Student Spotlight: Britt Guynes, Graphic Designer and Electronic Musician

Britt Guynes, Devil Cartridge OST, 2021, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

Creating in more than one field in the arts can enhance both areas.

BFA major Britt Guynes is sure he wants to get a job in graphic design when he graduates next year, but Guynes also enjoys playing and composing electronic music. He has been developing his skills for several years and doesn’t see that aspect of his creativity going away. Guynes recently collaborated with another creative and released an album, available on iTunes and Bandcamp, that is getting some attention.

Guynes, who works under the name “Frogmore,” collaborated and co-released a 34-track album of tunes in the genre of vaporwave titled Devil Cartridge OST with another electronic musician, Ryan Naglak. Naglak, who creates music under the name “My Sister’s Fugazi Shirt,” and Guynes “worked on every single track together,” said Guynes, “It was a team effort.”

They traded ideas long distance, sending “skeleton tracks” of electronic music back and forth, until they were happy with them.

Britt Guynes, Devil Cartridge Demo Disc, 2021, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

The album is framed as a soundtrack for a fictional video game. Guynes wrote the plot outline behind the album, giving the game an entire backstory from its creation to its eventual cancellation. The backstory adds to the work’s complexity and gives it vaporwave’s characteristic nostalgia. Having a narrative to follow, he said, also made the process of creating tracks a little easier. Specific scenes needed specific tracks, and they created tracks in different genres of music. “Although we categorize it as vaporware,” Guynes noted, “the album spans multiple genres much like an actual soundtrack. The genres we cover include chiptune, IDM, lo-fi, vaporware, chillwave, hip-hop, and synthwave.”

Guynes also did all the graphic design work for the album. He has created album designs for other musicians and for two other albums of his own music. “Designing the album cover [for Devil Cartridge OST] was a great experience,” said Guynes, “I like doing my own album art because I am able to control the quality of the work in order to keep it in line with my creative vision.”

Britt Guynes, Midnight Excursion, Golden Joe, 2020, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

The blog Anomaly Index interviewed Guynes and Naglak recently about their release. Although the blog claims to focus on “music’s conceptual anomalies and abject obscurities,” the exposure actually may have made the album a little less obscure. Guynes said he has noticed a steady increase in sales on his Bandcamp page, but added, “I’m not sure if that is to do with the blog post or just people discovering my music more frequently.”

“Although I plan to enter the graphic design field, I feel as though music is something I will always find myself doing,” Guynes said, “As a music fan it is endlessly entertaining to compose music and see myself improve as an artist. I don’t plan on quitting anytime soon.”