Jarvis Cocker picks ‘Covid heroes’ for Big Issue special

Nosheen Iqbal
·2-min read

The former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker is to guest edit street newspaper the Big Issue for a special edition which, it hopes, will lead readers through “new thinking and creativity from when the world went quiet”.

The Britpop musician will feature poet Caleb Femi, the activist anthropologist David Graeber and author Emma Dabiri in the issue, as well as artwork by Turner prize-winner Jeremy Deller in its centrefold.

Cocker, 56, said: “This special edition of the Big Issue gives me the chance to present to you some of the humans who have excited or inspired me during the time of Covid, I would call them the heroes of our times.” The issue also features an interview with Cocker and a letter that he would write to his younger self, partly inspired by the rediscovery of an old school notebook.

Under the title ‘Pulp Masterplan’, he writes: “The group shall work its way into the public eye by producing fairly conventional, yet slightly offbeat, pop songs. After gaining a well-known and commercially successful status, the group can then begin to subvert and restructure both the music business and music itself.”

Jarvis remains one of Britain’s most creative and fascinating cultural voices

Paul McNamee

Cocker’s band, Pulp, split in 2002 and then again in 2013 after a reunion tour. The musician was due to tour his first solo album in over a decade , but instead spent his lockdown isolated in the Peak District with his girlfriend.

Big Issue editor Paul McNamee said: “Jarvis remains one of Britain’s most creative and fascinating cultural voices, a man who, in a few lines, can effortlessly articulate state of the nation truths. It’s a joy to have him take over the Big Issue this week. We thank him for his time, his patience and his brilliant ideas. In a summer of uncertainty, he has come up with something true to hold on to.”