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2023 One Show - Cultural Driver

Depzman - Life Cut Short

Agency McCann / London + Intergalactic Studios / London + SBTV / London + Native Music / London

Client Joshua Ribera Foundation


Popular Culture Impact

Annual ID


About the Work

Joshua Ribera AKA Depzman was a well-known Birmingham grime rapper on the cusp of stardom, but his life was cut short after he was stabbed to death in 2013. Since his death there have been 1,877 more knife killings in the UK. The Joshua Ribera Foundation was founded to educate young people about knife crime. Government initiatives and campaigns clearly weren’t working so they needed a way to get the message heard. Grime music is often criticised for glamorising violence to impressionable listeners because lyrics tell the story of real violence and crime that rappers have experienced. Depzman’s music told the story of his life, but not his death. If it somehow could, we knew young people would listen. Using deepfake technology and audio manipulation, Depzman was digitally resurrected. We created a new track titled ‘Life Cut Short’ delivering a powerful anti-knife message. On the night before launch, his mother Alison Cope posted a black square with the launch date on his old Instagram which still has 18k followers. On the anniversary of his funeral, the music video launched on SBTV, the UK’s biggest urban music channel. SBTV had launched Depzman’s career over a decade before and was the perfect media partner. The hyper-targeted media push ensured it reached our key audience of young people. Depz fans and the grime community shared it, reaching 6 million plays in 2 weeks across TikTok, Spotify and Youtube – even ranking #11 on YouTube’s trending videos. People created their own versions of the song on TikTok, made reaction videos on Youtube and the song got airtime on BBC radio. ‘Life Cut Short’ got millions of plays, the grime community came together to share our anti-knife message and the campaign reached people that a government campaign never would.

2023 Awards

Total Points: 3




McCann / London

PR / Marketing Agency

Weber Shandwick / London

Production Company

Intergalactic Studios / London

Music / Sound Production Company

Native Music / London

Post Production Company

Black Kite / London

Media Distribution Company

SBTV / London

Chief Creative Officer

Rob Doubal
Laurence Thomson

Creative Director

James Crosby
William Cottam




Matt Dollings


Andrei Cebotari

Chief Production Officer

Ben Clark


Elliot Lee
Rory Peyton Jones

Music Producer



T Roadz


Joy Molan

Strategy Director

Jj Bender

Account Manager

Rohin Lalli

Agency In-House Production

Craft / London

Business Director

Tom Oliver

Charity Partner

NSPCC / London


Andi Chu

Deepfake Artist


Director of Photography & Editor

Paddy Cartwright

Head Of Production

Fred Ashworth

Managing director

Isaac Densu

Music Executive Producer

Dan Neale

Project director

Hannah Graff

Senior Project Manager

Georgia Wettenhall


Shadow CV
Alison Cope
Joshua Ribera

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