Valerio Sommella’s picks for the Music & Design series

valerio sommella, portrait, designer, black and white, salone del mobile

Valerio Sommella, ph. Claudia Ferri

The Italian Industrial designer curates a musical playlist for the Salone del Mobile.Milano readers

What many might not know about Valerio Sommella is that, before design, his very first love was music, and in another life he may have very well been a musician. Or rather, he has been one in this existence already: “Barring design – he says - the only other job I've ever had in my life was as a drummer so music is a theme that is very dear to me”.

It’s no suprise, then, how many of his choices for his Music & Design’s entry are closely tied to his work as a designer, so much as if these two facets of his professional and artistic persona co-operate together in everything he does. Ranging from the abrasive sounds of Nine Inch Nails, to the buttery, dreamy mood of Cornelius’ very own artistic self-indulgence into Japanese experimental pop, Sommella’s playlist is a compilation of past job and life experiences spent in different cultures, both familiar and unknown.

Below, you’ll find Valerio Sommella's selections for this week’s Music & Design entry. You can listen to the playlist in its entirety on Spotify, and find all the other M&D playlists on our profile.

Midnight Marauders by Joe Dukie and DJ Fitchie

"It's a piece that immediately came to my mind. I don't know why this one but it reminds me of when for years, every day, I put music on in the studios where I worked."

Surfin' by Ernest Ranglin

"A well-structured piece, a kind of dialogue where everyone has their say at the right time... an example of excellent teamwork."

Designer Groove by Root 70

"A perfectly titled track for this playlist from a very nice instrumental record. Perfect to work with."

Drop by Cornelius

"A song from 2002 that came in handy when we shot the video Shapes and Sounds." 

Nomalizo by Letta Mbulu

"Groove, simplicity and style. A recipe for doing things right."

Sailing Shoes by Robert Palmer

"A vinyl I randomly discovered while rummaging through the music library in Seoul during a business trip. If you look in the right places you'll always find something."

Only by Nine Inch Nails

"It's on this list because of the video -- shot entirely on a desk, on which one of my favorite desk lamps is silhouetted."

Figli di Annibale by Almamegretta

"It is a track that takes me back to my uni days, when Almamegretta was the soundtrack to many nights spent working."

Having A Party by Lee "Scratch" Perry

"Because in the end all of us always come together partying."

3 August 2022