Don’t do any more harm (Columbia Records/Sony Music) is the new song by Ermal Meta feat. Jake The Fury. The songwriting, poetic and neorealist world of Ermal meets for the first time one of the most iconic voices of the Italian rap scene to create a powerful and enthralling song that goes straight to the meaning of being in the world in the best possible way. Don’t do any more harm it is an invitation to live your life to the full while respecting a single fundamental principle: do no harm.
Ermal, what a story he has Don’t do any more harm? Knowing you as a writer, as well as an author, I also ask you the syntactic meaning of the sentence: why not do more harm? And why Jake the Fury?
Simple sounded bad so it’s a question, it needs to roll a little more. I met Jake on a TV show and a devastating friendship was born, I think mutual. I started working on the piece and I thought it was missing a diametrically opposed point of view, I knew it was strong but something was missing. I called him and we met in the studio, he instantly interpreted it in his own way in a way that I didn’t have in mind. In a collaboration you need a distant point and the attempt to bridge the distance must become a single path. The special was something else and he rewrote it and I was happy to have understood that a Don’t do any more harm Jake was missing.
If you do good you will get respect…seems more like an ideal than reality. Today, those who do good are often looked at with suspicion.
There is mistrust, social media teaches that everything can be monetised. You work to appear to be what you are not but you have to live by ideals.
“Grey ruins the vibes”: don’t you think that gray cancels out the option of a black and white world by inviting us to grasp its nuances?
The world is full of nuances but you have to know how to look at them, you have to take distance to observe them. To look at a painting you have to move away but today it is difficult to move away from the center, it is difficult for each of us.
When is the last time you saw him “a star that wasn’t there” and did you place it in your galaxy?
I worked hard to be a star that wasn’t there and when it happened I tried to exist and define myself with all my might in the music scene. It was the first and only time.
“Think as you know how, it takes a lot of courage”: is this the big problem of this era, that is, not being free to think? What happened to the Cartesian Cogito Ergo Sum? You also say “you don’t have to judge me” when today we also judge how a sauce is made, with all due respect, how can we learn not to judge?
Man is what he eats wrote Ludwig Feuerbac. He requires great courage but also a deadly right foot. Courage is the basis of everything, courage in the pursuit of happiness is a right. Courage also makes us take steps backwards but we are too attracted by speed. True courage is slowing down when we are too fast.
In human relationships, to what extent do you believe that idealization goes beyond the acceptance of others and therefore creates ambiguity and profound problems?
We idealize because we look for what we would like to exist about us. They are often mirrors to project what we are missing. Like parents with children who impose piano or ballet on them because the parent has not been able to fulfill himself in that area.
In presenting the piece you mention dance as an allegory of life: capoeira comes to mind, which was the technique that African slaves had to train for fighting by passing it off as a dance. Is dissembling winning in life?
Sometimes yes, other times you avoid a conflict with something where nothing good would come from it. You have to let go sometimes.
If I tell you “He who does great things never dies” Can you think of a name?
Leonardo da Vinci!
Your book Tomorrow is forever he left in 1943, in the middle of the Second World War. If I think about what is happening today, the first thought is that history has taught us nothing. Share?
It has been like this since the dawn of time, history is held in high regard and is constantly repeated, it has a plastic Apollonian vision of itself.
Today when you think about Kajam, the protagonist of the book, and his way of seeing the world change, what do you imagine?
Which remained as it was, his life is difficult to deviate from certain experiences. His life takes him back to Albania: that world has changed in thirty years, it is faster, chaotic and confused.
If I tell you Ameba4 and Camilla’s Hunger, does it make you smile tenderly when you think back to that Ermal over there?
It was wonderful. Ameba4 were completely unaware, we played little and dreamed a lot and it was the first experience with Corrado Rustici; I would add that I was guitarist and keyboardist in Ameba4. I remember Aerosmith opening with La Fame di Camilla, I almost fainted from anxiety. It was life in the van, lots of concerts, 140, 150 concerts a year from festivals to the streets to bars, never said no; we traveled hundreds of kilometers for 10 euros. Once we held six concerts in 8 days, pocketing 30 euros each without any logic. We had Giovanni, the guitarist, with a broken elbow and in two days we had to build a different, acoustic set. The first was in San Severo, in the province of Foggia, in a bar: Lele, the drummer, goes to the bathroom, comes back and says that the place is full and I thought it was a joke: I went to see and it was really packed with people . We were ready on acoustic: we start and they boo us so I take the electric guitar and tell Lele to hit the drums like never before, we opened the distortion with Dino the bassist who pushed in turn at the risk of breaking the glass and they didn’t let us more going out.
Another step back: in 2019 with Hercules you veered towards electronics: is that the world you are studying in? For more Urban Tribein 2021, has marked a fairly clear path in this direction.
Already there Voice of the Word in Forbidden to die it was electronic, I started with electronic, inspired by Bjork and Radiohead: with them I succeeded, with Bjork less so. We had to understand how to make a sound synthesis. Hercules It’s clear but not a big turn. In the studio I have more synths than guitars!
I know you wrote a song with Alex from Amici: what can you tell me?
Alex is talented, I also really like him as a person, he knows what he wants and that’s no small thing for someone so young.
What will you give us in 2024? Album? Tours?
Both and with the tour I want to return home in 2025. I want the stage. Think that first album Human it was designed for live performances. I was returning from Milan to Bari, I had the instruments in the car and as I was getting out I called the promoters telling them that I would only play in exchange for hospitality. They asked me when and I… I’m playing tomorrow, just pay me for the night. It was a week of via crucis: Bologna, Cesena, then the Marche, Foggia…at a certain point my mother called me asking when I would arrive!