Italian artist Francesco Carresi also known as Kommando, gets in touch with the music world in his early childhood, period in which he started studying piano, drums, and guitar in a prestigious Tuscan Academy. A DJ/Musician/Producer, and ‘Circo Nero’ resident, Kommando is traveling all over the globe, playing at some of the best clubs and festivals like Cocoricò (Riccione, Italy), Laylah (Ibiza, Spain), Amnesia (Milan, Italy), Amma Club (Cancun, Mexico), Tantra (Ibiza, Spain), Habana Ciudad Electrónica, Festival De Cannes, ADE, and many others.
Now, Kommando is behind the drop of his latest record, ‘PIGGYBANK’. We caught up with the Italian artist to learn more about the release, his travels, experiences, and much more.
EG: Hello Francesco! It’s great to have you here with us today! How have you been? How did your art path begin and where did your stage name come from?
Kommando: Hello and first of all thank you for this invitation! For me, being interviewed by you is a great thrill!
Kommando is a project that was born for fun about ten years ago. Both of my parents are musicians and I still remember that, when I was just 3-4 years old, on the drive from home to kindergarten and back, we listened to artists like Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Limp Bizkit and many more.
EG: Looking back on your path, it’s obvious that you have already experimented with different musical genres… but which one do you feel most comfortable in?
Kommando: I really have so many impulses and ideas buzzing in my head. Even in terms of recording I am (and I consider it an added value) “confused”, a sort of fluid, genderless artist. Currently, a techno Detroit in a happy key with house, funk, and disco influences is the one that manages to give me the most satisfaction, especially in DJ sets. I love French Touch and breakbeat, jazz, and garage house and I’m in constant research and experimentation, in short … I’m taking shape.
Such complex and wonderful sounds, shot in my ears when I was just a child, led to me a sense of awareness, a desire to discover, to research. A kind of insatiable appetite that will become in future my sentence or my salvation. Growing up I studied piano and drums in a music academy, the guitar as autodidact instead. I plunged headlong into this world, that already seemed boundless to me, discovering in it another endless universe: electronic music. Like probably most DJs, I started playing during school parties too. This made me feel so good that I bought my first toy console.
The DJ, a figure who showed up in the right place and at the right time, the perfect piece of the puzzle that uniquely connects people and music, which creates an extraordinary connection of pure energy made of giving and receiving. Since I love to dance, I realized that behind the console I could have more fun and move freely, avoiding being squeezed between people. It was love at first sight, pure adrenaline that allowed me to understand what I wanted to be in the future.
Why Kommando? ‘Captain Commando’, an arcade game that I loved to play when I was just a child, was a name that has always stuck in my mind, which I wrote down at school. One word in particular and, just for fun, I changed a letter… The C became K and the name became Kommando, my lucky charm.
EG: We are living in the era of the web and marketing, what do you think about this?
Kommando: This digital period has, as often happens, its pros and cons. On the one hand, I can communicate and share my music with the whole world in a few clicks, and everyone has the opportunity to express themselves better and fairly, which is absolutely fantastic! On the other hand, this excessive exposure creates a very saturated panorama, where emerging and getting noticed becomes increasingly difficult, thus generating competition.
An emerging artist can no longer limit himself to the process of musical creation and conception but must take charge, especially at the beginning, of the communicative, graphic, and promotional aspects of its contents. Something which I personally love!
EG: You have begun a beautiful collaboration with a fashion designer. Can you tell us a little about this?
Kommando: Sure! I’m collaborating with TheCube Archive, founded by fashion designers Stefano Chiassai and Corinna Chiassai. TheCube Archive is a collection of vintage men’s clothing and accessories, a small treasure that was an internal work tool at Studio Chiassai, a stylistic consultancy firm that for 40 years has been designing collections for the biggest brands in the fashion world, including Fendi Uomo, to name just one.
Our collaboration begins thanks to Marius Hordijk, Director of TheCube and a great lover of music and emerging music talents. The feeling that was created immediately between me, Corinna, and Marius allowed us to explore all the potential of TheCube, taking a cue from vintage clothing in the archive, but also designing custom KOMMANDO clothes.
Fashion and music have a love story that has always seen them as accomplices, contaminating and reinforcing each other. This is an occasion for which I am enormously grateful, especially for their great confidence in me. An extraordinary journey that allows me to express myself even more.
“Since I love to dance, I realized that behind the console I could have more fun and move freely, avoiding being squeezed between people. It was love at first sight, pure adrenaline that allowed me to understand what I wanted to be in the future”
EG: The great energy you put into your DJ sets is striking, while having fun at the same time… can we say that you have a very ‘healthy’ lifestyle?
