WHEN grime music artist Devlin stepped on set at Hackney's Freed of London shoe factory, the atmosphere was tense.

It was the first time up-and-coming Maldon MC, Tommy B, had met the veteran artist he collaborated with on new single Come Out My Way.

And the first time Ant Axten, 25, had met the infamous East London rapper he grew up watching on TV, who he now had to photograph behind the scenes.

"For the first 30 minutes, everyone was very quiet," he said.

"A lot of musicians have huge egos, especially ones who are really out there so you don't know what to expect, but Devlin was really down to earth.


A black and white portrait of Devlin

"He came in with one other person and was just talking to the friend to begin with, but you could hear everything he said because the room was so quiet.

"Once he started talking to us, we all then shook it off and relaxed."

Devlin is a "legend in the grime scene" and on his fourth studio album.

The collaboration with 19-year-old Tommy B, whose hometown is far from the birthplace of grime music, represents history in the making for Ant, who was asked to capture the high energy video by friends Antony Desmett and Elliot McMillan, Colchester Institute alumni who founded AE Productions.

It took place inside an underground factory where dance shoes are made for stars.


Tommy B is part of the new generation of grime music

He said: "It was such a weird location. From the outside it looked like an ordinary shop but inside there were tunnels and passageways. It was crazy."

Ant's style of photography mirrored the shoot with black and white portraits thrown in with action shots.

"When Devlin went out for a cigarette, I followed him with my camera and just politely asked if I could start taking pictures.

"To get the shots I needed, I had to be quite close in front of his face so as soon as he said yes, I just tried to get as many shots as I could. He was very natural and comfortable.


Elliot McMillan, one half of AE Productions, looking into the camera

"I'm very proud of the photos.

"I think they'll make history in the sense I've captured part of Tommy's musical journey.

"If he grows into the artist I know he wants to be, they're definitely a moment to look back on, and a very memorable moment for the grime industry."

Come Out My Way is out now to watch on GRM Daily.