I am mesmerized by your #ARTMEETSMUSIC project, FLUX, that you are about to released in collaboration with fourteen international artists. It is a very personal and haunting portrait on the search for identity. What inspired you to create such an introspective album and what do you hope to communicate through this journey?
This album and art project originated from a very personal and authentic place. FLUX is about the complexities of intimacy and my emotional experiences of our modern world. I got to explore these inspirations with the visual artists involved in the show. It has been amazing working with and having conversations with all of them. My experiences of intimacy and creativity have been intertwined throughout the process of making this music and art project – and I think the music and art reflect this. I hope people will connect to FLUX in a way that is personal and meaningful to them, drawing inspiration from the music in a way that connects them to the landscapes of their own imaginations, thoughts, and emotions.
The artists you chose to represent your art book seemed to be a perfect fit for this hauntingly, deep project. How did you go about choosing those particular artists? Were you familiar with all of their work already?
The whole project started with Marco Mazzoni and Redd Walitzki. A few years ago, Marco and I discovered we were fans of each other’s work. We spent a week musing about life and drinking negroni in Milan. During that time, we connected about uncovering the hidden parts of human experience, myths and crows, urban scavengers living among humans. Around the same time, I met and became friends with Redd Walitzki, and we were similarly inspired by each others work and ideas. This sparked the idea for the whole show!
I worked with Anthon Smith and Roxanna Walitzki to curate the visual art show and music videos around this album, and I sampled both of their voices so they are woven into the textures of my music in abstract, layered and emotional ways. I got to connect with each artist on a personal level, musing about concepts, taking reference photos, communicating and getting to know them all throughout the process. At the end of the day, most of us who choose to live as artists have some things in common – and I find visual artists to be largely introspective and thoughtful people too.
You are not new to collaborations across genres but connecting with fourteen different artists in a very personal way had to have its challenges. With eac, artist you had to explore common themes and inspirations so the art would feel deeply connected to your music. What was this experience like?
The conversations I had with each of the artists were very different, in that each person had their very distinct personality and ideas, and I connected with different artists about different things. But the experience actually also felt strangely intimate – like dancing with strangers. I felt like I had a meaningful exchange with each of them, resulting in a body of artwork that will always represent this album and this time period in my life. So again, the project circles back to that intensely vulnerable undercurrent of the album, and in the context of intimacy and collaboration.
Your “Lovers” video that accompanies this project is both spiritually and sexually moving and a true work of art in itself. What was the process like to create such an intimate presentation?
With “Lovers”, I wanted to create an authentic representation of intimacy as I experience it in my life. For me, it is a representation of desire, which embodies the feelings of tension and beauty that are inherent in the complexity of intimacy. The making of this video was a personal, collaborative, intimate creative process. I worked again with my close collaborators, Anthon and Roxanna on the concept and creative direction, and with the tremendously talented Paco Li Calzi. The process was challenging, and also a lot of fun, ultimately unlike anything I’d ever done before.