Mere months ago, if you were to find yourself discussing the “future” of Electronic Dance Music, the name Mikkas is one that would have certainly been brought up. Fast forward a few months and with the bangin’ Syndrome EP release via Big Fish Recordings as well as his chart topping remix of Porter Robinson’s – Unison, ripping up Beatport, it has become quite apparent that the future is officially NOW for the 25 year old Danish producer. We recently caught up with Mikkas to delve into his world of balancing label deadlines with a full college course load, future projects, production software and much more. Get to know one of our favorite producers even better by looking him up on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and of course mikkasmusic.com! Interview after the jump!
Bangerz Only: What is your musical background and what ultimately led you to producing dance music?
Mikkas: My musical background is probably as limited as it gets, which should be a good indicator that anyone can start producing. I started producing when I was around 12 years old with no musical knowledge other than my immense passion for music and sound. I didn’t play an instrument and I really didn’t feel the need to play one at that moment. If I could go back now though, I’d love to learn to play the piano or maybe the cello.
I don’t really remember listening to anything else than electronical music back then – I absolutely LOVED guys like Vangelis and of course the great Jean Michel Jarre. The melodies these guys could create was spot on for me, but it was first when I heard the likes of Cosmic Gate and Rank 1 to name a few that I felt a sudden urge to make something like this for myself. That perfect blend of strong kicks and driving basslines combined with beautifully crafted melodies just hit a nerve with me. If I were to say it very short, Cosmic Gate is the reason I started producing EDM (Electronical Dance Music).
Bangerz Only: You produce in multiple genres including Electro-House, Trance and Progressive. Do you have a favorite genre, and why?
Mikkas: If you had asked me this question a couple of years ago the answer would have been Trance and more precisely in the harder spectrum of Trance. Today it’s much more difficult to answer because so much have evolved in every genre. Trance has become slower and much more progressive over the time, while a lot of House has become much more melodic. All genres are borrowing from each other, and this is also why we see so many sub genres at the moment. Trouse WTF!? Right now I really dig the Electro scene, and especially tracks that have a melodic touch. For me it is important that a track isn’t just great as a club track, it should also be something I could listen to while I’m riding the train or walking in the park. Maybe I’m just getting old but I absolutely loathe Dutch House, since it doesn’t do anything melodically for me.
Bangerz Only: Rumors are flying around Twitter that you and Lucky Date have a collaboration in the works. Is there any truth to that and can you elaborate?
Mikkas: Haha rumours travel fast I see! Jordan and I both use Propellerhead Reason as our production tool which is pretty rare in this business, so it was only natural for us to get in contact. I really like what he has gotten out of Reason so I wouldn’t deny the opportunity to work with him in the future. Right now we are just playing around with the idea of doing a collab, so nothing concrete is in the works if that is what you’re asking .
Bangerz Only: You are starting to get the chart success that you deserve. For all of the up and coming producers reading this, describe what it’s like to finally see your name on the Beatport charts?
Mikkas: It’s great and all but at the same time it feels a bit shallow to tell you the truth. The charts are just a popularity contest and it doesn’t really express the quality in the music. Some would say that quality can be measured in popularity, which can be true, but what if some tracks aren’t even considered in the charts? A site like Beatport manages which labels that are allowed to have releases featured on their site, which is understandable because they want to make sure that their site contains the best of the best, but who are they to judge? Shouldn’t this be the costumers choice? If I hadn’t just released my remix of “Unison” and signed “Syndrome” to a well renowned label like Big Fish, I bet “Syndrome” wouldn’t even have entered the Top 100. So much for faith in my own music huh? But with that said, I am really appreciative that people are starting to notice me more, and I have to remember that marketing is a very important thing in this business.
Bangerz Only: Without giving away all of your secrets, tell us why Reason is your favorite production tool?
Mikkas: I “grew up” with Reason and that probably has a big thing to do with it. Normally I’m not scared of changes but every time I work in fx Cubase I don’t get that certain feeling of playfulness that Reason has. The way that you have a virtual rack that you can flip around and plug in the virtual wires is just such a fun way to visualize your tracks. Also I love that everything you need is in this program, you don’t really need all those fancy vst’s to create great sounding music. It forces you to be creative in a way that I don’t feel in other production tools. A lot of producers today use programs that support vst plugins and by using Reason I think I am automatically separating myself, thus making my music sound unique, since I can’t use Massive and Sylenth. J Vst plugins are awesome though, don’t get me wrong!
Bangerz Only: Your most recent release was a massive remix of Porter Robinson’s – Unison off his Spitfire EP. How did you hook up with Porter Robinson as well as Skrillex’s new label OWSLA? Describe your experience working with some of the biggest names in EDM.
Mikkas: I’ve known Porter for many years through underground music forums and we have always had a mutual respect for each other and our music, so when Porter approached me regarding making a remix for his new EP I was of course honored, I would have done the same for him. To be featured on this EP beside some of the biggest players in this business is a massive pat on the back from Porter and I am very grateful for that. He even told me I could choose to remix either “Unison”, “Vandalism” or “The Seconds”.
Bangerz Only: Your Syndrome EP was an absolute masterpiece. What ultimately led you to signing the EP with Big Fish Recordings and how did you decide who would do the remixes?
Mikkas: Thank you! Well, I actually sent my track to Porters managers and Porter of course and they hooked me up with Lazy Rich and his label Big Fish. It’s a great label that helps out a lot of aspiring producers and has an excellent reputation in the Electro scene, so releasing “Syndrome” through Big Fish was only natural. The remixes were the labels choice, I didn’t really know both Michael White or Atomic Drop but they all did a solid piece of rework on “Syndrome”.
Bangerz Only: Who are your biggest inspirations in life and music?
Mikkas: It’s really hard to answer this question without the regular tacky answers. Let’s just say that the people next to me inspire me. Music and movies inspire me. My music is very often inspired by other producers and composers which I think is very common. I love when producers push the boundaries and dare try something new which is something I also try in my music. Sometimes I like to shake things up and produce something completely different from what I normally do. It’s good exercise and who knows, maybe something unique can come from it?
Bangerz Only: Do you have any upcoming plans for a touring?
Mikkas: It is so damn tempting to just quit school and tour the world playing my own music – it would be a dream come true – but my inner sensible voice keeps telling me to wait until I’ve finished my education as a digital performance designer. I live in Denmark and most of my booking offers are in the US, so going there would take a lot of my time, so I either need to wait until I’ve got my degree or quit completely. I am done in a year, so when the time comes I will be touring the world. Can’t wait to rip peoples ears off.