\\WAVES: The Message (Roma)
Discover the project \\WAVES through the words of Rocco founder of \\WAVES 🖤
\\WAVES is a concept driven playlist mixing graphic design with music. What more to dream of ?
In addition to an interview about his passion and works, our Italian brother has prepared for Radio Loubard a featured playlist that you'll find at the end of the interview.
🇮🇹FORZA //WAVES & RADIO LOUBARD🇫🇷
Hey Rocco, happy to see you here! How is it going in Rome during these times?
Hey César! Thanks for having me. Things in Rome are holding up pretty well - I hope things are well in Marseille, too!
Can you explain the concept of \\WAVES? What was the motivation behind starting the project?
\\WAVES was created as a way to pay tribute to the music I love and to make people discover and enjoy that very same music in the easiest way possible. I sometimes describe this project as "a visual gateway to music", and I really believe that description summarizes the whole concept. Looping animated artworks are periodically posted on Instagram, each time dedicated to a different song or playlist. This takes people to the \\WAVES Spotify channel – with the hope they will stumble upon some tunes they like!
You found quickly a great success and – I guess – good feedback from other people. What kind of people is following you? Are they more musicians or designers?
Well, thanks! I'm glad you believe so (we definitely need to find an agreement on what we believe is "success", ha!). Things are generally going well, and the project fueled quite a lot of my freelance activity. Plus, I often collaborate with friends and colleagues who don’t just like the project but are also happy to help keep it on track. I think that the audience is well balanced between the two categories you mentioned, music and design – a crossover audience for a crossover project, how could I ask for more?
The hip-hop/trap scene and the electronic music scene have built for a few years a strong relationship with a certain style of graphic design. What you're proposing on others tracks brings a new way of seeing an artist. Do you think that a re-imagined graphic style on an album can reflect something different from the artist?
I'm glad that what I'm doing is perceived as something new – in fact, I was trying to create some hybrid between very contemporary stuff and other things retro, grabbing inspiration from literally everything – including the trap scene!
I'm intrigued by the idea that a song is often cemented in our memory thanks to a strong visual counterpart, so one of the main objectives of \\WAVES is really to play on that fascinating mind trick. I hope not to deliver anything too distant from the artist's original vision, though! I aim to channel their narrative, so I really try to keep myself out of the equation and just make the music speak for itself.
The graphic design community on Instagram is really important and allows both graphic designers and “design aficionados” to discover new things. Was it important for you to add the discovery of music through graphic design?
It was just the natural choice – the medium I'm more confident with is graphic design, and the knowledge I felt the need to share was all about music – or, more generally, about entertainment. There are so many things I started to love because I saw a movie or I heard a song – so, when I began to build a project that aims to facilitate discovery and inspiration, I found myself using graphic design as the core architecture.
During these times, I think that music helped a lot of people to keep positivity and joy. How did you see the role of music – and more widely arts – during the pandemic?
Music will always be one of the most intimate support for any of us: songs are just like movies but compressed in a few, intense minutes and able to encapsulate a story that can resonate with us. Whatever the emotional state we're into, I'm pretty sure there's a song that speaks just about that! Probably that's also one of the reasons why the music industry is an ever-flourishing business – with lots of its fascination coming from its ability to elevate the most unique performers to the rank of celebrities. Luckily, many of them used such influence to take action against the pandemic, by promoting the use of masks, vaccines and other Covid-relief initiatives. So, it's nice to see that music is a branch of art and business which keeps a very grounded – and heartfelt – connection with the reality that surrounds us.
What is your relationship with music?
I grew up listening to many different genres, realizing after a while that "the more things you like, the more things you'll like". This operates exponentially and, in my case, it’s particularly easy with music. I also believe music is a tremendous political medium, and I respect artists who use their art to convey a message useful to the community. Rage Against The Machine are probably still the best socially-driven music act you'll be able to find, and among my fave bands ever.
What kind of music you’re listening to when you’re working for clients?
The playlist I mostly listen to is the one with all the recent discoveries, which is continuously refreshed. So, one track could be a symphonic piece while the next could be a crossover between deep house, hardcore punk, and k-pop – a lovely randomness from which I select the songs for the \\WAVES mixes. Anyway, this is the playlist I play more often in general, not only when I'm working!
If you could work for any artist or band, dead or alive, which one would you choose?
Trent Reznor! I would do anything which is even just remotely Reznor-related, ha!
How do you see the future now? (Give us positive energy!!)
Speaking of \\WAVES, I think that the direction taken is… right-ish, I guess? Speaking of the future in a broader sense, I'd say society always finds itself in the same situation, where there's so much good we could achieve but, due to self-interest, we always end up in an unnecessarily troubled world. Doesn't matter if we're talking about relationships between two people or two countries – a more collaborative world is a better world, and very slowly, we're heading towards that direction.
Would you have maybe 3-4 artists to let us discover?
Let me think about some new hot stuff.. Jagwar Ma are a wholesome Australian electro-psychedelic act, and I just can't wait for their next release. Then we have Coma Cose, a very talented Italian duo which also happens to be a couple – go listen to their last album, "Hype Aura"! You don't need to understand Italian to enjoy it! "Ok" by Otherkin is a smashing rock album, and I'm super sad they split up after just one LP. Those three bands are all relatively young and hugely underestimated!
Other things to share with us (Books, movies, documentaries etc…)?
The recent years were really a deep dive into the comedy scene for me. Allow me to highlight probably the best standup comedian of his generation, Jim Jefferies. So good I use his shows to introduce standup to those who aren't into it – successfully, until now! Netflix has some specials of him, and This Is Me Now and Freedumb are just top notch!
Could you maybe introduce us to your playlist?
Crossing Grasslands was specifically crafted with a countryside roadtrip in mind. Since I was a kid, my family loved to travel by car across the country. I remember spending a lot of time with my headphones, in awe while watching the Italian landscape flowing through the windshield – just as depicted in the cover artwork! I wanted to create a soundtrack for this particular setup because I love the memory of it, and I still get lost in the same way whenever I travel. I hope that those who listen to this playlist will connect with that feeling – and maybe discover some music they didn't know before.
That said, really thanks again for having me here! I hope you'll enjoy the playlist – and that everyone will soon be able to take as many roadtrips as they want!