Irbis: “I wrote songs to look monsters in the face”

Irbis: “I wrote songs to look monsters in the face”

“Lacrime e Cemento”, the new album by the young singer-songwriter Irbis, born Martino Consigli, was born from an accident: in 2022 a fire destroyed the artist's house together with all his objects, related to everyday life and childhood, leading him to wander for months on the sofas of friends and relatives. The album originates from this period of “emptiness”, from the lack of structure and security which in our society we attribute to housing and are accustomed to taking for granted. Precisely the sense of precariousness, of uprooting, generated the spark that guided Irbis to metabolise and transform this experience into something positive, 10 tracks that retrace a journey, the stages of a restart that can be benefited from in hindsight.

“It's been four years since my last album. The fire put me in a position of great responsibility: the one I was staying in was my father's house and when I no longer had that roof over my head I wandered around, also looking for a new way to approach life. I stopped smoking, I started working out, I took care of my health. And all this led to a more lucid, mature, profound record.” tells the story of the artist who the public has known, in the past, more as a rapper. But here everything changed and happened naturally, as if it were the transition from one skin to another. The need to express oneself in “Tears and Cement” transforms into an almost moving viscerality, returning a gift: the truth.

Ceri and Colombre, with whom I worked, have a very strong artistic character. They have a greater awareness of the profession, I let myself be guided on some aspects – continues Irbis – for me being mature in music, like them, is knowing how to understand what can work for twenty seconds and what for twenty years. Many young people follow fashions, artists like Ceri and Colombre try to make songs that last, they embrace art, without thinking about the market. And this approach was fundamental for me. I wasn't interested in doing the song of the moment, I don't care the speed with which the market wants music to be produced, that speed does not belong to me”.

A singer-songwriter project in the name of tradition, but also extremely contemporary. “There's an echo of Battisti, even if I haven't listened to him much, but music is like that: listening happens unconsciously when he works on the songs – he admits – I listen a lot Dalla, De Gregori, De André, Pino Daniele. And these artists certainly helped me, their songs are dense, but also light. Today a lot of aesthetic work is done around music, which is important, but I believe in a narrative urgency. It's there in this album.” A moment's pause, then an even more lucid thought, which comes from within: “I don't prove anything, I don't elevate anything in this project, I only tell pieces of my existence. Singing a carefree song can take you to a place where you don't care, but I wrote songs to look monsters in the face”.

What were they? “From the psychiatric illness of a dear friend of mine to the particular relationship with his parents and with the world, which I see in decline. I see a world in which disvalues ​​and violence are growing,” she concludes. The fire in his own home, also immortalized in the cover, became a way for Irbis to reset, to start again, to deal not only with that disaster, but with many dents of life. In those words, in those existential folds, there is a warmth that leads the listener not to see his own certainties burn, but to feel less alone in daily uncertainty.