For the past 2 years, Sol Selectas have been releasing one record after the other defying the essence of electronic dance music, culturally, musically and visually. The label has defined its particular sound as a spectrum that hangs in the twilight between deep grooves and ancient ethnic souls. To project that soundscape into our field of vision, artist Helia Jamali have been designing the artwork that has become as iconic as the music itself.
Last summer, we were graced by the groundbreaking Summer Sol, that took over charts and dancefloors around the world, of which we had the honour of reviewing it pre-release. This summer, Sol Selectas take us on a trip around the globe with Summer Sol II, to arrive in a land where the ancient rhythms and tribal roots of every culture blend in harmony. Summer Sol II brings together 25 artists, from 17 different countries, with music written in 7 different languages. Each song has specific qualities to improve your mood, and enlighten your “SOL”.
On Summer Sol II we have Nico Sun, KMLN, Armen Miran, and Sabo, together with Uner, Nicola Cruz, Be Svendsen, and many more on the journey. Listening to the album start to finish is actually an overwhelming experience full emotions, culture and memories of things you never knew you had.
The artwork that was done by Helia Jamali transforms this cosmic trip around the world into an effortless swim around the a connected globe. We had a conversation with her to detail her input on the persona of Sol Selectas and how she took a major part in growing the label to become one of the most innovative labels shaping the landscape and soundscape of music around the world.
The Sol Selectas visual direction walks hand-in-hand with its music, what’s the story that brought us this synergistic artistry?
I have always been a fan of Sabo’s work and Sol Selectas. I think his music has so much life in it, and it captures beautiful feelings. When I first met Sabo and he told me he was planning to rebrand Sol Selectas, I knew this would be a perfect project for me. It was something that I have been waiting for all my life. To simply be able to listen to the music that I love, and based on the feelings that I get from the sound, create art for it. And have an open minded audience to showcase it to. After I did the first cover art for Sol Selectas and redesigned the Sol icon, we got such great feed back that we decided to extend our partnership. Since then we have been working on curating the Sol Selectas showcase parties, finding new talents, and a few other projects together.
Your photography, collages, illustrations and design all lead to portraying the musical pieces in great detail, how do you go around translating the artist’s sounds into a visual experience.
I think the most important factor of being successful in anything is having fun while you’re doing it. You must enjoy the process, otherwise there is no way to transfer the right message. I really enjoy listening to our new releases. I listen to each song over and over. I try to capture the essence and feelings of the sound. I think every sound is connected to an image or a color. Then I put the colors and images together to create a visual story out of it. The music that we release comes from all around the world so it’s always fun to dive into different cultures and study their art to discover new things about them. Also nature plays a big roll in my work, I’m always inspired by it. I enjoy the contrast between different landscapes around the world. From oceans to mountains, jungles and deserts, I love them all.
Summer Sol I, was one of the biggest releases of last summer. Summer Sol II is even bigger. Your artwork is the face of these masterpieces changing the world of music, and they became somehow iconic. Tell us how do you make it so special yet keep it so simple. What’s your story with SOL II.
Summer Sol is a very special release for us. It’s music with purpose. With the current political situations in our planet and all the separations around us, it’s very important to do projects that bring artists from around the world together, to show that we can still all unite, and co-exist in peace, as one. It’s essential to keep the artwork iconic but yet simple, so that everyone can relate to it. It doesn’t represent a specific part of the world, but rather our planet as a whole. Also, summer is my favorite season, my name ‘Helia’ means sun in Greek, and I love swimming. So you can see how connected I am with our Summer Sol releases.
I think Summer Sol artworks are mostly effective because none of them are staged or forced. They are just normal happenings in a regular day. For example, the first Summer Sol cover is a photo of my sister that I randomly captured while she was pregnant, and we were going swimming almost every day. When Sabo told me about the first Summer Sol release, I told him that I think I have the perfect photo for it, and it turned out to be a huge success. For the second Summer Sol release I used a photo of me that Sabo took while we were in Mexico as I was swimming in this amazing infinity pool. It made sense as a sort of continuation from the 1st release, and it just felt like a great addition to the series. It is a zoomed out version of summer sol one with a little bit of magic added to it to make it look like I’m swimming over the planet earth. It just felt right so we decided to go with it. Our main mission is to bring happiness in peoples lives with art and music, and we really hope everyone is enjoying this as much as we do.
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