Born in 1993, producer, DJ, musician, sound designer contaminated by fashion and cinema, Thomas Costantin is an aesthete in the absolute sense. He has absorbed so many different artists and influences that, paradoxically, he never gives in to the temptation to emulate anyone. Only David Bowie, he says, has influenced him ‘always and forever’. He calls himself ‘The Man in Red’, but he is also the man of mystery.
In you the producer feeds off the musician and the DJ, but also conceptual art, fashion, the cinephile…
It’s all very natural for me. I forced myself from a young age to think that even though music is my passion, it has to be an all-round job, not a weekend passion.
Could you ever fit into one dimension?
Every time I tried, I wasn’t happy. I get bored easily. I am now working on three records by other artists, all completely different.
How did the nickname “Man in Red” come about? Do you still feel it is yours?
Absolutely, yes. It is not my alter ego, but a colour that characterizes me, it gives me a slightly magical feeling. Then “Man in Red” also became the name of a project I started with NFT. It is a colour but also a bit of my signature.
“I work at night, so with everything to do with movement, looks, outfits, all aspects that belong to me”
Let’s talk about the relationship that You, as an artist, have built with your body, a constant tool, sometimes serving as a dummy or palette. Has it always been like that?
Let’s say yes, although I wouldn’t call myself an exhibitionist. I have always been a lover of dance though, and then I work at night, so with everything to do with movement, looks, outfits, all aspects that belong to me but must never be vulgar or sexually too explicit.
Speaking of nightlife: club music is still associated with B-list entertainment. What do you think of this stereotype?
That it is a bit Italian, because in the rest of the world great importance is given to the genre. Just think of all the international electronic music festivals. In France, Germany or the UK clubbing is part of the popular culture, here at some point this idea has been abandoned.
“I don’t have a single stylistic vision, as always, I let myself be contaminated by several things”
In your latest album, Destination Experience, I have the impression that the rhythm you seek becomes more and more pounding and percussive. Almost as if digitization was being taken to extremes…
Think that the record is actually analogue. The album was worked with an analogue chain (an upgrade made from digital to analog made possible by collaboration with producer Francesco Frilli at the Heavy Soul Studio in Florence), so there is a different sound than usual. More present, however, is the concept of the loop, which becomes almost a mantra. There are pieces, such as “Melted Music”, which touch on rhythms that are unheard of to me, almost a minimalist reggaeton, or “Big Mess” and “Stolen Season2, which have almost pop overtones, with verse, refrain and synth repeating a leitmotif; or “Space Vertigo”, in which there is even a poem, with a parallelism between states of consciousness and exploration linked to the psychedelic world.
How did consulting for fashion houses come about? The sound designer is not really a well-known figure…
I don’t have a single stylistic vision, as always, I let myself be contaminated by several things. For music creatives, fashion is a very open context in which there is great demand. Indeed the figure of the sound designer is little known, although it is essential because, behind the image of a fashion brand, there is always a musical world, for example Gucci or Balenciaga.
“The world of eroticism is very important for human beings, it is also what pushes us forward a bit”
Your main focus is David Bowie, why?
His figure is incredible because, before he became a phenomenon, nobody gave a shit about him, he did a lot of unprecedented things, with a totally unconventional vision. A great admiration was born in me for the non-bourgeois, truly rock’n’roll artist. Bowie only cared about his music, he ignored the market, as Mina always did in Italy.
In your songs I find an erotic, even pornographic dimension. In the collective imagination the artist feeds on his own suffering, are you inspired more by pain or eros?
By eros, absolutely. There will probably be a part of my career also inspired by sadness and suffering, but today I am in an age of ‘extreme’ discovery. The world of eroticism is very important for human beings, it is also what pushes us forward a bit, like clubbing.
Talent Thomas Costantin
Editor in Chief Federico Poletti
Text Chiara Del Zanno
Photographer Cuba Tornado Scott
Art direction Daniele Cavalli
Location Studio Abside (Florence)
© Riproduzione riservata