Name: Raphael Mader
Occupation: Producer, DJ
Nationality: German
Current release: Raphael Mader and Julian Wassermann have formed a new duo, MODEM. Their debut singe "Marginal", a collaboration with French duo Betical (effectively turning this into a quartet) is out via Renaissance. [Read our Julian Wassermann interview]
Fashion Recommendations: Pants and T shirt. Blackout. This leaves as much space as possible for the personality and character of the wearer. (laughs)

If you enjoyed this interview with Raphael Mader, visit him on Instagram, Facebook and Soundcloud. He also has a profile page as a model at Talent Models Agency.

Raphael Mader · MODEM, Betical - Marginal [Renaissance]

Fashion and music are often closely related to one's identity. Can you please tell us a bit about your own sense of identity – and how it motivated you to take an artistic path?

I think everything goes hand in hand. Fashion and music are both ways for expressing yourself. To convey feelings and moods to the outside world.

I noticed very early that I was very interested in creative things. I finished my studies as a communication designer, specializing in graphics and fashion. Therefore, fashion has always been an exciting subject for me.

In which way do you feel your identity concretely influences your creativity?

Most of my creativity comes from my identity. I make music with my heart, which means emotions and feelings build the basis of my work. These are of course based on the content of my life and on me as a person – which is my identity.

Describe your personal style, please, and how your choice of fashion allows you to express it. Which fashion brands or style icons do you personally find inspiring - and why?

I like fashion that puts the person who wears it into the spotlight. I'm not a fan of large prints, eye-catching patterns or bold logos. Fashion has to be subtle and should emphasize the characteristics of the wearer - not cover them up.
That’s why I prefer brands which keep it simple.

Fashion can embody ideals that extend far beyond aesthetics, reaching into ecology, politics and social issues. Does this apply to you as well, and if so, in which way?

You should definitely think about what you are wearing, especially when it comes to ecology. I would not over-interpret everything myself as fashion is first just clothing and not politics - but it is important to be aware of it.
What was the relationship between music and fashion for you like personally? When was the first time that you became aware of the connection between fashion and music?

As mentioned above, music and fashion are both ways for expressing yourself. Accordingly I've been aware of this ever since I've dealt with these two issues.

What can fashion express what music can not?

Fashion can express your financial background which doesn't play a role in music. However, I think that (overall) music can express a lot more than fashion ever could. Music, for example, make people cry every day. Fashion doesn’t.

It seems obvious that fashion and music are closely linked, but just how that influence works hasn't always been clear. Would you say that music leads fashion? Is it the other way round? Or are they inseparable in some ways?

Since music has a lot more in store for me, I think that music influences fashion and not the other way around.

You can see that when you look back at the fashion of the last few decades ... When Rock was all the rage, everyone wore ripped jeans and rivets on leather vests. As hip-hop became popular, fashion adapted the key items of hip-hop clothing (baggy pants, wide T-shirts, etc.). It has always been like that.

Fashion and music can be expressions or celebration of identity, but they can also be an effort to establish new ones or break free from them. How would you describe your own approach in this regard?

Music and fashion should always be an expression of your own, original identity. That’s why I think you shouldn't use it to create a new one. It just wouldn’t make sense to me.

Does what you wear change your personality – and thus the music you create or the way you perform?

No. We have one solid personality. This does not change just because we dress up differently. We can influence how other people perceive us by changing clothing and effects - but this will not change our identity.

Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you personally feel as though designing a fashion item or even putting together a great outfit for yourself is inherently different from something like composing a piece of music?

I think that composing a song goes so much deeper than putting together an outfit. Writing a melody, creating an own rhythm ... that offers so many more possibilities to express yourself than choosing a piece of clothing or even an outfit.