There a several ways for artists to announce a new project. Repeated social media teases before a big reveal. Coordinating with their label which has their publicists prepare the press release. Pull a Gaga/Beyoncé and not announce a drop at all. Not often do they pour (likely) tens or hundreds of thousands dollars into a custom, handmade, 7 carat, scorpio pendant to declare an upcoming album...but that's Champagne Papi — and a scorpio – for you.
It's fair to say we've been in a collective state of shock since Drake announced his new baby, Scorpion, and it's due date. The air is rife with anticipation as to which Drizzy we'll be presented on this new offering, and if it's anything like the way he announced the album, we can expect a luxurious experience indeed. The 6 God uploaded a picture to Instagram of a circular pendant, laden with diamonds and starring a gold scorpion surrounded by all the other (and lesser) signs of the zodiac, with the caption "June 2016." While the necklace's creator, jeweler to the stars Jason of Beverly Hills, did not know the significance of the piece when Drake requested it, he has described the work required to put it together as nothing less than "painstaking" — lord knows what we have in store for us come summer. Dives into the process behind the pendant with Jason Arasheben below.
The piece is so beautiful, how did the collaboration come to be? Were you initially aware the pendant was going to be so closely tied to his album?
Drake approached me about making this piece months ago and was very detailed about what he wanted. I was not aware it was going to be so closely tied to the album, but now it all makes sense.
How much creative input did Drake have?
Drake really led the way creatively on this particular piece. He gave direction and had the piece well thought out when he approached us. He knew the exact colors, finishes and materials he wanted. He is very detail oriented.
Walk me through the process, what went into creating the pendant?
The particular piece is all handmade. It is extremely heavy for a piece that size, over 200 grams and almost seven carats of diamonds. It took approximately 45 days to create after we finalized the design. The most painstaking part of this piece was the enamel work. In order to create the perfect shade of blue it took many hours from our expert enamelist. It was a very intricate process.
Wow. What do you think makes a great piece of jewelry?
The details make a great piece. It is the little details that you cannot see. You know it when you see and feel the piece in person. It is the little things that are the hardest to appreciate.
Which other celebrities do you count as clients? Are there any particularly memorable requests?
Over the last 15 years we've dealt with many high profile clients and it is always a positive thing when they trust us to bring their vision to light. We've worked with Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, A$AP Rocky. Making the family crest necklace for Michael Jackson was definitely a memorable moment in my career. To sit across from a legend and have the opportunity to design with him was a very special experience and one I won't forget.
Millennials obsession with the zodiac influence proving to be a huge industry trend, what others have you noticed lately?
Clients are looking for more than just a beautiful aesthetic. They are looking to create pieces that have real meaning to them personally and/or professionally. They are searching for pieces that speak to them whether it be religiously, personally, spiritually or otherwise.