North Stars: Arsenal unveils new men’s away kit with blockbuster artist video
Do not adjust your dials, you are now listening to Islington FM.
AntsLive, Scratcha DVA and SHERELLE unveil Arsenal’s new 23/24 men’s away kit in star-studded video broadcasting Islington’s brightest talents to the world, also starring Ashley Walters, Lava La Rue and Martin Kemp.
As the neon crest oscillates on the screen, that impending sense of excitement takes over. The bright colours scream for your attention, just as the players did on the pitch last season as the club – under Arteta’s guiding hand – found a fresh frequency.
Arsenal fans all saw and felt it, that 97th-minute Nelson screamer will go down in N7 history as a time where the team fed off the fans. Just ask artist and broadcasting legend Scratcha, one of the many underground heroes to star in the new video for Arsenal’s men’s away kit launch and an Arsenal fan who understands that beauty comes through perseverance. “It’s just the excitement, you know! Being able to be excited about your team is so important.” Scratcha likened this current feeling to mid-90s highs of the Dennis Bergkamp era, “Feels like Arsenal again”.
The strip Scratcha and his castmates are launching features black lines outlining a map of Islington, allowing fans and players to take the home borough with them to any and all away days.
The moment comes in the midst of a creative renaissance for Arsenal with new artwork created by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, artist Reuben Dangoor and typography expert David Rudnick with supporters. Both on and off the pitch, the Supporter-first mantra of the club has reverberated through community support and collaborations with a diverse cast of cultural innovators.
As we zoom through the streets in the video, AntsLive’s Number One Candidate plays through 188.6 Islington FM. Speaking around the launch of the film, Ants felt the power of the moment, “We’ve got homegrown talent, world class talent, I feel so connected to this club, we’ve had so many come through Hale End, we invest in the youth. I’ve never been more connected to the club, and I feel the club’s never been more connected to its fans. So inspiring.”
The fast-rising rapper (who dons a vintage Arsenal 90/92 home strip in the track’s incredible music video) sees his contributions to this moment as part of a bigger tapestry in the club’s cultural history. “Arsenal was the first English team to field nine Black players; the first club to have proper representation for LGBTQ+ supporters with Gay Gooners. I just think Arsenal are always tapping in with culture and keeping their ear to the streets for what’s going on. It’s why the club is welcoming for all.”
"Being able to be excited about your team is so important" – Scratcha DVA
DJ, producer and lifelong fan SHERELLE is in agreement with Ants. The London-based producer, DJ and label boss grew up round the corner from the training ground and tells us that their win against Bournemouth last season had her so excited she nearly fell off a balcony at the Emirates. To be a part of her club’s history alongside a cast of her peers is a dream come true for the artist, who takes time to reflects on her deep-rooted relationship with the club. “The first place my nan moved to when she migrated over pre-Windrush was Alexandra Palace, so it’s ingrained in me that Arsenal is my team,” she says.
“I think it’s really important that within the advert that there are so many different types of people from different lineages and backgrounds” SHERELLE adds, while also praising the club’s diverse fanbase: “I’ve always felt super comfortable going to matches – for me being queer, too”.
Beyond personal geography, the film also provides a musical tour of Arsenal’s cultural influence with Ants, SHERELLE and Scratcha starring alongside the Islington Youth Choir and Wolf Alice bassist Theo Ellis.
“Having a rock moment with the guy from Wolf Alice! I think those kinds of small details actually add a lot to the message of unity in that sense,” SHERELLE says. “I never thought I’d be in an Arsenal launch, taking photos with players, but it’s that attention to detail from the club to include people outside of football, it’s a beautiful thing.”
Check out the new kit and watch the full clip above, full of fan-service easter eggs and supercharged by north London energy.