AN ARTIST and designer from East Lancashire has been become the creative director of Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn’s first solo album.

Aitor Throup, who grew up in Brierfield and attended Blackburn College, has spent more than a year on the project, which involved designing the album sleeve and creating videos to go along with the songs.

The move into popular music is a slight departure for Aitor, 33, who has previously designed high street fashion clothes inspired by the ‘football casual’ style he saw on the streets as a youngster.

The former Gawthorpe High School student studied sciences in Blackburn before becoming a fashion student in Manchester.

Aitor lived in Massey Lane, Brierfield, with his mother before moving to Manchester and then London His graduate collection — When Football Hooligans Become Hindu Gods — won the International Talent Support Award in 2006 for graduate collection of the year.

Aitor said: “It started about a year ago I guess when I sat down in the studio with Damon. I saw the work evolve naturally. All I seemed to do for months was absorb the process that he was going through.

“I spent quite a lot of time talking to Damon about what his intentions were for individual songs and also for the piece as a whole.

“I started to build symbols and metaphors which could get to the core of what he was trying to get across.

“At the same time there was a very personal focus on him as an individual as it’s his first solo album.” For their debut video project Everyday Robots, Aitor created a ‘digital portrait’ of the performer using CGI software and facial reconstruction techniques to form cranial scans showing the digitised anatomy of Albarn’s head.

The Blur frontman will release the album, also called Everyday Robots on April 28.

According to Albarn's Facebook page, the album will feature guest appearances from Brian Eno and Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes.