Secret 7″

Shh! It’s nearly time once more for Secret 7” – the enigmatic celebration of design, music and art that sees a host of big names create record sleeves anonymously, which are later sold for charity.

Will Broome - Elton John / Bennie and The Jets, for Secret 7
Will Broome – Elton John / Bennie and The Jets, for Secret 7″ 2013

The project works in a similar way to the RCA’s Secret postcard project, in that records are sold for a uniform £45 each, with the buyer effectively blind to who created its sleeve.

Abbie Stephens and Zoe Maxwell - HAIM / Better Off, for Secret 7
Abbie Stephens and Zoe Maxwell – HAIM / Better Off, for Secret 7″ 2013

Seven tracks are chosen, with each pressed to 7” vinyl 100 times. A mixture of invited creatives and those selected through submissions via the project’s website then get working on the look, resulting in 700 unique designs.

John Vincent Aranda - Jessie Ware / Still Love Me, for Secret 7
John Vincent Aranda – Jessie Ware / Still Love Me, for Secret 7″ 2013

This year’s entry deadline is 17 February, and you can find out more about creating a sleeve or submit your designs via the website.

Savvy vinylophiles at last year’s event could have snapped themselves up a sleeve by the likes of David Shrigley, Gilbert & George or Ai WeiWei, and while this year’s designers are either under wraps or still being selected, we’re sure 2014 will boast a similarly impressive line-up.

Jordan Harrison Reader - Public Enemy / Harder Than You Think, for Secret 7
Jordan Harrison Reader – Public Enemy / Harder Than You Think, for Secret 7″ 2013

This year’s, as ever, is an eclectic playlist, featuring Design Week favourites Roxy Music’s Virginia Plain; Black Sabbath’s Age of Reason; Grounds for Divorce by Elbow; Jake Bugg’s Strange Creatures; Team by Lorde; Karmacoma by Massive Attack and Get it On by the stomping fabulous T-Rex.

 Sam Seager - Nas / The Don, for Secret 7
Sam Seager – Nas / The Don, for Secret 7″ 2013

Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja (3D) says, ‘Like the sleeves that are produced, Secret 7” is a unique project that we’re excited to be a part of. I am looking forward to seeing the various ways our track is interpreted and creating my one-of-a-kind sleeve for the show’.

 Philip Coatsworth / Laura Marling / The Beast, for Secret 7
Philip Coatsworth / Laura Marling / The Beast, for Secret 7″ 2013

The venture –  a partnership between creative agencies Mother and This is Goodness, The Vinyl Factory and Universal Music – was founded in 2011 by Kevin King and Jordan Stokes. The pair say they were ‘a bit frustrated by our own experience of charity auctions’, and looked ‘to fundraise a bit differently, to create a positive and fun experience for both designers and art fans’.

It certainly seems to have worked – Secret 7” has sold every sleeve it’s exhibited and raised £63,670 to date.

All 700 sleeves will be exhibited from 12 – 13 April at  Downstairs At Mother, Biscuit Building, 10 Redchurch Street, London E2

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