We added an international flavor to our HEAVY SET series this week with this smooth and sexy mix "for the ladies" from the photo master, Piotr Niepsuj.
Born in Poland, Piotr remembers the Liroy Alboom tape that got him hooked. Between three photography blogs, freelancing as a creative director on various projects in the art world, and spinning with some of Italy's biggest names, Piotr speaks on his inspiration and projects.
1. Autumn Sonnet - Esqxr
2. Cold Sweat - Tinashe
3. How I'm Feeling - Lamar Starzz
4. Often - The Weeknd
5. Coca Cola Classic - Phlo Finister
6. Sex You - Bando Jonez
7. Make Love 2 This - RASHAD
8. Henny In Hand - Troy Lanez
9. Know What's Up (feat. Kirko Bangz) - Troy Lanez
10. Club Lights (feat. Tank) - Eric Bellinger
11. All I Need - Lloyd
12. All For Something (demo prod. esta.) - Jordan Rakei
13. Private Jet - Penthouse Penthouse
14. I'd Rather Have Love (XXYYXX Remix) - Joe
I see that you have a few different places of presence on the internet and social - almost seem like they're all separate projects. Can you tell me a bit about your personal tumblr, Respect the Architect, and The New Piotr?
Yes, they're kind of separate projects, but maybe more like different columns that make one whole Piotr. Each one has a different 'editorial line' but all-in-all they are about stuff I like. On my personal tumblr I mainly post my work or more 'important stuff'.
Respect the Architect (RTA) is a side-effect of my everyday online work research (reference for shoots, photographers' databases, ideas).
Then there is The New Piotr, which is an extension of my Instagram feed. Once I got an iPhone, I started to shoot a lot more, and in a different way. One day I decided to put it together. Somebody said it's like RTA but with my photos, and it's true - product of my daily observations, big picture of contemporary city, whatever. Plus it's like a game - it automatically updates three to four photos a day, and then they are all for sale as very limited edition fine-art prints. It's almost like making art in a factory.
I even have another collection here, and, I post music and diary photos on my personal (public) facebook account.
Can you tell me a little bit about how you got started in photography? Any schooling? What subject-matter do you prefer to shoot? What camera do you prefer to shoot with?
I started shooting when I moved to Italy, just to keep my friends back in Poland updated with what and how I was doing. I was studying architecture and I had this little pre-social network blog with tourist style photos. Then one day, probably six or seven years ago Sean saw it, liked it and gave me my first Yashica T4 and then it all started. From then on, I was always more and more into images then buildings - although I graduated, I never worked as an architect.
I still shoot with point-and-shoot, or all-automatic cameras (Contax, iPhone or Canon 5d). I'm trying not to be 'limited' by any means, but admit I still can't fully switch to digital.
Everything I photograph happened for real and not staged - from the construction-lot still-life to 'fashion' story. It's documentary. And even if it might seem otherwise, what I like shooting most are people.
How did your 'TAPE' installments begin? And how often do you put them out?
Don't really remember. It was probably my childhood dream to make a mixtape, (haha). My tapes are not really regular, though. I'm just an 'image guy' that happened to listen to a lot of music but it's really impossible to mix and put it together, so every time it's a struggle. I'd be nice to have a radio program or something and skip the mixing part.
What type of music did you listen to growing up? And how did you discover music back then? When did you start getting into R n' B?
I grew up mainly on hip-hop. I remember very well getting my first tape in August 1995 at the sea-side in Poland. Back then it was pretty difficult to get new music, especially in a post-communist country and especially music from overseas. But we were trying hard, through MTV, through recorded cassettes, and thanks to few friends who traveled abroad.
Poland was a pretty poor country, so for example, when 'The Source' was distributed for the first time I had to save money for four weeks to get my copy. In 1997 there was this Polish magazine about hip-hop called 'Klan' that helped a lot. I was listing to rap so much then (overload) so I moved to R'n'B. At this point, Napster was a thing so I 'traveled' to the UK garage/2step, then through house to dub and all the IDM scene. When this became too much, so electro and ed banger appeared and so on.... Now, I'm really into all Fade2Mind'ish kind of music - it blends well with everything from the past and becomes something completely new. It's very exciting.
And even if I was switching a lot, hip-hop was always somewhere there, anytime. Sometimes more sometimes less often.
Photo courtesy of Piotr