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Grammy win for former Middlesex University student Simon Earith


Simon Earith with his GrammyMiddlesex University alumnus Simon Earith is celebrating a 'fantastic achievement' after winning a Grammy Award for the design of a limited edition Sir Paul McCartney album.

Simon, who graduated from Middlesex in 1995 with a BA Visual Communication Design degree, won the Grammy alongside business partner James Musgrave in the Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package category.

Their artwork for the former Beatle's album 'Wings Over America' beat four other nominees to the prize, including the Rolling Stones' 'Brussels Affair (Live 1973)' box set designed by Charles Dooher and Scott Sandler.

Attending the awards ceremony in Los Angeles it was third time lucky for Simon, who has twice been nominated for a Grammy without winning.

In 2002 he was nominated for the artwork on an album by the British group Dirty Vegas and last year he was again nominated for another McCartney record.

"To go over for [the awards ceremony] is amazing in itself, but to actually be awarded and be considered the best in that category is obviously a fantastic achievement," said Simon.

"We're delighted to receive recognition for work that we put a lot of time into perfecting."

Simon has spent much of his career designing for the music industry. After graduating from Middlesex he went to work at Blue Source, an agency that worked predominantly with the music industry, before he left in 2004 to set up his own studio, YES.

The winning album is the fifth instalment in a series that YES have been working on with Sir Paul entitled 'The Archive Collection', a collaboration that has led to the re-release of key McCartney albums with accompanying artwork and material.

'Wings Over America' took them around nine months to produce and the pair are currently working on a further two releases in the series, though more could potentially follow.

 "It was 2010 that we actually met Paul McCartney for the first time, pitched him our idea and won the commission," explained Simon.

"It's a fantastic project to work on - from looking at the archive of material, deciding what's right, to discussing it with himself and the people in his team. Paul tells us what he thinks is important and we go away and absorb that information and feed it back into the design and structure of what we're doing."

After the bright lights of LA, however, it was business as usual when Simon and James returned to their studio in London's Shoreditch.

"We've not turned into LA rock stars or anything; it's just back to the coalface and working with my studio here."

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