What Got Us Through 2020? Abbey Road's Fiona Gillott, Oli Morgan, Daniel Hayden, Daniel Cole and Marta Di Nozzi

23rd December 2020

As we reach the end of what has been a particularly difficult year, we asked the Abbey Road team to look back and reflect on a few of the things that have helped them get through it. From their favourite album to the best thing they’ve learnt to get through the challenges of 2020. In part one we hear from Abbey Road’s Fiona Gillott, Oli Morgan, Daniel Hayden, Daniel Cole and Marta Di Nozzi.

 

Oli Morgan - Mastering Engineer

What is one single that helped you get through the year?

Carousels by Doves.

What is one album that helped you get through the year?

GoGo Penguin by GoGo Penguin.

Which new artist/band are you most excited about for 2021?

Grand Pax.

What’s the best thing you’ve learnt to help you get through the challenges of 2020?

I've become even more aware that one's physical health is closely tied to one's mental health. It doesn't matter if it's running, yoga or a few stretches before bed - my advice is to build a habit that allows you to take time for yourself and achieve a goal for no one but yourself. I've found that just getting outside to throw a ball around can do wonders to lift whatever cloud has found its way above my head on any given day.
 
 

Fiona Gillott – Studios Manager

What is one single that helped you get through the year?

Agreeable by Cautious Clay, can’t wait for his album to drop next year.

What is one album that helped you get through the year?

It’s a given, it’s been the soundtrack to lockdown and dancing around with my daughter. Dua Lipa and for me personally Mac Miller, so great to hear his works and creative genius, and how Jon Brion was able to take their dynamic of producer and artist and use that interpretation of their conversations to finish the album Mac wanted everyone to hear.

Which new artist / band are you most excited about for 2021?

I’m really hoping to hear more great tracks from the likes of Beabadoobee, Bree Runway, Mae Muller, and Hamzaa.

Which films are you most excited about for 2021?

The Reason I Jump with a deep evoking and sensory score by Nainita Desai, critically acclaimed already and a rare and immersive insight into the world of non-speaking autistic people. And also on a more guilty pleasure level, Top Gun sequel Maverick in IMAX, as a kid I’d watch my VHS copy of Top Gun on repeat and to imagine the world of fighter jets flying over your head in IMAX sends shivers down my spine.

What’s the best thing you’ve learnt to help you get through the challenges of 2020?

Working closely with our incredible team at Abbey Road and reaching out to the studio community in London throughout lockdown to find a way to connect, and create again. We all came together and the power of the community was phenomenal. When music runs through your veins, and you aren’t in the environment which you love, surrounded by singing and the sounds of musicians playing the vibrations that run through you just don’t have the same rhythm.
 
 

Daniel Hayden – Senior Recordist

What is one single that helped you get through the year?

Ólafur Arnalds 2020 album called Some Kind of Peace first track called Loom feat. Bonobo.

What is one album that helped you get through the year?

I have rediscovered the album Spirits by Pianist Keith Jarrett, released in 1986, for me it’s 1 hour 50 of brilliance.

Which new artist / band are you most excited about for 2021 and why?

I recently discovered Ayanna Witter-Johnson an amazing Jazz singer and cellist she has a really cool new sound and looking forward to seeing her live next year.
 
 

Marta Di Nozzi – Senior Runner

What is one single that helped you get through the year?

Never Come Back by Caribou, such an upbeat tune, it clears my mind and makes me dance!

What is one album that helped you get through the year?

Manic - Halsey, I absolutely loved it, such a good pop album, it's been a year since it was released and I keep playing it almost every day.

Which new artist/band are you most excited about for 2021 and why?

GentleBeatz - He is a very young artist from Mozambique, he makes beats and music to help coping with anxiety and stress, even if we can consider him an emerging artist, he is quite popular in lo-fi music community, can't wait for his new releases.

What’s the best thing you’ve learnt to help you get through the challenges of 2020?

I learned that taking time to think about things and taking care of yourself it is as important as the time you spend working on exciting projects. Before our lives had to be put on pause by the events of this year, I was so focused on what I was doing daily that when I was forced to stop, I felt a bit lost. It took me a bit of time to realise that I had the possibility to refocus and look at things from a different perspective. I will definitely keep this in mind in the future and make sure I always take some time to look at the bigger picture.

So, my tip is: even if you have a busy life make sure you are not overseeing this very important aspect, everything you do and work on will benefit from it.

Last thing: it is not worth wasting energies and stressing about things we don't have the power to change (I know it is way easier said than done!)
 
 

Daniel Cole – Technical Engineer

What is one single that helped you get through the year?

Promise of Spring by Jono McCleery.

What is one album that helped you get through the year?

Can’t pick between both of these mesmerising releases from SAULT: Untitled (Black Is), & Untitled (Rise)

Which new artist/band are you most excited about for 2021?

KOKOROKO – they aren’t new but are yet to release an LP…!

What’s the best thing you’ve learnt to help you get through the challenges of 2020?

Reflect on an achievement from any day/month/year – take a moment to enjoy it. It will give you energy for challenges ahead.