Divisive rapper Azealia Banks released her ‘comeback’ single “Nirvana” on the 13th of February 2020 though her SoundCloud account, with a cover designed by Dominik Keller. The Spanish-language single uses a drill beat, produced by Onyx & As If Kid. Banks is a proficient speaker and has previously rapped in Spanish, most notably on her song “Gimme A Chance” from 2015’s Broke With Expensive Taste. Ironically, but perhaps in classic Azealia Banks fashion, she took to Instagram to rant profusely about how UK Drill has vastly overtaken it’s older cousin Grime in terms of influence and popularity in the US: “Grime sucks and I suggest you all just bury it and pretend it never happened.”
As If Kid is a prominent grime producer in his own right and well respected in the scene and Banks’ comments provoked a lot of annoyance within the community.
For the typeface, the singles title shares the same name as the typeface used – the beautiful Nirvana. Designed by Altiplano, the typeface incorporates art-nouveau sensibilities and calligraphic qualities, alongside blobular, rounded forms; tropes often associated with y2k era graphic design. This very contemporary display font is eyecatching and flows very well. I think it compliments Banks’ eclectic range of musical influences and intriguing personality. From the Altiplano website:
With its Arts & Crafts/medieval fantasy based structure, revisited with circular shapes and pop twists, Nirvana ensures clear readings and at the same time bold contemporary solutions for headlines and posters.
At small sizes, Nirvana’s profile is still literary. But the closer we look, the smoother the curves and the stranger the vibe. Arts & crafts meets aliens? Max Bill meets William Morris? Victorians on drugs? In type paradise, anything goes.
I am not such a big fan of the first two covers and think the “cellophane” effect that is a mainstay on Instagram’s Explore tab at the minute is a little done. However, I am more inclined to the halftone-heavy purple, red and white cover – it’s much more exciting! The song and Banks’ personality deserve a strong, emboldened visual to go with this comeback track.
2 Comments on “Azealia Banks – “Nirvana” single”
It’s a big case of LTypI I believe, but it’s missing the tag.
It is indeed – added. Thanks, Antonio!