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Artsper presents Rami Mekdachi

Artsper presents Rami Mekdachi

Rami Mekdachi is a man of many talents. The founder's history influences his many projects, including the lifestyle brand Lola James Harper. Born in Beirut, Lebanon and raised in Paris, France, Rami Mekdachi's art is infused with his love for travel and music. Involved in filmmaking, artistic direction, and even fragrance crafting... Meet the man behind the creative brand with Artsper ! 

1. Hello Rami! Art seems to be a huge part of your life. You're a director, a photographer, an art director, a writer, a musician and more recently an entrepreneur with Lola James Harper, your lifestyle brand... Can you tell us about how all these worlds come together?

Hello and thank you for the privilege of speaking with you. It's true that photography, video, music, perfume and writing are precious tools to share how marvelous this world is. It's full of incredible scenes, touching and inspiring characters and sounds, moving philosophies and scents. Photography captures the moment, perfume captures the emotion, music captures the energy and words capture history...

2. There's a story behind every fragrance you create... They're reminiscent of different cultures. Is making scents a way to share your love for freedom and traveling?

Perfume is a revelator of the past and perfume and music are both invisible and impalpable, which gives them a unique spiritual and emotional dimension. We can neither see nor touch a smell or a sound... To apprehend them we link them to emotions and memories, to our personal journey, to our past and even sometimes to our waking dreams... In these two domains I compose notes to create harmonies and I use the collective imagination, myths, archetypes to navigate in my creative world...

I wanted to share my memories of inspiring and touching places through my perfumes, while still keeping some mystery about them. The idea is to leave room for dreams, to stimulate the imagination through the scent and the mysterious names written on the label, to offer everyone the possibility to dream about these inspiring places that I discovered while traveling around the world with my family. That's also why in my photography there is no character, clothing, fashion nor recent cars. I wanted mystery and to blur the lines, letting each one imagine the place, the decade and tell their own story...

3. Can you share your latest artistic discovery with us?

My daughter is studying contemporary dance and I am discovering with her the synergy between movement and sound, between rhythm and space... Interviews with Trisha Brown or Merce Cunningham are a real treasure trove of inspiration and open up the way to mix music, movement and space. I am thus in the process of exploring new shooting angles and new editing techniques for my next films...

4. What has been your favorite project since the creation of Lola James Harper?

My favorite project is Lola James Harper and all the encounters I've been lucky enough to have in the last 10 years thanks to the brand...

5. You founded a lifestyle brand, a term that merges art, fragrances, friendship and other simple pleasures of life. You believe in the energy of places and people. Where do you draw your energy from?

Absolutely, I believe in the energy of places and people. Everyday I get my energy by sharing nice moments with my daughter, my son and my wife, by making all my phone calls while walking in the city, by enjoying a coffee in a coffee shop, by going regularly to a record shop to discover new artists and talking with the salesman, by playing basketball with my son on one of our favorite street basketball courts, going to the Lola James Harper Studio, in Les Batignolles, to share a moment with a friend, an artist, my daughter or my son, a member of our team or a partner to play music in our studio in the basement, or watching a recent montage of one of our films in our TV-room while scrolling through the collections of photographs or simply sharing a tea while chatting about everything and nothing at the same time...

Living is about inspiring and expiring, if we don't find inspiration regularly we risk expiring, right? 

6. You were born in Beirut, you grew up in Paris, and you travel regularly to the United States... How do you think these different environments have influenced your aesthetic approach?

To travel and live elsewhere is to open one's field of understanding and expression, to realize that each place and each moment has its own rhythm and its intrinsic set of values and that the only option is to live WITH all these magnificent realities that manage to coexist.

7. Finally, what advice would you give to a young artist who is full of imagination and energy and who would like to start their career?

I would start by highlighting the fact that satisfaction is an essential propeller to continue dreaming and creating. Satisfaction is the distance between the goal we set and the result we achieve... You have to know how to set tons of mini-goals to find satisfaction along this very long creative and artistic path. There is no finish line, there are only an infinite number of steps... You have to know how to enjoy each step and celebrate them, stop thinking, "it's good but there is still this thing I need to do," because there will always be "this thing you need to do". You have to celebrate the steps and be satisfied with them to have enough energy to enjoy the next one and pass the creative milestones.

Oh, and also, you need to find a creative collaborator, a friend with whom to share your progress and research, with whom you can celebrate and fill yourself with satisfaction. You need a creative ally with whom you can rejoice and inspire each other... I'm not talking about an association or a legal bond, I'm talking about a benevolent friend with whom you can share your accomplishments and your questions. You have to know how to listen to yourself and to others, to move forward and to feel a real joy in sharing your work without putting too much pressure on each step. Live, dream and share...

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