Ben Cross

Polish-British Ben Cross is the creative director & founder of Cloud X and ICXNS. With bold concepts and timeless storytelling, his creative direction campaigns tell cohesive stories across multiple mediums – spanning photography, artwork, press shots, music videos, narrative film, set design and staging. His work is designed to make people feel: from his iconic, ultra-surreal and futuristic work with the unique rapper Lancey Foux, his long-term collaboration with Brixton’s black rockstar Santino Le Saint, to his creative oversight of the campaign for Yxngxr1’s latest album Teenage Motel. Most recently, Ben has creative directed the launch campaign of the latest Adidas Originals & Footpatrol NMD S1 Shoe. You can find his work displayed in the likes of the Guardian, Vogue and iD magazine. He’s also currently working on his debut feature film for release in 2024.

Founded in 2018, Cloud X is the formation of a grassroot and dinkum home for UK R&B and melodic hip-hop. Cloud X represents communities, not just individual artists, bringing together singers, directors, graphic designers and producers. As co-founder Dabieh says, “there is a space and appetite to champion underrepresented people and sounds.” 

In its time, Cloud X had expanded across regiments, proving to be multifaceted in its design. On a business front, they’ve partnered with Live Nation helping to expand rapper Lancey Foux’s brand — through touring. Elsewhere, the collective have also expanded their roster of talents, which currently includes Santino Le Saint, Kwaku Asante, Yxngxr1, Kasien and Scuti as artists and producers. In other fields, Dabieh exists as an executive producer and Cross as a creative director. Since the end of the pandemic Cloud X founders David Dabieh and Ben Cross set-up the now-annual ‘Cloud X Festival’. This yearly occasion prides itself on its gender-equal line up, its promotion of (the extremely under-represented) R&B in the UK and bringing people together through good music, community & independent creatives. Cloud X Festival is an intimate homegrown music festival that represents everything Cloud X stands for: representation, diversity and championing pioneering creatives. 

Cloud X’s leaders Dabieh and Ben want new arcs of representation. “We want to change the culture of how people think about art and musicians. Self-empowerment can prevail,” states Dabieh. “We’ve always stood for underrepresented people,” Co-founder Cross explains. As Cloud X continues to help cultivate artists careers, through coaching, managing and telling stories, it operates on one central principle: “What you put in is what you get out of this; It’s the hard work that prevails.”


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