, a glam-rock spectacular that The Times described as “fuelled by wit, character and a clear and abiding love of rock’n’roll.” It featured a band made up of song-writing partner and long standing collaborator Malcolm Doherty, Terry Miles (Denim, Go-Kart Mozart, Primal Scream), Gary Liedeman (Talk Talk, Thin Lizzy), James Stevenson (Generation X, Scott Walker) and Roxy Music’s Andy Mackay.
Daphne’s third record, 2020’s Revelations featured further collaboration with Doherty and Miles, as well as Roger Manning Jr (Air, Beck) and Rod Melvin (Brian Eno, Ian Dury), and was awash with fabulous and apocalyptic disco stompers. The album was accompanied by a three-part video series, shot in collaboration with LaChapelle.
Embarking on her fourth album Daphne feels like she is just getting started. “Each time I'm like a beginner,” she says. “Every day I approach the world as if I don't know everything. Every day is a revelation. I've got a beginner’s mind.”
It's with this mentality that Daphne approached her process to the upcoming fourth album, Sleep. Recorded at British Grove and Abbey Road studios, the album is unlike anything Guinness has produced before. Contemplative, self-reflective, and personal, it represents her most beguiling body of work to-date; a sleek sophisticated experience enhanced by an array of esoteric creative touches, complementing its dancefloor rush.
Mixed by Ricky Damian, known for his work with Lady Gaga, Adele, Georgia Smith, Dua Lipa, her creative connections with Malcolm Doherty and Tony Visconti (who scored the album’s strings) continue. The album’s scale is further amplified by collaborators, including Guy Pratt (Madonna, Michael Jackson) and Rob Shirakbari (Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick), plus a 34-piece string section. The scope of her associations extends far beyond the core album. Daphne collaborated with Nick Knight of SHOWStudio for the video to early single ‘Hip Neck Spine’, and with the iconic filmmaker and photographer, David LaChapelle for the current single ‘Volcano’. Additionally, musician, composer and producer Hercules & Love Affair is remixing each of the album’s singles.
Daphne’s fourth album Sleep is scheduled for release through Agent Anonyme Recordings on April 19, 2024.