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Mij Mack talks about his release on hos own label

“My music has just evolved naturally over the years” ~Mij Mack

Hailing from Cheltenham, the music of electronic producer Mij Mack crosses a variety of genres. Previously releasing on labels such as Black Butter, Kenja Records and Audiophile Deep, his music incorporates elements of bass, house, techno and broken beat, and has been supported by a huge range of A-list artists including Maja Jane Coles, Erick Morillo, Pirupa, DJ Zinc and Marco Carola. 

His debut LP Elysium is out now on his own label Sound Upstairs, and is a fully realised vision full of beautifully crafted beats, shimmering textures and glistening melodies. Here, we discuss his inspirations and processes behind the album.

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Hi James – thanks for talking to us today. What’s been the highlight of what we’re sure has been a challenging year for you as an artist?

Hello! The highlight this year was hearing that A-list artists such as Roger Sanchez and Joris Voorn had been supporting music from my album. I never thought I would get on to the radar of these guys. I have worked hard on this album and it’s very rewarding to see positive feedback like this.

How did you first get into music production, and what’s your creative process when writing music? 

I have been interested in music from a very early age. But it was my friend Cal who introduced me to Ableton in 2010. My writing process varies every time but I usually start a track with drums and then add the musical elements. For the album, most of the ideas came from experimenting with different chords and synth sounds.

Your new music is quite different from the kind of stuff you were putting out on labels like Black Butter… why the change of direction?

It wasn’t an intentional change of direction. I think my music has just evolved naturally over the years from hearing and taking inspiration from different styles of music. Not many people know this but the first tracks I ever released were under my name Jim Mackness and they were 2 chillout tracks on the Armada sunset vol.2. I have also loved making other genres of music such as downtempo.

Your debut album is due out very soon – why did you feel it was the right time to put out an LP?

I’m nearly 28 years old and I wanted to release an album before I reached the age of 30. 

Your self-releasing on your Sound Upstairs label… what have been some of the challenges you’ve faced without a third-party label involved?

I have had to organise all the marketing and distribution which I have never had experience with before however, I now know how the process works for future self-releases.

Elysium is quite varied in terms of the structure of the tracks, but it definitely has a warm, inviting feeling overall. Was this an intentional direction for you?

Yes, I intentionally moulded all the tracks this way to suit the theme of the album.

Were there any particular inspirations behind the album, either within or outside of music?

The inspirations for the album have come from my experiences abroad over the past two years.

With clubbing and live music pretty much off the cards for a lot of us at the moment, what purpose do you think ‘dance’ music now serves?

I think dance music can still be enjoyed at home, in your car, private parties, in the gym and in other situations. I know that the beach clubs in Ibiza, Mallorca etc were still open and playing dance music. 

How do you personally judge the success of the music you produce? 

From DJ support. If I hear that A list DJs have been playing my music out and enjoying it then I count that as a success. When I started out, my primary goal always has been to make music that people can enjoy. But when you have your DJ heroes playing your music that’s another level of satisfaction.

When you have your DJ heroes playing your music that’s another level of satisfaction.

What do you have planned for the rest of the year?

Not much, I just want to see how this album is received. I’ve got a lot of tracks in the pipeline but I’m probably not going to release anything until next year. 

Finally, what’s one record that’s currently stuck in your head that we should all also be obsessed with?

The Trashmen – Surfin Bird

Thank you.

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