Rapper Aitch has said he felt like he was “the most hated person in Manchester for about 40 minutes” after a mural of late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis was painted with a teaser for his debut album. his recently released.
He’s 22, real name Harrison James Armstrong, from Manchester, where street artist Akse P19’s mural was unveiled in the North Quarter in 2020.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast about the discovery of the artwork for Close To Home that covered the mural in Port Street, Aitch said: “I saw it on Twitter, that’s the first time I saw it when there was a wave of outrage like, ‘What is Aitch sticking his album on Ian’s mural,’ and then I said, ‘Oh my, what is this’.
“I don’t pick and choose where I put billboards or album ads. I just wake up and drive past it, or watch it on the internet, like everyone else.”
He said the situation got him “on fire”, adding: “I saw it right away, made the phone call, we talked to Amazon, we talked to the artist who originally did the painting. murals by Ian and we just stop to dig right away and we will restore or remake from the original artist.”
Curtis faced off against Salford’s influential post-punk band Joy Division for four years until 1980, when he committed suicide at the age of 23, just before their first North American tour.
Breakfast presenter Jon Kay asked him what he thought when he witnessed what happened, to which Aitch said: “I’m fuming.
“I was fuming for two reasons. I’m fuming for Ian, and what he is and what that mural stands for, and then I’m fuming for myself, because I’ve had such a good week.
“I was like, the album was coming out in a few days, I couldn’t wait, everything was going so well, and then the next minute I was the most hated person in Manchester for about 40 minutes.
“But it was out of my control and there was nothing I could do, other than stop it and fix it, and obviously that’s exactly what I did, so I think now people are my friend”.
After Aitch took to Twitter in response to the online backlash on Wednesday, the wall appears to have been returned to a blank state.
Video of the day
Close To Home, released last week, features a personal song written by Aitch about her 12-year-old sister Gracie, who has Down syndrome.
Speaking about the track titled My G, the rapper said: “Actually my dad’s idea was to come up with a song, the whole title, My G and all that. And that was probably about three or four years ago.
“At the time, I was a bit younger and I didn’t really rap about anything personal. Not really on purpose but just because I don’t really have anything personal to rap with.
“And then I feel now is the perfect time to get certain things off my chest and show a little more vulnerability than usual.”
An accompanying music video starring Ed Sheeran was also released, with proceeds from the video being donated to the Down Syndrome Association.
BBC Breakfast airs every weekday morning from 6am.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/aitch-i-was-the-most-hated-person-in-manchester-for-about-40-minutes-41928095.html Aitch: I was the most hated person in Manchester for about 40 minutes