Dipesh “Peche” Prasad began producing art for Nicolay and Phonte or The Foreign Exchange in 2010. It was their third studio album ‘Authenticity’ that had him ‘geeking out’ over emails from the duo. The job had him design the entire package from skate decks, t-shirts and the CD jacket itself. Reworks is the Foreign Exchange’s latest work where Peche was inspired by the idea of remixing sound and visual inter-nationally.
HH: When did you connect with Phonte and The Foreign Exchange and how did that relationship come about?
P: Through the wonders of social media, I finally joined Twitter after a lot of hesitation, then some how an A&R from Duck Down records saw my work and must have linked Phonte. One day he just hit me up through that. They were releasing Authenticity and already had a design studio that they used but he said shoot something through and if we like it we’ll use you. I sent them through the concept with the leaves that he dug and have been working with them ever since.
HH: What inspired the concept for the Reworks Cover?
P: I wanted to play on the whole idea of reworking & remixing something, all their artwork has now gravitated around seasons, so the last release (Authenticity was a dead leaf in autumn I figured the opposite or remix of that wound be a new flower blooming in spring.
HH: What kind of flower is it? Is it significant to the album?
P: It’s a chrysanthemum. Shooting the flower was pretty significant and special as I shot it in Harajuku, Japan last November. There were new flowers blooming at a temple called Meiji Shrine which is where all the artwork was shot. I just thought it was really cool how the whole premise of the Foreign Exchange started by two people on opposite sides of the world collabing with each other, and now the artwork is in that same vein where someone from Australia has done the artwork for a US group in Japan.. haha.
HH: What has been the best feedback you’ve received about it?
P: James Poyser whose produced for people like Erykah Badu, Mariah Carey, Rhianna, D’Angelo and countless others, has a remix on the album with Questlove under the name “The Randy Watson Experience”. I geeked out when he in-boxed me on Twitter and said ‘great job on the artwork’.
P: New artists and musicians experimenting and trying new things without being held back by the stigma of tradition. As much as I respect tradition I’m also a huge fan of people brave enough to innovate, progress and create something new and relevant to their time.
HH: As a hip hop fan it seems getting to do work for Foreign Exchange would be such a thrill. Can you describe the feeling?
P: Oh I’m still stoked about it. I remember when we first use to send each other stuff back and forth I’d geek out on every little email that I’d receive, good or bad. Just the interaction was good enough for me. But I remember the best feeling was when I’d got the first album I did with them “Authenticity” in the mail and just seeing all my work on the actual packaging.
HH: What can people look out for from Peche in 2013?
P: Hopefully a lot more involvement with the Melbourne art scene. It’s such a great city full of amazing talent. Just more collabs, projects, walls, prints, paste-ups I guess I’ll just see what I’ll naturally gravitate to.
HH: What point of your artist time line (so to speak) do you see yourself at?
P: Oh man I’m turning 30 at the end of the year so I guess break down point? Haha, nah, I’m happy with where I’m at. I feel privileged that I get to do what I love everyday which is a huge rarity.
HH: What would be the ultimate experience or job for you as an artist?
P: I guess it changes as your goals and priorities change and evolve. Right now I’d love to get something done for Just Blaze (my fave producer) if you know how to reach him let me know haha.
HH: In light of the website name When and how did you fall in love with hip hop?
P: I can’t remember what age I was but I remember an older cousin of mine dubbed me 2 cassettes. One was Run DMC’s ‘Down With The King’ and the other had Dr. Dre’s The Chronic on one side and Snoop’s ‘Doggystyle’ on the other… Oh and then he was kind enough to lend me his only copy off Naughty By Natures ‘Nineteen Naughty 3’ we went on a family holiday this one year and I just took that one cassette with this shitty walkman I had, and by the end of that trip I knew that album back to front.
HH: Out of interest what is the inspiration behind your Mice Cube piece?
P: Oh I just thought it was funny how he went from NWA to doing movies like ‘Are We There Yet?” Total Disney N**ga” now hence the Mickey Mouse ears haha.
Check out the Mice Cube piece on Peche’s website HERE