Hot 100 2012: 19-11

David Greig, Karen Gillan and Chris Hoy among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2012

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The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2012, you'll find them here.

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19 Calvin Harris

19 Calvin Harris

Pop princesses’ go-to guy
Love or hate his music, even more success has come the Dumfries-raised producer’s way this year, such as the star-packed album 18 Months hitting number one, three successful singles (including the number one ‘Sweet Nothing’ with Florence Welch) and producing Scissor Sisters and Cheryl Cole. We could go on … (DP / Photo: Drew Ressler)

18 David Greig

Hot 100 2012: David Greig

It seems strange to be hailing David Greig as one of Scotland’s most exciting cultural figures of 2012 when the Edinburgh-born playwright has had a reputation as a prolific and versatile artist for nearly two decades. Even so, the scope of Greig’s work over the past 12 months has been extraordinary, from shaping the multi-arts performance project Whatever Gets You Through the Night to collaborating on the political musical Glasgow Girls and working on the book for the forthcoming stage adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

So is it this diversity that sustains his passion for live theatre? ‘Well, of course these shows seem diverse,’ he says, ‘but there are similarities. For example, they all contain music, talk directly to the audience and attempt to tell stories. I think the source of the passion is the freedom that comes from finally trusting that if my intention as a storyteller is clear then the audience will come with me on whatever journey.’

Greig is well known for his political engagement, particularly his passion for the Middle East, and one of his most ambitious projects this year was curating the One Day in Spring season of Middle Eastern theatre at Ôran Mór. It turned out to be a much bigger project than he anticipated. ‘In the end, with David MacLennan and NTS getting involved, it turned into a festival, something really special. I loved hearing the unfamiliar thoughts, unfamiliar stories from places that we normally only get to experience via the news.’

Greig’s political interests aren’t confined to global issues. As anyone who has followed the dispute between artists and Creative Scotland will know, the playwright has been vocal in his criticism of the national arts agency. Interestingly, he seems optimistic about this ongoing row being resolved in the near future.

‘I hope that there will be change at the top,’ he says in the days just before the resignation of Andrew Dixon is announced. ‘Relationships aren’t working and I think they need to change. If that’s achieved, then I think there needs to be a start made on specific improvements to the workings of the organisation. In fact a lot of work has already been done in this area by Creative Scotland staff and other artform bodies. We all need to take responsibility: makers, companies, government, Creative Scotland staff, everyone. I feel sure we could end up looking back on this crisis as a positive turning point for the arts in Scotland, the moment things started to get better.’

His optimism extends to the wider health of the arts in Scotland, despite the continuing economic gloom. ‘There really is a lot to be celebrated in Scotland -- particularly the extraordinary degree of political support for the arts in this country. You just have to look at the 100% cut to art funding in Newcastle to see how important it is that we in Scotland seem to have a political consensus around the idea that cultural life belongs to everybody. I think the build-up to the Independence referendum means we’re living through times where everything is legitimately up for debate. Where better to have that debate than in the theatre, or in a novel, or on film. Big choices make for big art, I think. There’s great work brewing.’ (AR)

17 Hudson Mohawke

17 Hudson Mohawke

Our friend electro
Making Glasgow proud, Kanye West stage-invaded Ross Birchard’s TNGHT set (his duo with Lunice) in Brooklyn to join in. Other HudMo highlights include production work for Kanye, Big Sean and Egyptian Hip Hop, plus the first TNGHT release on LuckyMe, and his new label home, Warp, where he’s also released solo work. (CS)

16 Cry Parrot

16 Cry Parrot

Broad and brave music promoter
Cry Parrot’s year featured all-day experimental festivals of local noiseniks (Music Language and Cry Parrot Vs Green Door), Chicago cosmic-house (Hieroglyphic Being), monstrously loud sold-out gigs (Swans, a co-promo with Braw Gigs) not forgetting the entrancing Steven Biceps, a bodybuilder who flexed alongside the mighty Hype Williams. (CS)

15 Chris Fujiwara

15 Chris Fujiwara

EIFF’s new man
This time last year the future of the Edinburgh International Film Festival didn’t look so rosy. What a difference a year makes. New artistic director Chris Fujiwara delivered a bold, international programme of films for his inaugural year suggesting there’s plenty to look forward to in 2013 and beyond. (GT / Photo: Jannica Honey)

14 Chris Hoy

14 Chris Hoy

Off the chain
Scotland’s Greatest Olympian became Britain’s Greatest Olympian this year, adding another two gold medals to his trophy chest at the London games, and setting a new world record for good measure. Next up: the 2014 Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow’s newly-completed Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. (NB)

13 Michael Clark

13 Michael Clark

Choreographic innovator
Glasgow’s Barrowlands was once the home of dancing, and in September, Michael Clark reawakened that memory. Featuring his superb dancers and members of the local community, The Barrowlands Project closed the Cultural Olympiad and confirmed Clark as one of Scotland’s finest dancemakers. (KA / Photo: Jake Walters)

12 Karen Gillan

12 Karen Gillan

Doctor who?
No longer a mere companion, Gillan struck out on her own this year, playing Jean Shrimpton in We’ll Take Manhattan (fittingly having just been crowned Scotland’s Fashion Icon at the Scottish Fashion Awards), and appearing in Charlie Brooker’s A Touch of Cloth. (NB / Photo: Suki Dhanda)

11 Mark Millar

11 Mark Millar

Blockbuster comics powerhouse
Mark Millar launched two new comics Super Crooks and Secret Service while the world of Kick-Ass expanded with Hit Girl. He returned as special ambassador for the Glasgow Film Festival while Twentieth Century Fox announced he’ll be their ‘creative consultant’ on all future superhero projects. (HN)

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