Interview with Emika : Miss Foxy catches up with Emika
Submitted by Miss Foxy
(August 05, 2012)
About: Miss Foxy
Would you say you are foremost a bass-heavy composer? How have you found your journey with Ninja Tune so far?
Yes, I am a composer, and yes I love bass! I compose a lot of music for electronic instruments and acoustic, I write all kinds of songs and choose the instruments best fitting the musical narratives. But bass is the one area of sound and music that moves me in the most beautiful ways, I cannot describe with words.
Working with Ninja Tune is a blessing. I have so much freedom, and I have become a Professional, with total independence. They have taught me the most about being independent and this was the main attraction for me choosing to work with them in the first place. It keeps getting better. The trust grows, and communications are simple and minimal. It just works between us. I make the music, they release the music.
I recently saw your new video for single 3 hours, taken from your debut album released last year. Would you say your music has taken on a more industrial edge, mixing lighter tones with cutting basslines?
I wrote this song years ago, this is what got me the recording deal with Ninja Tune. So it's hard for me to see if my current work is more industrial or not. I don't reflect on my music with genre words like 'industrial', I just make the music I feel the most! I like to keep my mind quiet and still.
In terms of production how did you first start out within the world of electronica?
I was studying classical music when I was young, but this is a small and static world of western traditional notation systems and the upper-class who can afford to take exams and invest in instruments outside of school. My dad found a 4 track tape recorder, I think it was originally from my Aunt. And I started to record my voice and piano and other found-sounds onto tape. I got into sampling and recording with tape as a teenager.
The next phase of my life was at university where I studied Creative Music Technology in England. I got really into synthesis and programming, producing music, studio work. Then I moved to Berlin after my degree (to escape a horrible period of illness and find my soul again) and I stumbled into a job at NI after first working as an Au Pair in Berlin and learning a little German.
So over the years I have followed my interests with music, sound design, recording and sampling. sometimes I make records, sometimes I simply perform and sing a lot. I do many things within the world of music. I like to fly around like a little butterfly checking out different flowers.
I heard you worked for a time at Native Instruments as a sound designer that must have helped hone your individual style?
Not really. NI is a big commercial company with a global market focus. It is nothing about the individual, or my personal music style, it is about big business and collectivity. When I worked there, for me it was a commercial industry day-job. It was a brilliant and creative position within the Sound Design team, but my job was to serve the company, not myself. I was very committed to their vision at this time.
Have you found your journey as a producer to focus more upon the technical aspect of sound in conjunction with vocals? I understand one of the key elements to your music is to bridge the gap between electronic tones and the human voice.
My work as a composer / sound designer / singer, involves a lot of experimentation between all three areas. It is very interesting for me, as I must balance technical with creative jobs all in the same moment. Like a never ending game of endless possibilities. I have been working in this way for over 11 years now. Maybe in another 11 years from now with a lot more experience and a lot more recorded albums, I will agree to being called a 'producer'. This is my long term goal, but I mean long term, like until I am 50. 'Producer' is such a buzz word these days. I've watched the evolution of this word since the 90's. I believe, making music using recording and software electronically, is a key part of modern composition. Realising your musical ideas until they are finished and are also for example sellable, is still the work of a composer today. Thinking about 'production' is a total vibe killer. I don't bother with this style of thinking. Who cares about who produced a record? I care about who composed the music, and how the music was recorded, and
why it was created, and if it is truthful expression.
Who inspires you the most currently within the music industry? Are there any other producers within dubstep you feel are playing key roles in the scene right now?
Mala and Pinch.
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