Designing (and photographing) a singer’s/band’s album is very personal to me. I only do it for the ones who (I think) can make good music.
I’ve been personally involved in many aspects of this album. My personal relationship with Denada has given me a chance to get to know her music long before I decided to pour my ideas into the album. It is important to know more about the subject because it will give you deep understanding in developing the visual later. And it’s always fun to discuss about the songs anyway.
The music is well, awesome. It’s energizing, rich, daring, witty, seriously engineered (thanks to DJ Sumantri, the producer) and carefully crafted. I wouldn’t be surprised if this album earns much respect from many fellow artists, including myself. Denada herself has been adventurous in her music, from rap to pop to dangdut to dance to whatever (she listens to sentimental jazz in her room). In my own perspective, a good musician deserves good design.
Now let’s talk about the area that I was involved the most, the album’s design and photography. I and Denada decided to have a close-up shot of her beautiful, tanned skin. Close-up shots on CD covers would get more attention at music stores. To add a little twist, Dena came with an idea to change her many earrings with safety pins. I loved the idea instantly and decided to go with it.
As for the color scheme, I decided to go with pink. It was her favorite color and I did believe, that there is always a first time for everything (my first, with pink 🙂 ). I also used my handwriting on my laptop track-pad to create the title ‘Call Me Dena’ (so please do not ask me again where to get the font).
We also did some dancing-pose shots for the folded booklet. Dena has always been a great dancer, so it wasn’t hard at all to capture many cool poses in less than an hour (She wore 12 cm purple high heels doing it. Kungfu, everyone?)
The shot I like the most is actually the back-cover of the booklet. She wanted to be a centauride, a half-woman half-horse creature. I shot the beautiful horse (Bima) first at its ranch. I then shot Dena at exactly the same spot to have an exact similar lighting as Bima. The two images were finally combined in Photoshop with my PowerMac, together with the background of an abandoned building that I took with a pocket camera.
If you like the design and photography, you might like the songs even more. It’s out now. Enjoy!