Rising UK house artist Mij Mack chats about his debut album Elysium, his creative mindset, and the current state of the scene.
UK-based producer Mij Mack has been making some major moves in the house scene as of late, bringing some bouncy brightness to these darker times. Combining elements of bass, house, techno, and broken beat in his sound, he breaks through the barrier of being a monotone musician- so its no wonder that he has gained support from world-renowned artists and tastemakers alike.
Though he has roots infused in classic rock from the likes of Frank Zappa and Deep Purple, it didn’t take long for Mij Mack to hop on the dance music train. Some of his earlier influences include staples like Groove Armada, Faithless, and Röyksopp, all of which still hold strong to this day. These exposures combined with Mack’s habit of picking up instruments around his household led to his inevitable introduction to the world of EDM.
This month, Mij Mack is set to release his debut LP Elysium on his own label Sound Upstairs. It is filled to the brim with delicious deep house done right – shimmering melodies, entrancing samples, and an overall serene tone, and we’re sure that you’ll love this album from beginning to end. Stay tuned for the full album release and read on for our chat with this rising star!
Stream EDMID Guest Mix 237 || Mij Mack on SoundCloud:
Hey Mij Mack, thanks for taking time to chat with us today. As you know, the music scene has had to make some serious adjustments due to the pandemic. What has your experience been like, and how have you been holding up despite the current circumstances?
Hello! I’m holding up fine right now. I have had plenty of time to get in the studio and I have been working on lots of new music.
Your debut album, Elysium, is set to arrive at this month and offers a serene selection of varying house beats. Elysium has some ambiguity in terms of definition – what concept or message are you trying to relay with the release of this album?
The Concept for “Elysium” is about escaping from a negative situation to somewhere you would rather be but I hope the listeners can incorporate their own ideas about what it means. All the tracks were all made to tie in with the vibe and theme for the album.
The first single of Elysium, “I Can Go”, dropped last month and you recently gave us all “Beyond Eden” as well. Both feature truly entrancing melodies with subtle yet uplifting energy. When you’re sitting down in the studio to create tunes like this, how do you put your mind in the right headspace?
It varies, I usually only work when I feel inspired but some track ideas come from just playing around on synths. Sometimes these tracks/ideas are formed from being in a bad headspace, this is when I feel the most emotion to be able to spill out creativity.
Considering the current state of affairs in the world, have you faced any creative blocks when producing tracks for the album or other releases you’ve worked on lately?
Yes absolutely, last year the longest creative block lasted five months. At these times you just have to let go and accept that you’re not going to be able to get everything in your head down in the DAW. Now I just work when I have the feeling and it’s working out a lot better.
When you’re putting together a mix like the one you’ve spun for us today, how do you approach figuring out which tracks you want to play? Do you try to include specific tunes or just go with the flow?
For mixes like these, I carefully select the tracks because it’s usually a depiction of how my sets would sound if you were to hear me DJ in a club. If I am playing out I will usually have a rough idea of what tracks to play but it’s never set in stone.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the scene in the UK?
The music that’s coming out is great at the moment but there is some serious warfare going on between clubs/owners and politicians. It’s like nightclubs have just been left in the trenches to rot!
How did growing up in Cheltenham shape your music career? Do you have any outrageous or really memorable rave stories from the past?
There was a roadside woodcarver who lived on the A40 outside of Cheltenham who asked a friend if we could DJ at his caravan site. We turned up and right next to the main road there were all these flashing lights and these weird fishing nets with people lying in them in the trees. People driving by just parked their cars and joined in. To be honest all the people were psytrance loving pixies so it wasn’t really our scene at all but it was a funny experience.
Finally, releasing a debut album is a major landmark for you as a producer, but have you thought about what’s to come next in your career? What goals do you hope to achieve in the coming years?
I’d definitely like to make an album again but for now I just want to see how all these tracks are received.