Napolian, musician and electronic producer, dies at 29
Napolian, the Los Angeles-based musician and electronic producer born Ian Evans, has passed away. Joel Ford, who has worked with Napolian, confirmed the news in an email to Pitchfork and also shared a tribute on Twitter. Daniel Lopatin, who released Napolian’s music on his Software label, posted his own tributes on social media. Napolian was 29 years old.
Ian Evans grew up inspired by hip-hop and west coast electronic music, citing Mr. Oizo, Alchemist and Oneohtrix Point Never as influences. He chose the name Napolian in high school after watching a documentary on the French leader, saying in a interview 2014 he thought he “could succeed where Bonaparte failed”.
In 2013, Napolian had production credits on A $ AP Ferg’s Lord trap and Kelela’s Cut 4 me. After his split in 2011 with Computer Dreams and his EP 2012 Rejoice, his first feature film Incursio was released on Software in 2014. The following year he released a collaborative album with Airbird (aka Joel Ford) titled Mister fool. In 2019, Napolian participated in the song “Applaud” by Yves Tumor.
“I am devastated by Napolian’s passing yesterday, his cut short life was a shock to those of us whose lives he touched,” wrote Daniel Lopatin. “I don’t know how to qualify Ian’s talent and kindness. He loved electronic music deeply and we always talked about how spiritual it was. He sensed all the details. We spent years sending pictures and sounds without having to explain why, it all made sense, this was one of the last photos he sent me. I’m so happy to have been a part of your life – too short, you had so much more to give. Rejoice and Incursio are forever etched in our memories and we will cherish you forever. Rest in peace, Ian, I love you.