With the kind of photo opps that pre-date Instagram by several lifetimes and enough history to fill umpteen albums, many have made a mecca of Memphis – plenty taking to social media to illustrate the trip (have you seen Graceland?).
Seeking to add his own voice to this particular visual narrative, London photographer and director Simon Emmett made the trip in May 2016: the result is Memphis Young Soul, a new exhibition celebrating “the life and sounds that resonate from the city” opening at Mayfair’s Leica Studio tomorrow.
Hosted by the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, for this project Emmett has lensed the students (read: stars) of the Stax Music Academy; located adjacent to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music – on the original site of Stax Records – the location marries the area’s rich musical heritage with the academy’s contemporary talent, in turn adding their voices to the story.
In London until the 2nd August, Memphis Young Soul arrives on the 50th anniversary of the famous 1967 Stax/Volt European Tour (ask your folks), which essentially launched the label into the limelight internationally – the 60th anniversary of Satellite Records, as Stax was called before the big switch, is likewise celebrated this month.
We’d strongly advise heading down if even just one of those things has your name on it.