Kommando: As I said before, I love to dance and have fun, I try with all my strength to convey to the audience to create the famous connection we were talking about earlier. From my point of view, the artist / DJ becomes a sort of director who disposes of not just music and instruments, but also the dancing bodies of people. Music is my healthy lifestyle. I started working on myself for some time, studying philosophies that help me grow as a human being and as an artist, the last of which is ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle.
I love sports, especially team ones, and studying languages… I am obsessed with this… I would like to be able to speak as many languages as possible, primarily because of the great mental flexibility that only study of a foreign language can give, and, at the same time, for the respect and gratitude for the country that is hosting me at that moment.
Learning pleasantries, greeting, thanking, having a short conversation… they are great little gestures that brings me closer to the people I meet during my travels. The emotions I experienced, and which I also hope to have transmitted, for example, at the first Electronic Music Festival in Havana, Cuba, and at the Illuzion in Phuket, Thailand, remain indelible and are the lifeblood, these like all the other dates, for my mental status.
EG: Do you think it is important to focus on ‘Made in Italy’?
Kommando: Made in Italy is universal excellence recognized globally. I am grateful for being born in Italy, for what has been passed on to me, especially in terms of culture. Gastronomy, fashion, architecture, and art, in general, are certainly the pride of our nation. I hope one day to become part of the ‘Made in Italy’ music world, leaving a mark on it.
EG: Do you prefer Italy or abroad?
Kommando: I don’t think I can make a choice about it as they go hand in hand from my point of view. Italy is the country that gave me life and to which I owe everything; family, friends, people who believed in me when I needed them most. I come from a small Tuscan company and, as often happens for many artists, being successful internationally is a sign of redemption, it is like breaking down a wall that the province often puts in front of you.
Playing outside Italy was, and will always be an indescribable emotion. Being in a culture different from one’s own is an extraordinary experience that I address to myself, and which, at the same time, I dedicate to the people who are waiting for me at home.
EG: You’re currently led by the Stranomondo Agency that follows you step by step, but how was your first approach to the world of entertainment like?
Kommando: Leandro Bisenzi, current CEO of Stranomondo Agency, is the person who led Tenax in Florence among the first clubs in the world. From 1997 to 2007, the year in which he sold it, he was a partner and art director, bringing to his club some artists of the caliber of Daft Punk (for the first time in Italy), as well as The Chemical Brothers, Danny Tenaglia, and many others (see his complete history at www.stranomondoagency.com).
Having his eyes on me made me feel flattered, and in less than 4 years I have been able to play in countries like Mexico, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Cuba, Thailand, and many others, in addition of course to the numerous dates in Italy.
“A container that, in order to be opened, needs irreversible action, a breaking… and what better metaphor than the piggy bank that once broken can no longer be fixed?”
EG: Now let’s talk about your musical productions…We know you have your new ‘PIGGYBANK’ album out now. What can you tell us about that?
Kommando: Yes exactly! The quarantine, a period of standstill and stasis, was a reason for great reflection, I felt the need to look inside myself and see what I had matured in this lapse of time; to correct mistakes, grow as a person and as an artist, comparing myself to a physical container that had accumulated new sounds inside it, emotions, sensations and all those elements that made me become what I am today.
A container that, in order to be opened, needs irreversible action, a breaking… and what better metaphor than the piggy bank that once broken can no longer be fixed? The content that comes out of the container is the sharing of my music with others and, at the same time, a journey to discover myself, what I had to say and to tell after this time.
‘PIGGYBANK’ is the Kommando album. Five songs, including three collaborations that tell my past, present, and future story. The characterizing element of this project is my voice. Singing is starting to make its way through my productions.
EG: Who were you inspired by in the past and who would you like to co-produce with in the future?
Kommando: I was listening to the live album ‘Alive 2007’ for the first time, precisely track number 8: ‘One More Time / Aerodynamic’ … without warning, all the Paris audience explodes in a roar that almost stops time. The heartbeat accelerates and goosebumps arrive. It’s the wonderful electric guitar solo that I knew very well, but not in this variant. Daft Punk had created a completely different song and there I thought: ‘I want to do it too. I want to make my music feel the same emotions that they made me and those people feel’.
Daft Punk, genius and simplicity. The duo that inspired me and led me to choose this job, above all to want it. With only four albums they wrote the history of music and then they left the stage, gods. Over the years there have been many artists who have guided and inspired me, teaching me a lot, especially in the branch of discography.
To name just a few, it would be an honor to collaborate with artists such as Eats Everything, The Blessed Madonna, Tiga, Darius Syrossian, Maya Jane Coles, and many more. Speaking instead of the Pop scene, Maestro Stromae will forever remain a secret dream, and to participate in one of his concerts first of all.
EG: Thank you for your time Francesco!