Their meeting point is a former leather goods company, here Bnkr44 create and produce their magic. We had a chat with them to let them tell us secrets, dreams of a collective that in a few months has made great things out of nothing.
From nothing, just like the huge basement that Ghera has recovered from his parents and in a short time with the help of Caph, Fares, Erin, Faster, Piccolo and JxN, has managed to transform into a laboratory where churning out magic.
A laboratory in constant movement, a meeting point, a studio, in short, a bit of everything but music as the lowest common denominator. Young but full of talent, with the sole objective of doing what they like best, without constraints of any kind.
And that’s where we meet, albeit virtually at 19 in a normal afternoon of work. Between compliments and laughter, Bnkr44 aim high, aware of their means, a unique collective but carries out solo projects.
We don’t want to set ourselves any goals, none, nothing at all, we want to continue like this and do only what we want to do.
To quote one of your pieces, the bunker is kind of your “Bolla”, but where did this idea of creating a collective come from?
It’s a bit empty because there’s nothing around but this place. The Bunker in fact is really a bunker, an underground room under the house of one of us. Which was actually first a former leather goods company but then it closed down and became a meeting place, where you could spend the afternoon or evening with friends. Then slowly it became a recording studio and a collective we can say.
You are a collective, in November was released your first album 44Deluxe in which you are all together. But now the first solo singles are also starting to come out, just to understand a bit more of your universe, how are you divided? Who takes care of graphics, communication, who produces, who sings?
We are a collective, but in reality, we are a group of individual artists who work on their own personal projects 360 days a year. Then of course in working together we pass on things, Erin for example sings and produces, or Jack produces a track to me that maybe I do not like and then I pass it to Caph and then he writes on it. Actually, collective works are a bit more of a hobby, but it depends on whether we work together or individually. Basically, there are always two producers, then at the moment maybe there are those who follow a project rather than another, we alternate a bit from this point of view. We see the group sessions more as an event, let’s say, something we decide to do some weekends. Then actually the studio is also a meeting point, so maybe someone will come just to hang out and have a say. We all met each other a bit by chance, not all of us were friends, we have this double identity that we like and that we would like to keep even if solo projects will be released.
We have seen you together, now the first solo singles are starting to come out, what are the next projects? Any little spoilers?
Come on, Fares’ album “Distaccato” was released in December. Last week Erin’s “100 Scheletri” came out and another single will also be released very soon and then the new EP. Then it will be the turn of Faster, Piccolo and Caph. Then in the future, we will definitely do something else together along the lines of 44Deluxe.
With Extra #1, released just at Christmas, you have cheered up a year that was, for many reasons, very sad. You have also collaborated with artists such as Sissi and Emma that have added something more magical, how did the idea of this EP come about? And especially the idea of collaborating with someone outside of you?
At the base when we did Extra#1 there was the will to make a collective work again in the way we did the old ones. That is, Deluxe is the fruit of a collection of old works that we did on Soundcloud, doing everything in a short time, both graphically and communicatively, so as soon as they were ready pieces immediately upload everything on the platform. We did the same thing at Christmas because we really wanted to do it, but this time we liked to include other personalities who navigate in the musical environment that we like the most and we could do it because we already know Emma for a while ‘and we had already worked with her and I repeat musically we are very good. Sissi, on the other hand, we got to know her this summer because she came to our area on vacation from her northern lands and never came back. Anyway, we found ourselves very well with her, first humanly and then musically. Then we had never collaborated with female personalities, we also liked this thing here.
That’s why I’m asking you tracks like “Semplice Mente” but also the others should be everywhere, in any platform, they sound not from 2021, but they seem to be further ahead in time, will you ever upload something on the other platforms? And then again you find many more of your songs on Soundcloud than elsewhere, a common practice more among DJs less among singers, why this choice?
Soundcloud actually allows us to have fast creative sessions, that is to have something ready and publish it immediately, without waiting for anything or anyone. We’ve done this before and will do it again soon. But Extra#1’s “Simple Mind” and “Criminal” will also be coming to Spotify very soon. Basically, this platform allows us in a way to respect this mode that we have, do something and publish it immediately. Then if something seems good to us we decide to put it on other platforms and we are free to do so because on Soundcloud it’s like unreleased tracks for the market.
The last release in order of time, not of the collective but of Erin is “100 scheletri”, released with Bomba dischi, can you explain us the cryptic lyrics of this song and what is the relationship with this fantastic label?
“100 Scheletri” is a bit of a strange song, it’s not my favorite and it’s weird to talk about it because I never talk about it. It was on a musical level it was a beat I made for Piccolo, not for me, it was different it was much happier, more upbeat. Then one day I changed the chords to a minor scale and it became how you hear it today. On a textual level, instead, I took a text from a year and a half ago. It was different it was like a lyric from a song called “A Friend” that I never finished and I adapted it back to that by writing something slightly different. Probably the lyrics are weird because it’s supposed to be a track about a difficult, angry relationship with a person and when I wrote it I wasn’t really angry with anyone anymore, so maybe that’s why it’s cryptic, anyway, it fits, I liked it. About our relationship with Bomba dischi, let’s say that at the beginning Bnkr44 was supposed to be a label but at a technical level we are just a collective. Let’s say that anyway Bomba feeds us, we are under Bomba but we are also Bunker. We are independent but they give us support, they respect our independence and so they give us a hand, they like what we do but they don’t want to incorporate us. A sort of mom who spoils us, let’s put it that way.
You are all very young and you are doing something unique and I think that soon (hopefully) or later you will get the recognition you deserve, but what are the goals of Bnkr44?
Actually, we don’t want to set any goals, none at all, let’s first tell you what we don’t want to do.
Ok come on then tell me what you don’t want to do?
No, actually we are willing to do anything, we just want to keep on doing what we want to do and not be forced to do something that is not in our way, or maybe someone will stop us from doing what we like. That’s really the only goal.