RKOMI, born Mirko Manuele Martorana in Milan and raised in Calvairate, quitted school when he was 17 and started working in a restaurant until he was 21, when his music was finally out and allowed him to make a living out of it. Swimming in between rap, indie, pop and a lot of different genres, RKOMI likes to think of his music as its own kind, in a world where there are more tags coming every day and a bigger need to stop using them. Kind and quick, we talk about music and creativity; he has recently launched “Dove gli occhi non arrivamo” his second studio album. The first one, “Io in terra”, was published in 2017 and got him right where he is at the moment: learning, growing, creating his own music, his own way. We sit to talk to him in Barcelona, where he is shooting some pictures for his upcoming collaboration with BERSHKA: he will be performing on September the 26th in a Bershka shop in Milan under the BERSHKA ON STAGE project, an initiative that is bringing some artists to play and create a collaboration with the brand. RKOMI x BERSHKA’s capsule collection is very him. As so his music.



You started working professionally in the music industry when you were 21. Was that the very moment when you started creating your own music?

When I was 21 I managed to work exclusively on my music, which is what I liked. But since I was 17 or 18 years old and I was already working in kitchens and restaurants, I was writing but not publishing my work. It was a piano piano thing, and in the end, there was just a year in which I was both working and already publishing my music out there.


I am not a big fan of tagging things, but if we were to define your music in some names, what would they be?

Unclassified. I don’t think there’s any tag you could apply on my music, and I am actually proud of that. Because I am influenced by so many things… I am a very curious person and I am interested in meeting people who knows a lot and people who knows less and out of that I get inspiration; mixing a little bit of this and that, I gather them all together and I create my music. I don’t think there are tags, but a bit of everything.


Well there’s a saying that creativity is what you see and read and learn, and applying yourself on top of that.

I do that too much. To me personally is a bit too much, a bit stressing, but for the music is phenomenal.


So it can be a bit too much.

Because I listen to everything, I live everything in such an intense way. A bit too intense.



What I have read is some media tagging you as indie rap.

I come from rap, but it has been a link, in between rap and indie. My music is all that, and pop, and everything.


How is your creative process?

Lately I have been meeting with a composer and starting from 0; I go there with some references that can be from any genre, and we meet and we create and this is how I start, and I can’t really explain how it happens for me and I would like to keep not knowing, because it is something magic. Less thought, and more emotion.


In your videos there are certain presence of an artistic universe, palazzos, scenes…

There is a lot of art because sometimes I would like not to appear on my videos, I make music and I would like to make music in a 360 way, and that is a part of me feeling the videos would be part of that music. And then there’s this part of me that understands that I have to appear in them; I would like to make just music and I like to be part of my videos, so it’s a dualism. And in this dualism I like to talk to my collaborators and say my thing on the videos, to find an artistic design for that song.



When you are producing or writing your music, do you also see it in colours or images?

I like that question, because I actually do. Every song I make means a colour for me. When I feel the beat and I start writing the first words, it has a colour and that is the colour that the piece will have.


So it is synaesthesia.



So how about “Dove Gli Occhi no Arrivamo”, the single from your last album?

It is green. “Blu” is actually called like that because of the blue colour.


And the album?
It’s orange, as you can actually see in the cover. I saw that colour and wanted to use it in some of the creative aspects.



On September the 26th you will be playing on BERSHKA ON STAGE, in Milan. How did this collaboration happen between you and the brand?

I guess Bershka saw on my profile what they were looking for, that was the first contact. From there I really liked working with the brand and create a capsule collection where I felt free, a product that I liked, which fitted really well with what Bershka was looking for. It was fun to create.


What are your next steps for this year?
I am working on two musical projects and some other things that I can’t say at the moment. I can’t stand still, and I would like to keep that way.


Your music is one of your ways of expression, but your creativity flows in other directions.

The other projects are not to produce music, but I think they will be part of my universe and my future music.


RKOMI will be in #BershkaOnStage Milano next 26th September.

Get more details and see the past shows live at www.onstagebershka.com