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The barista who is working on a secret project for Jay Z.

Byline: THOMAS DEACON Reporter

FOR two days a week, Ibby Tarafdar can be found serving coffee to commuters and office workers in Cardiff. But the rest of the time the 27-yearold is passionately working on his graphic design projects - and is currently focusing on a top secret project with Jay Z. Landing the job with Roc Nation, a global entertainment company founded by Jay Z, came after a chance meeting with a photographer in London.

Ibby, from Gabalfa, Cardiff, said: "Two years ago Jonathan Mannion [who photographed several of Jay Z's album covers] did an exhibition in London. Me and my girlfriend went down to London on one day notice to the exhibition. We met him and he asked where we're from and I said we're from Wales, and he's like 'oh s*** my family's from Wales'. That was the connector.

"He was so happy that people came down from Wales on short notice to see the exhibition. He took a picture of me and him and posted it on his Instagram."

Since the picture was posted, Ibby said he was contacted by someone in New York about an upcoming project with Roc Nation.

The passionate graphic designer's world was turned upside down in the meantime after he contacted Floyd Mayweather - one of the greatest boxers of all time - and was offered a job.

He ended up designing a logo used by top boxer Gervonta Davis who Mayweather has described as the "future of boxing".

During a visit to Las Vegas to see Mayweather take on mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor, Ibby met with a senior Roc Nation executive.

Ibby said: "We connected and I basically thought, what do I want from this? So I said I wanted to arrange a meeting and show my work.

"At December time, I was in New York and I messaged him and said I was there.

"In January, I had an email that put me in contact with someone higher up. They sent me the brief, they liked the work I did and said it was amazing. It all just happened organically, it's crazy."

Although working with his company, Ibby said he has not met Jay Z himself - but was handed a surprise present recently.

Ibby said on the day of the Jay Z and Beyonce concert in Cardiff he received two tickets worth about PS800 for him and his girlfriend.

Despite working with some of the biggest and richest stars in the world, Ibby isn't resting on his laurels.

Although his previous work has been mainly graphic design, he says he's looking to expand.

He said: "I keep going. I feel it's just part of the process I need to do more work. It's cool that I've done a couple of hit projects but I just want to move on to bigger things now."

He added: "In terms of creativity, I want to do more things because I have more to offer and these guys recognise that when they work with you."

The University of South Wales graduate also credits some of his success to keeping a base in Cardiff.

He said: "It's so different because Cardiff is quiet and peaceful and gives me time to come up with ideas and create. But when I'm in New York, you have no time."

| More of Ibby's work can be seen on his Instagram at @ibbytarafdar


Ibby Tarafdar is working on a project for Jay Z, inset PETER BOLTER

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Jun 18, 2018
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