Interview: Five more minutes with Mattia Cupelli

The exploration of time is one that has captured many a person’s imagination. Forward, back, at a stop and the fleeting impermanence of it has driven many a mind to curiosity. Mattia Cupellli both celebrates and mourns its passing with the newly released music video created for his latest single, ‘MONOLITH’. A long time favourite of ours, the news that this single was only the first of a series of releases leading up to a full-length album created quite a stir. RUINS, slated for release on the 9th of July, is the next step in the evolution of the producer.

Stream/ Download: ‘MONOLITH’

As we look ahead in anticipation of the rest of Cupelli’s upcoming releases, curiosity drove us to rediscover the mind of the musician himself, as we return for another exclusive interview. If you’re feeling a little lost, we recommend checking out the last time we sat down and chatted – link to the previous interview here. Naturally, a lot has changed in the last two years and were eager to see how the producer has learnt to adapt. Catch it all, below:

Hi Mattia, thank you for speaking with us again. What are you up to today?

Hi, glad to be here again. Today I’ll just go on the same obsession with music!

Your latest single, ‘MONOLITH’ is darkly ambient and covers time, art and the human being in between. Tell us about the inspiration for this track?

Well, the most obvious inspiration is the magic 2001:A space Odyssey by Kubrick, the mysterious Monolith that appears in the movie just inspired me to reflect on the meaning of idles, temples and symbols across the time. As well as who we are and who have we been, what is our purposes, what about religions and how all this reflects on our modern society. Maybe we just created new gods and temples in a new digital space, pretending to be above our past, but in the end, we are just the same humans that built a pyramid or made an ancient empire fall before the Christ.

What is your favourite song on your upcoming LP, RUINS – what shouldn’t fans sleep on and why?

I don’t really have a favourite song. RUINS is for sure a solid stand-alone project – every piece of it is for the whole final image. It’s definitely an experimental album, I’ve gone deep on the research of my sound and it was influenced by the last Nicolas Jaar record “Cenizas”, which I loved. I want to somehow rework this evocative reverberate echoing sound, reflecting the themes of the album (and all my music) as Time, Art and Human Being.

The people can expect a heavy thoughtful journey, no time for a lot of brighter moments and any happy ending, just a precise grey shade of human emotions.

In our previous interview, you mentioned that you like to reinvent yourself with each project. How did you reinvent yourself for this LP?

Yes, I love to add project after project a front to the prism that is my musical way. On RUINS, I tried to experiment more on the piano, leaving all these annoying cliches of pop piano music behind me. Furthermore, I moved on using raw vocal lines and experimented a lot with my modular system.

Also, the entire sound became darker and deeper. I completely lost any orchestral influence and gained some new inspiration from experimental electronic producers such as Tim Hecker, Forest Swords and sure Nicolas Jaar.

Your work is frequently accompanied by music videos featuring dramatic scenes of nature. Tell us about the creation of these videos?

Video and music in our era are closer than ever before. Digital procedural art and experimental music are almost one thing itself, over just music or video. The opportunity that came to me with this new music to produce some professional videos really gave me the chance to represent in a more precise way what I want to communicate. The nature to me is the perfect representation of staticism of time, something of sempiternal.

What were some of the challenges you faced last year?

Well, I have been “blocked” in writing music a few times. I was searching for myself and I was confused about my music. At the time, I didn’t know if I was going to fully experiment on electronic music or just stay in some of my old piano music comfort zone that I was not anymore really into. I wanted something new. So, in the end, I think I find some compromises with RUINS. Also, the pandemic situation didn’t help. Having no new inputs or influences during this year has heavily forced me to find them in a new way. The creative process in this period was really strange – there was something wrong in the air that was killing the process of creativity.

Let’s move on to something positive – tell us about two good things that happened to you this year?

This year I had a lot of changes. Including some more technical ones in my home studio which constantly change and evolve, and this helps me to stay creative and experiment more and more. I’m really happy with my musical growth, I feel more professional and comfortable in my music. I am day after day closer to my “real” me as an artist. I still have the world to learn but this year, I felt for the first time a real musician. Not many other things have changed then, the coronavirus didn’t help create great changes, unfortunately.

One last thought to leave your fans with?

I hope you will enjoy RUINS. I suggest just entering into the mood of it, in the atmospheric mystical and dark ambience of the sound. I also want to thank all the fans around the world for constantly supporting my music over the years. I know that my music changes as I do, but a lot of people still enjoy it. I’m so happy about this

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By Sarah Britton