Our partner The Audo in Copenhagen interviewed Lola James Harper Founder, Rami Mekdachi, for their amazing periodical...
RAMI MEKDACHI IS A PHOTOGRAPHER, MUSICIAN, MOVIE DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER OF THE WORLDWIDE ART PROJECT LOLA JAMES HARPER. HE HAS SPENT FIFTEEN YEARS TRAVELING WITH HIS FAMILY OF FOUR, RECORDING MUSIC, FILMING MUSIC SESSIONS, ENCOUNTERS, TALKS AND ROADTRIPS. WE WERE CURIOUS ABOUT RAMI´S JOURNEY FROM THE IDEA OF A SCENT UNTIL PRODUCTION.
THE AUDO: WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOU REALISED YOU MUST CREATE LOLA JAMES HARPER?
RM: I was in Corsica in Calvi. I used to go there every summer for a retreat and everyday I used to “write my mind right” meaning taking the time with a pen and a notebook to sum up my past year and to check what was fulfilling, what to push forward and what to leave. In 2011, I realized that I had gathered so many photographs, songs and scents while creating and working with other artists and brands that I began to dream about gathering it all in one poetic project. And Lola James Harper was born.
TA: WE THINK YOU ARE A VERY INTUITIVE PERSON, SO WE ARE CURIOUS . HOW DOES A DAY LOOK LIKE IN THE LIFE OF RAMI MEKDACHI. WHAT IS YOUR SCHEDULE LIKE?
RM: A day is a great playground where I never do anything more that 2 hours. I never have a “music day” or a “photography day”. No, not at all. Every hour I shift from creating a scent to selecting pictures or mixing a song or calling my team mates Courtenay and Pauline in Los Angeles to share thoughts and then always few hours with my family for sure. Reading, watching a movie, writing, playing music and also few hours with the accountant or the logistic or the factory.
I really believe that when you look for an answer you always find it somewhere else. So never ever focusing too long on one subject is my little thing, it gives me a better perspective and global understanding.
TA: YOU SAID ONCE, ´WHEN I DO A PERFUME, BEFORE DECIDING ANYTHING, I LIVE WITH IT FOR ONE MONTH`. CAN YOU TELL US, HOW DO YOU DO THAT?
RM: Since I do not focus too long on anything, I always take everything with me for the day, week, month - to taint it with life and make interaction with my personal journey. If I have an idea, I will share it with everyone to see how it evolves. If I have a picture I will watch it few times through a week and see if it still sticks. If I edit 10 minutes of a movie I will send it to family, friends and movie partners to hear and feel their reaction and letting all that creates in me a new intuition for another step. If I compose with my friend and perfumer Benoist Lapouza an Eau de Toilette I will wear it and listen to what my friends and family will say without ever telling them that it is my creation, just to let them react spontaneously and not remotely. One day I feel it is ok to let go and share it with the world.
TA: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CREATE A FRAGRANCE FROM THE FIRST IDEA TO THE FINISHED PRODUCT?
RAMI: Years! Anything I share now, I started it decades ago. Time is the best ally, honestly. Create whatever in less than 2 hours, leave it there for months or years, re-discover it and do the process again.
TA: PLEASE TELL US ABOUT HOW THE PACKAGING RESONATE WITH THE VISION OF LOLA JAMES HARPER, WHY DOES IT PLAY CRUCIAL PART IN IT?
RM: When you open our boxes you have a paper bag to unfold that creates the sound of a fire place and unconsciously reminds us of quiet moments. The paper touch is so organic and can really remind you of a croissant paper bag. The graphism is done to always keep room for collaborations since there is a space for the other names. And collaboration is in our DNA. Cities, countries, inspiring places, mindsets are printed on each good to make us dream. The brown glass is the color of amber rocks, natural rocks. The boxes are pure recycled cardboard to protect without harming nature.
TA: LJH IS A JOURNEY WE WOULD LIKE TO BE PART OF, RATHER THAN JUST A BRAND WE WOULD LIKE TO BUY. DO YOU AGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT?
RM: Absolutely, and thank you for that. Lola James Harper is a way of life, a journey with art and goods reminders like a collection of lucky charms.