I was lucky enough to sit down with an amazing new electro & drumstep producer name MiTiS before his gig at Webster Hall’s new mid-town club in NYC, Slake. If you haven’t heard of him, make sure to check out his tour as it swings across the US, and hit the soundcloud links below.
1. How was your summer? Any cool gigs, or fun stories?
My son came into existence 4 months ago today! I had a day off, took a train home from Baltimore, saw my son, celebrated his 4 month birthday. Every month I’ve been able to come home, which is pretty big. I’m pretty stoked to be back in the studio and vibe off of that, the feelings and emotions and inspiration from that.
2. What is the Philly scene like when it comes to the type of music you spin? I recently went to Soundgarden Hall with some of my buddies for the first time. A lot of people were hyped on a lot of more poppy stuff. Dubstep has never been a huge scene there, but you have a lot of kids that go to clubs, the regulars, they know about it and all of that. It’s starting to pop off.
3. Coming from classical music, how do you find that non-classical composing/performance is different than performing in a classical/recital environment? It’s all the same thing, there’s a gathering of people who love music and have a passion for what they’re listening to. Everyone has an ear for different things. Some people love country, some people hate country, some people love electronic music,some people fucking despise it. I think there are a lot of similarities, but it differentiates in experience between people.
4. Which of your tracks would you recommend your fans play for people who have never heard you before? Oh man, I want to say “Born“, but I’ve heard the track so many times I can almost be sick of it. Honestly, “Open Window“. I’ve spent so much time in the last 6 months really shaping my sound. Since I’ve been playing a lot more live, I’ve gotten a much better feel for what the audience wants, what is heart-throbbing & adrenaline-rush’y. I think Open Window really gives that, and that’s why I spent so much time on shaping my sound to be unique, but also to allow everyone in the world to relate to it.
5. Do you mind sharing how you produce some of those gorgeous sounds that you’ve become known for? I use Ableton 9 right now, and I absolutely love it. I use mostly Sylenth as a VST and Zebra. Zebra is my number one right now, it’s really big with trance & psytrance. But when you take that synth that was designed for a genre, and you take it into another genre, it changes the whole realm. Both Sylenth & Zebra do that for me.
6. What can fans expect from your performance at shows on your tour? They can expect [more] variety, as all you guys who have listened to my Change Will Come Mix know. I have everything from more modern mainstream stuff to even stuff like a track from Mat Zo that’s a Tiesto remix from like, 2008 or 9. I just play everything from my heart and that I’m really feeling at the moment.
7. If you could play one show/festival/stage anywhere, what would it be and why? TommorrowLand man. That seems incredible, and it has hardstyle, and I’m a huge fan of hardstyle, I freaking love hardstyle. Good hardstyle, is some of the best EDM in my ears. So yea, TommorrowLand.
8. You’re very active on social media, engaging with your fans more than most, does it get hard to keep up with? I have a lot of help with social media, I try to respond to as many people as I can. I have help responding, but there are so many times when I’d get a really solid message, and it’s hard for me. Because the message is really intimate, a really emotional message and I’d want to take my time with that. It’s definitely gotten extremely difficult in the last 8 months to a year, gotten pretty heavy.
9. How do you see the Philly scene, and the US scene in general, evolving, as “EDM” keeps growing in the states? Even the past 4 months, trap has gotten really big. Personally, I’m not a fan, but a lot of people weren’t a fan of Moohmbahton either. Everyone has their own thing. I personally see Drum & Bass and Hardstyle, both coming in very heavily. Maybe that’s just because I’m biased and I love drum & bass and I love drumstep and I think there’s a lot of potential in that tempo.
10. Are there any aspects of the genres that you produce, or the events that you perform at, that turn you off? It depends man. From the business side, there’s a lot of room for more professionalism to come into play. I think that everyone is kinda new at this in America, and there is a lot more room for people to grow and be professional while developing their brand. Musically, I think to each their own, everyone really learns at their own pace.
11. Without thinking about it too hard, name one sound on your phone/music player that you’ve been into recently, say the last 2 months? I’ve been really feeling Tantrum Desire. He’s the top of my list, I think he produces amazing stuff.
12. Who is really inspiring you right now? You might think it would be others out there, but it’s the people who are with me, my tour manager, Kicks & Licks and Mahi. We have a problem in our personal life, we all talk to each other. We have a problem in the moment, we talk to each other. That is such a big inspiration & such a comfort, that it’s a family situation and makes everyone comfortable with what’s going on and everyone knows what’s up.
13. What does MiTiS stand for? How’d you come up with it? I was making music in my basement at like 5 AM, and my friend Jason was sleeping and having wacky dreams. I was making music and he started yelling “more snare, more snare” in his sleep. I was like “Dude, alright,” so I added more snare and a different snare and it really made the track come through. He came over to me half-asleep, and he said “Dude, you’re fucking MiTiS.” It has nothing to do with Midas, and it’s not a super story, but he spelled it out and it happened and I enjoyed it.
14. Where did you & Mahi get the ideas behind that amazing/recently dropped d&b track, Movements? I came up with an idea, I liked it, and just like “Open Window”, I was getting super frustrated. I didn’t know what was missing. Mahi came over, we’re basically brothers, and I said, why don’t we add your guitars, since he’s a guitarist, and just have a straight session of guitars and piano. We work so well together, it took 15minutes to compose his music, we edited it, put the reverb and delay on it. It just happened, and that’s why that track will always be dear to me. It’s the first time we both really collabbed on our original instruments.