Maria Gracia Santillana Maria Gracia Santillana | March 25, 2021 | Culture People Feature
Headphones in, music on, eyes closed and tucked into bed. That’s how independent producer, director and designer Edmond Huszar, aka OVERWERK, wants you to listen to his new album.
In an ideal world, he'd celebrate the premier with his fans in an intimate club, but Huszar is adapting to our virtual reality. Vessel is more than just an album. It's a part of the OVERWERK brand, a narrative told via photoshoots, design and fashion shows. His cinematic synth-scapes have been used by leading fashion houses Gucci, Vogue, YSL and even Lamborghini. He was recently commissioned to score eight events for Channel - but Vessel is a story all his own.
Whatever the project, it all starts with the atmosphere, and Huszar pays great attention to the “vibe” he wants to communicate.
“The message [comes] first," he says, "then I try to do some world building with the music, trying to get people in the same wavelength where I can communicate with them."
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Vessel was a two-year project, and its eight, synth-heavy tracks encapsulate the different forms we take throughout our lives. Each song pushes against the boundaries of electronic music, just as Huszar uses the project to push his own boundaries in fashion and design.
"[It's about] this shift, this body that carries us," Huszar says. “The vessels that you occupy are changing, but your mind and what is you, it grows but it never changes.”
"Presence" is Huszar’s favorite song of the album. Eerie with silvery synth melodies and a pulsing beat, it's got the feeling of a drive through the city at night. Although heavily instrumental, samples of Huszar’s own voice memos invite the listener into the present moment.
“Request your attention," Huszar sings. "Wake up, presence." It's his own cinematic sort of “instructional meditation," he says. “I wanted people to get ushered into the mind space that I was in when creating that music."
As an independent artist, Huszar is used to working in his home studio and collaborating with international artists via digital platforms. The pandemic didn't impede on his ability to craft magic over seas.
Most striking is the story of iKell. The Nigerian-based artist put his stamp on "Sense" with lyrics that reflect on his country's economic hardship and political strife. He sings about his experiences in his native African English dialect. It's a sobering story played out over compelling dance rhythms, a high-point of the album for sure.
Album opener "Parallel" is another collaboration, this time with long-time friend and inspiration, Anthony Scott Burns, aka Pilotpriest. Menacing chords swirl in electronic atmospheres before coming to quiet with piano refrains. It's a mood that brings us back to the vessels of our existence, paralleling both artists' experiences in the creative world.
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Burns started out in music before transitioning into the film industry, and his journey inspired Huszar’s own expansion into the worlds of fashion and design. His past collaborations with major fashion houses have earned him some recognition in the industry, and Huzsar is ready to expand with his own OVERWERK brand.
He looks up to the creative directors at Berluti and Dior, drawing cues from their classic and elegant designs. As part of the Vessel creation process, Huszar designed the suit he wears in all promotional content.
“I’ve always liked the sharp, the classy kind of look," he says. “Music is how people discover the project, but people eventually discover that I do design and fashion."
Huszar also recently designed his first eye-wear collection that blends retro-futurism with modern style. Anaglyph is akin to old-school 3D glasses, styled with black, brick-like frames around blue lenses. The second features round, frame-less lenses held together by a thick, silver-metal line.
Throughout his work, Huszar keeps coming back to one theme – understated elegance. From the classically-cut suit to his innovative glasses and the new twists on the electronic genre, each piece of work is cohesive.
“It’s about the color story, the symbolism that represent that theme and message," he says. “The way it all comes together, it’s almost like design gives me a break from creating the music, and then the design gives me inspiration for the music [again]."
Vessel is out now across all streaming platforms. Stay tuned for more info on the forthcoming eyewear collection and more music via OVERWERK's website.
Photography by: Courtesy Overwerk