Welcome to the family, Mitekiss!

May 24, 2018 in News

We proudly present our newest signing, Mitekiss!

“Jonny has been quietly, and steadily building a unique profile for himself on the soulful d&b underground. His carefully crafted releases with Shogun Audio demonstrated a deft touch and the arrival of an essential new talent in the 174 landscape. We’re delighted to be working together on the debut Mitekiss album project which is due to drop this later this year.” – Chris Goss

 

So, 17 Years deep! To have a quality of output like yours usually means that you’ve had quite the musical journey. Take us on a quick guided tour of the flavours of Mitekiss.

Well, I’ve had a varied journey of sorts. I started messing with chopping drums, sampling etc around the age of 15, mainly hip hop to be honest. I had a brief encounter with writing music for a publishing company based in Olympic Studios (now defunct I believe) at around 17. That entailed all sorts of styles. I had a stint in electronica for a while too, I was in a two-piece band, we played live electro/indie around Europe for a bit. We were pushing rock elements into dance, which was a lot of fun. I’ve messed around with loads of genres over the years, making music has always been a passion of mine and I’ve rarely not been at a stage in life where I wasn’t making music.  

 

The Majority of people begin their love affair with D+B after clubbing for the first time, was that the case for you? Where did the infatuation begin?

Definitely family, my brother, sister, and their friends have been into D&B from the 90’s, so I had it around me from a young age at all times. It’s been hard coded into my subconscious. During the times I mentioned above, I always made D+B on the side though, just not as my sole focus. It’s one of those genres that is so open to interpretation. I must add, a few nights at Technicality also left me in awe of amen choppage!

The infatuation though comes from D+B’s ability to span all genres and styles. It’s got to be one of the most versatile genre’s there is. The pace, rhythm, groove, sometimes the syncopation, all lead to a very diverse pool of amazing music.

 

 

Some people have a natural flair for music, some people have a massive passion for the technical side of things – how’d you even get into all this?

Not sure, a bit of both I like to think. I got into this through my older brother, I started messing in his studio at first, using hardware, Rebirth, Reason, Cubase etc. I did a year at college too, learning about production, it was mainly focused on recording bands but I learnt a lot of useful stuff.

It wasn’t till I was a bit older that I picked up some instruments and had a go at playing music myself. Saying that, I’m still very much a novice on the instrument side of things! I can get by on a bit of guitar and piano as long as it’s a three or four chord wonder.

If I did have any flair, it would be in sampling, I love it. I’m always inclined to sample, and reproduce, which in turn helps the theory a lot. I use my MPC all the time, pretty much on everything. I used to just sample manually, but MPC’s are next level. That hands on sampling is infectious. I can’t go back now.

Technically, I’m nowhere near the level of some producers out there though, I still can’t get mixdowns nailed, and my stuff is always quieter than everyone else’s (that may be a good thing though). I like to try and get by on my ears, and I have a pair of Adam’s which help a lot!

Although your story is a work in progress, what would you define as your first ‘mumma I made it’ break?

Probably when A Sides played one of my tunes, such an amazing producer. Friction playing my tunes on BBC Radio 1, releasing an EP with Shogun Audio, and of course signing to Hospital Records is pretty major for me! I’ve also been recently working with an artist who is one of my all time favourite producers across any genre, it’s proper pinch yourself territory.


You seem quite passionate about the technicalities of your productions, top 5 things you would advise budding producers?

