Tête à Tête with Fatima Al Qadiri

Fatima Al Qadiri is an artist, musician and composer working in New York. She composed the soundtrack for our Men's Fall/Winter 2014 show and her track Szechuan, from her album Asiatisch, is the sound heard on our FALL 2014 experience. KENZINE had the pleasure of chatting to her about Asiatisch and her collaborations with KENZO.


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KENZINE: Besides your solo career under your own name you have many different projects, including AYSHAY and collaborations with Visionist; lately, you started Future Brown with J-Cush and Nguzunguzu, who also created a soundtrack for KENZO in 2012. Do you find that constant dialogue and collaboration with other artists is important to evolving your music?

FATIMA AL QADIRI: Collaborations occur naturally, I don't overthink the process. Although Future Brown in particular is an evolution because of the number of artists involved in the project.  

K: Can you tell us about how you approached the mix for the KENZO men’s Fall/Winter 2014 show, composed with some of your music from your album Desert Strike?

F.A.Q.: It was a conversation with Carol and Humberto in person that decided which tracks were used. Really swift and to the point - my favorite kind of approach. 

K: The KENZO Fall/Winter collections draw on the mystery of the Pacific-Northwest states of the U.S.: Lynch’s Twin Peaks, the distorted light you find there and things not being what they seem. Is that a part of the country you are familiar with?

F.A.Q.: The only part of the West Coast I've been to is L.A. But Twin Peaks is a global cult favorite so it's an ongoing reference for artists.


K: Your song Szechuan from your latest album Asiatisch is the soundtrack to the KENZO Fall 2014 3D video experience. Carol and Humberto’s latest Sprint/Summer 2015 collection for KENZO take an outsider’s view of Parisian culture; would you the say the same about your view on China for Asiatisch? Where did you find the references for your imagined China, and how did the album start?

F.A.Q.: Yes, I would say it's an outsider's view of China, but maybe add that it's a colonial and post-colonial mutant. My references are everything the Western media has fed me about China, plus its historic fungus. The album started by accident when I didn't follow exact instructions given to me by the artists Shanzai Biennial on a nonsense-Mandarin acapella of Nothing Compares 2 U. 

K: At KENZO, a worldly curiosity influences every part of what we do. Your music seamlessly captures that same curiosity. I imagine you travel a lot but do you find that the internet can be the ultimate portal to other cultures?

F.A.Q.: The internet is an immediate portal to other cultures without the sensual
aspect, the juiciest part.


K: The city that most inspires you?

F.A.Q.: New York.


K: Describe yourself in a sentence.

F.A.Q.: Operating on predictive patterns.   


K: What was the last thing you saw, heard, felt or saw that moved you?

F.A.Q.: Going to Dia Beacon. It has the combination atmosphere of spa and crematorium. A holistic horror.