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Yuri Mesr about his joint release with CODERED
Hi, Yuri, how long have you been making music? Could you tell us how graffiti lifestyle affects music?
I have been making music for a long time. I went to music school in childhood for a year. As most of the kids, I never really wanted to go there; even the teacher told my parents that I had no ear in music. I wish to invite her to my concert now.
When I was o bit older and more conscious my mother used to give me the latest cassette tapes. Since then I’ve started listening music avidly. I have listened to any style: from eurodance to heavy metal.
Then there were Brazil and “Yo! MTV Raps” TV show. From the show, I realized that hip-hop is extremely cool. Then I started to cut loops from the cassettes and tried to record something in Real Audio format. In addition, constant Portuguese freestyle raping took place in the evenings.
However, after that I have entirely immersed into graffiti. I’ve returned back to hip-hop only in 2006, but this time with serious intentions.
Graffiti lifestyle is the street and that is a straight connection with hip-hop and rap.
Portuguese freestyle raping?
At first, I lived on the outskirts of the small town south of Brazil. To hang out downtown we walked, as there was no public transport available at night. We freestyled in a “make it up as you go along” manner to kill time. Nothing special, but it trained your vocabulary and flow well.
Could you tell us about your job and education?
Well, talking about education, I went to university in Brazil, but I was expelled on the third year of education.
As for job: I worked for some studios or agencies connected with the field of design all the time.
Your trip to Brazil has definitely affected your graffiti work. Could you tell us more about it?
Yes, there is no doubt, it definitely has. Initially, I drew pixo (pixacao — Brazilian tags in the form of runes). In 1997-98, when I saw local gangs marking their territory, I bought some paint too and made my first piece.
Afterwards, I visited a graffiti jam in San-Paulo. It totally changed my perception of graffiti. I think I brought some of that back to Moscow later.
Try to remember any significant moments of those two parts of your life. I mean the events that considerably affected your activity with a can in your hand and with a mic.
Probably after the return to Moscow the activity with a can have increased. Since in Brazil, initially, I was living in neither capital nor metropolis. In other words, the activity was not that high. And the skill also wasn’t.
I consider a significant event that our team was the third to do metro wholetrain after Take and Dery. The first wholecars, subways and so on.
As for mic, it happened probably after we have uploaded the “Шляпа” EP (Shlyapa - Russian for Hat) and received positive reviews. Overall, there was not much of moments. I still don’t consider myself a real rapper.
Do you feel discomfort when your creativity doesn’t show up? Do you take any measures to return to the state of activity?
I can never make myself “create” by force. That’s why the second album is not out yet. Sometimes Muse leaves to return twice stronger.
At this point, I am back to drawing as for now I find it more interesting.
Each creative person sometimes faces an extensive rethinking of his work, which may lead him whether to a new stage, new force, or a new style. Were there any similar events in your life? Did you ever want to give everything up and change your occupation? What was the reason? What stopped you?
I lean over backwards constantly. It is either graffiti or rap. I have an ever-changing interest in those things.
That is how it turns. I have a constant will to give up rap, especially when you see some much shit around. Moreover, I am too old to prove something to somebody. I have already proven to myself the most important.
Have your attitude towards music changed since you’ve started making it actively? Is there anything you gained or lost?
Yes, the approach is different. Before, we wrote verses together and now I write for long, thinking, sometimes deleting everything. I started listening to more 60-80s music. Tastes have changed in general.
Currently, who is in your crew and whom do you work with?
The most recent collaborations are The North Face, Nike, Huf and Anteater.
As for the crew, I have the same fighters as before. One Love One Crew! Hi to them!
The perfect inspiration for creativity is—
Moscow, friends, rain, summer, autumn, family, vinyls, jazz, movies, nature, metro, funk, streets, football, taxi at night, drawing.
Please underline as appropriate.
What do you think of collaborations and the result of joint creativity in a loose sense?
I write joint tracks only with the people I know and only when I am sure that we have something to say. Thus, and only thus. You can draw a line with productions in graffiti or going out to streetbomb at night only with the people you can trust!
Tell us about how you left Черная Экономика (Chyornaya economica - russian for Black Economics). What was the reason? Do you regret it?
I Left Черная Экономика due to creative differences. We all remained good friends after all and continue to perform together.
Can you say that you’ve achieved all you wanted? Do you have any creative plans?
Creativity is unpredictable. I would like to record our second album. All the Brazil sample based instrumentals done by CH33 team are ready. The only thing left is to get my thoughts together.
However, until it is summer, I would like to draw more often. In addition, I would l to try hand at lithography. I would like more tattoos. Назо (Nazo), some famous brewers and I are preparing a collaborative craft beer brewing soon, by МДТ (MDT) birthday. I guess you will hear about it later.
We are planning to release some clothes. We have ideas to release a book and a documentary. Actually, there are more than enough ideas as usual. It’s all about realization.
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