On the occasion of Milano Music Week, adidas Originals x Santeria presents a tight schedule made of appointments linked to the world od graphics, styling, photography, music production and live performances that will light up the entire week going from November 20th to 25th. One of the most wanted workshops is the one by Corrado Grilli aka Mecna, that, other than being a successful musician, is also the author of some of the most interesting album covers of the last few years and of the Adidas Originals x Santeria artwork.
During his “Cover Art”, the workshop held on the 21st of November from 6:30 pm to 20:30 pm, he will confront the public on the ever-growing relationship between music, images and aesthetic vision.
We had a chat with him, if you like, you can read it out while listening to the playlist made of the 21 tracks he curated the covers for.
You’re a graphic designer and a successful rapper, how did you manage to combine these two souls?
Let’s say it would have been difficult if it was the opposite. For the way I am, I need something to keep me busy, under pressure and that sometimes makes me freak out, I work as a freelance graphic designer from a long time and actually just for album artworks and music projects and, even if it’s a great job, just still have to listen to the client which often makes you go crazy. I need to crazy sometimes, it gives me stability.
How does your artistic approach change when the art form changes? Which blank sheet is harder to fulfill?
Surely the one I write on. When I work on some graphics, even if it can be hard or I can feel less inspired, there is still some automatisms I learned throughout experience. With music it’s different, I can’t and I don’t want to pretend, write things just to fill in, you know?
You designed some of the most popular covers of the last few years, tell us: your favorite one, the one you would change if you were to do it again and the one you absolutely want to make.
My favorite one is definitely the one for Famous Dex and Asap Rocky, “pick it up”. As soon as I listened to the track, I made that cover, then I made others to propose a few but luckily they chose that one. It’s one of those that speak my language, very simple but with a few details in the right place. There are covers I wouldn’t make again but, until I get paid, I can make them again no problem. Regarding my dream, obviously is to work with/for Kanye West but maybe I should put it aside because now he entered this trip of making random things, however, I worked on a secret project with his team and it was as interesting as difficult. Let’s say I’d like to work with someone who’s got a harsh taste, because everyone just compliments me, Ahahaha.
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Famous Dex, Pick it Up (feat. A$AP Rocky). Official Single Cover, 2017.
Among the many covers you’re author of, there’s also your own album’s ones, is it harder to work when you know the entire creative process hiding behind a project or when, instead, it’s someone else’s project?
It’s strange, it’s not easier or harder because when I have to create something for myself, from one side I know that somehow I’ll bring it home and hardly it would be something far from my world but, from the other, there’s such a vast range of opportunities that makes me go crazy. It’s like when you go to those restaurants with millions of dishes, cool eh, but I don’t know what to chose.
How important is the aesthetic vision for a musician?
Fundamental. I believe I am one of the few that always cared about it, even when I was making mixtapes and working for minor artists.
In the occasion of Milano Music Week you designed adidas Original x Santeria’s artwork, what did you want to represent and what has majorly inspired you during the making process?
I had to describe the world of music, linked to art and city. I see these things as deconstructed forms, different levels but well tidied up between them. Forms apparently unlinked but that together they make something new, different.
You’ve created a playlist for us, what led you to the choice of these tracks?
It’s a playlist with all the American songs I created covers for.
ph: Pietro Cocco
Ph: Carolina Amoretti