Deezer Music With Sole: Combining Music And Art Using The Medium Of Footwear

Music streaming service Deezer gave UK singer songwriter Zak Abel, and artist Daniel Cordas, the challenge to create custom trainer designs based on their personal interpretations of Zak’s single, ‘Love Song’. Additionally, a special pair of trainers was made featuring graphics based on the musical inspirations of both artists. Fans will have the opportunity to win a pair of the limited edition shoes.

Global streaming service Deezer has collaborated with Zak and Daniel on three pairs of trainers. Trainer culture and music have always been closely connected, so the concept of ‘Music With Sole’, sets out to bring to life the way each artist feels when listening to the same track.
For the first pair of trainers, Zak revealed to Daniel that ‘Love Song’ signified a ‘positive’ relationship break up and his attempt to regain control of his life. The trainers are emblazoned with warm red, pink, blue and orange hues to indicate the sun setting on the end of this relationship. Representing taking steps apart, one hand is seen on the back of each shoe. They can only touch when both trainers are pressed together, an unlikely scenario when wearing them.
Trainers number 2 were designed with Daniel’s interpretation of ‘Love Song’. When Daniel listened to ‘Love Song’ he felt both resentment and relief. He represented the lyrics “throwing pebbles in the ocean” by a deep blue sea cordoned off by yellow tape, signifying the toxic relationship he detected. Daniel also played with the metaphor of Zak burning bridges with an ex, using an image of a bridge on fire and the trainer’s “singed” look, which he created with a lighter.

The third pair of trainers designed by Daniel represent the musical journey that gets both artists into their “flow”. For Zak, it’s how he finds his musical mindset with his favourite Motown artists. For Daniel it’s the tracks he listens to get inspired to create his best work.

Drawn onto one shoe from the pair, Zak’s Flow includes familiar hits such as Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’, which he’s illustrated by a riot officer during the US civil rights movement officer. Stevie Wonder’s ‘Visions’, Bill Withers’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, and disco floor tiles, used to represent Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’, are also featured.
Within the same pair, Daniel represents his Flow with a very different genre of music. Rapper Kanye West’s ‘Ghost Town’ is depicted alongside lyric sheets from Eminem’s

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‘When I’m Gone’ hints at Daniel’s desire to leave behind a legacy of success.

Zak Abel, Deezer NEXT’s global artist, first rose to fame after appearing on Gorgon City’s UK Top 20 hit, ‘Unmissable’. Since then he’s collaborated with the likes of David Guetta and Tom Misch. He commented,

“Creating and listening to music is a highly emotional experience. When I wrote Love Song, it was based on a previous relationship and my feelings at the time. It’s always fascinated me that people will listen to the same track and hear it differently. Deezer’s ‘Music With Sole’ challenge meant we could really bring this concept to life through some using amazing trainer art.”
Daniel Cordas is a London-based trainer artist, who creates bespoke artwork on leather goods, and has designed sneakers for Stormzy, and Chipmunk.
Speaking of the project, Daniel said,
“I’ve always said my designs are art, not customs. When Deezer challenged me to create artwork that connected sneaker culture with the personalisation of music it felt like the perfect synergy. There is a lot of power in visual metaphors of music and we’ve definitely been able to demonstrate this through our trainer collection.”
Sulinna Ong, the VP of Artist Marketing at Deezer, said,
“At Deezer, we strive to match the individual tastes of each person with music that matters the most to them. Our mission for ‘Music with Sole’ was to convey how one song can be uniquely personal and meaningful to different people. Using art and trainers is a great way to showcase this, especially considering the integral role music plays in sneaker culture.”

A number of lucky fans will have the exciting chance to win a pair of the bespoke trainers. Follow and keep an eye on the Instagram pages of Deezer, Zak Abel and Daniel Cordas.

You can follow in the footsteps of Zak and Daniel and discover your ‘Deezer Flow’ with your favourite musical influences, by clicking here.
Check out Daniel Cordas’ art on his website.

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email