Do I? haha. If I could rewind time, and someone came in and told me 5 tips at the start…

  • Original Sound Choice – Spending 5 years trying to EQ a snare to be just right isn’t the one. Replace it with a better original.
  • Setup your monitors correctly, and get sound baffles for that first point of reflection – This one might be tricky for some as they’re not sure how to, but I found this series on YouTube called Studio Rescue, this guy goes round producers houses sorting out their monitor angles and room positions, it’s really helpful stuff.
  • Ear Fatigue and Alcohol – Your ears are liars to be honest. They get tired after 15 minutes of loudness and start changing what you hear. Always check your mix on fresh ears a day later after a long session. And mixing drunk is an artform, I’d say write drunk and mix sober.
  • Honest Feedback – Friends and family think their objective, but they can’t be by the very nature of being your friends and family. Best to put music out to the world and see how people react. I think it’s a good idea to finish ideas too and move on, don’t obsess to much at the start as you’ll keep on getting better and better!
  • Don’t over EQ – I used to EQ the life out of stuff, it seems best to keep things in their natural frequency range, and apply minimal cuts. I try to roll off these days rather than high pass, as there’s a lot of character down low in most instruments.
  • Bonus – This one comes from an old publisher I used to know. Try to remake songs that you really like for your own benefit. There are things you’ll notice in tunes once you come to trying to replicate them, it will help open up your production ability with techniques you may otherwise not try out. And it goes without saying, that’s purely for learning purposes!

 

So you run your own label called Goldfat – why did you choose to start your own label? What’s the premise behind it?

I originally started it as a way to put out my own music to be honest, that was the main purpose. I got to a point where I just wanted to do my own thing. It’s moved on a bit now and we release other people’s music on the label. It’s more a labour of love for myself and Mr Porter, we’re in no rush, just doing our thing.

 

 

As well a running your own label, you also run your own business – what’s it like juggling all that with a budding trajectory in the music industry?

It can get tricky at times, luckily I have a business partner so the weight is shared on that front. No one prepares you for running a business, it’s daunting at times. We’ve got 8 team members now and knowing your responsible for all their wages each month can be overwhelming at times, you’ve kind of got to block it out and just crack on otherwise you’d lose the plot. I’m fortunate to have a team big enough to allow me to disappear for a while if I need to work on music, or other music related bits. I could never do that at the start though.

Making music is a drug for me, I’ll fit it in one way or the other, whatever it takes.

 

So summertime is literally round the corner. Sun’s out, legs out, the lot. Question is, what’s you’re ideal Summer destination?

Mauritius. Paradise. I’m half Mauritian you see, I haven’t been since I was 1 though, so I’m basing it on a longing more than anything…  Looks amazing though. Anywhere the food is good too, good food is a must.

 

While we’re on the subject: summer essential items for all the Hospital crew?

A decent pair of shorts, above the knee of course. And my new Feels playlist on Spotify.

 

 

Let’s talk about the ‘Just One Second’ remix! One of the most seminal Hospital tracks, one of London Elektricity’s biggest releases and with Apex on the only ever official remix. What was the approach you took to putting it together?

That was really tricky. I wanted to stay relatively faithful to the original, but add this kind of Zero 7 vibe to it, laid back and stripped. I played with pitching the harmonies to give it this lazy feel. Hopefully that came across.

It’s one of those vocals where you could go anywhere, and it would be tempting to go all out playlist cheese on it, but I couldn’t do that. I just wanted to do my own take on it.

 

 

You’ve (obviously) got quite the impressive back catalogue. What’s been the most challenging track you’ve made so far?

Probably the next one coming, my debut single on Hospital, ‘Farmost’ ft Emer Dineen. It’s got lots of string parts, vocals and bass guitar, so it was tricky to keep that rolling feel with all that going on in the mix. There’s tons of automation going on that you may not spot, but it needed a very manual approach to get it sitting right.

With a string of release on some very tidy labels such as MTA / Skankandbass / Shogun / SGN, what can the people expect from you at Hospital, more of the same or maybe something a bit different?

Mainly more of the same. Though being at a place where I can pull together larger projects allows me a bit more freedom in what I put out. One of the great things about signing to Hospital was the fact I can make what I want. I think Tony would have words if I didn’t do my own thing anyhow!

 

Follow Mitekiss here: FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // SPOTIFY 

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Whilst Urbandawn is in the country, and his brands new ‘Sleeping Awake’ EP has just landed, we thought it’d be a great idea to get him in the studio and show off a huge selection of tracks from his record box and answer some questions sent in by the general public.
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