Unrelenting creativity: Barcelona’s underground scene continues the city’s artistic legacy - Features - Mixmag

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Unrelenting creativity: Barcelona’s underground scene continues the city’s artistic legacy

Vuse’s Street Covers platform is spotlighting emerging music and art talent from around the world, showcasing the cities and streets that inspire them​

  • 26 October 2023

For the third instalment of Vuse’s Street Covers series, we join electronic music prodigy Anfisa Letyago and celebrated album cover designer Brian Cannon in the Catalonian capital, Barcelona. The Street Covers docuseries, which follows Anfisa and Brian as they uncover blossoming underground art and music scenes all over the world, has already seen stops in Dubai and Medellín — with more set for Johannesburg and Liverpool.

Marking 10 years of championing up-and-coming talent and charging beyond in creativity for the brand, Vuse established its Street Covers platform earlier this year with the aim to continue its work of shining a light on the creatives who operate outside of the mainstream.

In new film, titled Two fierce talents collide in Barcelona, we see the Catalan city from an alternative vantage point, away from La Rambla and Gaudí architecture and instead diving into its striking street art and subterranean house and techno clubs — meeting the artists who are forging the city’s cultural movement. “I absolutely love the energy and spirit of Barcelona,” says Anfisa Letyago. “It has a unique vibe that combines tradition and modernity, and I believe the rest of the world can learn a lot from it.”

“One thing that stands out is the city's appreciation for art, music, and culture. The street performances and music scenes in Barcelona are so vibrant and diverse, and it's a reminder of how important it is to celebrate creativity and individual expression. That's a message that can resonate worldwide.”

Urban plastic and mural artist, Murfin

Similarly, Brian was inspired by Barcelona’s creative scene, telling Mixmag that out of all of the places he visited during the Street Covers series, the city was his favourite. “It may not be as exotic as Johannesburg or Medellin, but the city itself is amazing. I love the café street culture, the art, the weather, the architecture. It’s an incredible place.”

To get to the source of Barcelona’s unyielding tradition of creativity, we meet DJ and producer Camelia and urban plastic and mural artist Murfin — both channelling the effervescent energy of their home city into modern art forms. Camelia, a mainstay of the city’s house music scene, describes Barcelona as a “home to electronic music.”

“Barcelona's house music scene is renowned for its dynamism and diversity,” she tells Mixmag. “There are a number of clubs, bars and events dedicated to house music lovers, and the scene often features a mix of local and international DJs and producers.”

Street artist Murfin is similarly inspired by the vibrant sounds of his hometown, sharing in the documentary that being given the opportunity to create artwork for Camelia’s electronic track was a perfect 360 moment - due to the fact that he creates many of his immense murals while listening to this genre of music. “Electronic music has a perfect rhythm to keep me active, concentrated and energetic while I’m working,” he says. “Usually I like to listen to something that has a linear rhythm and doesn’t have many lyrics so I don’t get distracted, and I can enter a kind of trance.”

DJ and Producer, Camelia

As Anfisa and Brian split off to work with Camelia and Murfin individually, they discover more about the disparate-yet-connected art scenes that drive Barcelona’s cultural atmosphere. It’s clear Anfisa and Camelia quickly had a meeting of minds in a studio context. “Camelia’s track really caught my attention because of its authenticity and raw emotion,” says Anfisa. “It had a certain depth and honesty that resonated with me. Her vocals were incredibly powerful, and the lyrics told a story many could relate to. She clearly put her heart and soul into the song, which I deeply appreciated.”

Similarly, Camelia lauds Anfisa’s mentorship, “She encouraged me to think about the story I wanted to tell through my music and how each element, from melody to lyrics to arrangement, could contribute to that narrative,” she says.

“She shared her ideas on sound design and arrangement techniques that could improve the overall quality of a recording, and her attention to detail and commitment to sound excellence was truly inspiring. I learned from her in this respect.”

Artwork created by Murfin for the Vuse Street Covers project, inspired by Camelia’s music

In the film, Camelia and Murfin meet up to discuss how his work can complement her new track, with Camelia commenting that she could see the “same colours' in his artwork as in her music. “Murfin's art is as colourful as the music I play, I see it as a representation of some of my emotions, we're very similar in that aspect.”

Murfin on the other hand, credits Camelia’s approach to her work as a factor in how the final artwork came out. “We had lots of talks together to get to know each other, and it was great to see how much perseverance, love, and dedication she has to her work. That’s what caught my attention and was the inspiration behind my piece.”

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Watch Two fierce talents collide in Barcelona below.

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