A world explorer born in Bogotá, Colombia, and based in Miami; MIICHII expresses his love for music through organic, electronic, and melodic sounds.
A former resident DJ at Behrouz’s own “Do Not Sit on The Furniture”, MIICHII has also travelled the world taking his sound to places like Burning Man and sharing the stage with the nikes of Behrouz, Serge Devant, Nico Stojan, Armen Miran, Viken Arman and Atish.
We caught up with MIICHII to talk about his new collaborative release with LEILAXMAREK on Wayu Records
T.H.E – Welcome to T.H.E Music Essentials! How are you, what’s good and bad in your world?
MIICHII – All good! Just came back from Toronto. I went there to produce music with my friends LEILAXMAREK, as well as with the talented singer Taylor Moreau. Lately, I have been very much interested in collaborating with musicians and producers, so this trip to Toronto was inspiring and fortunately, I was able to record some cool musical ideas.
Now I’m back at my studio in Miami finishing more music and other exciting projects I’ve been working on. I am very excited to share many ideas I have been developing as well as new collaborations with close producer friends.
T.H.E – Tell us about getting into dance music in Colombia?
MIICHII – Well, I have been a musician since I was a kid, and have been producing pop music since I was 16, shortly after moving to Miami from my country Colombia. After producing pop music for so many years, I realized that the genre was not satisfying my creative approach and vision, so about 6 years ago at the age of 30, I decided to make a complete switch to producing electronic music, a decision that completely changed my life and gave me so much creative freedom and vision.
I remember first trying different genres and styles in the electronic music realm, but one day I discovered a style of electronic music that I completely fell in love with. This style of music which contained so many ethnic and organic elements combined with deep house grooves took over my mind, so I decided to fully emerge myself and get inspired by artists in the genre.
Artists such as Armen Miran, Kora, and Hraach were my first influences. I remember listening to all of their music and trying to figure out their approach to music production. Even to this day, I admire their sound so much and I look up to their artistry.
Not only was I obsessed with producing this type of music, but also loved the idea of being able to DJ and present musical experiences to an audience, an idea that also influenced my decision to enter the electronic music industry.
T.H.E – Tell us about your new release on WAYU Records. What was the inspiration?
MIICHII – LEILAXMAREK came to my studio back in 2020 to produce a new electronic track. The recording session had so much flow, and great ideas kept coming up from all of us. Early in the session, we created a piano chord progression and some arpeggio ideas in a Moog synthesizer, which became the base idea for “Someone”. Soon after, the musicality from that session inspired me to write lyrics and create a vocal melody.
The lyrics were inspired by the transitional period where our souls free themselves of the chains placed by our own created limitations. It describes moments when we as humans decide to let go and explore new chapters and places in life, without forgetting the essence of who we were and the moments we fought for ourselves to try to be someone.
I am so happy with how the song ended up sounding, and I will never forget that first day in the studio with LEILAXMAREK. If it wasn’t for their initial musical inspiration, this song would have never existed.
I am also very excited that I was able to invite my Colombian friends Giovanny Aparicio and Kamilo Sanclemente to this EP! They did an amazing remix of “Someone” as their duo name “GIOKA”.
T.H.E – How did you link with LEILAXMAREK and why?
MIICHII – I met LEILAXMAREK at Burning Man 2018. We instantly had chemistry and quickly bonded throughout that whole week in the desert. Ever since then, we kept seeing each other and grew our friendship to the point that now we consider each other family. I was always inspired by their musical vision and the way they saw this industry, so I naturally wanted to collaborate with them in any way possible. They both have so much talent and passion for music, so it was a logical decision to sit down with them in the studio.
T.H.E – Do you often have a concept behind the tunes you make? Does that help creatively?
MIICHII – Throughout the years, I have always changed my approach to music production. Sometimes I decided on a concept in my head and tried to print that concept into audio as close as possible, but sometimes I randomly experimented with grooves and sounds which over time took shape into a new concept.
Lately, I have realized that the best approach is to first focus on the musicality of a track. This means starting with melodic composition first considering the groove and other elements as secondary. Once I have a satisfactory or logical musical idea, I let that musical composition dictate what kind of elements should be added to that initial concept.
This holds true also when producing a Live Set. I remember last year I composed a one-hour Live Set which I debuted at a Soundtuary party here in Miami. My focus was to tell a musical story that was tied inside that whole one hour. I couldn’t have accomplished that Live Set if I first worried about rhythm and grooves, I knew I had to compose a logical musical story using the piano and vocals in order to make sense of the whole picture.
I have learned that I should let the music slowly evolve and dictate everything, instead of forcing concepts, mixing styles, and sounds into a track. I would say that the concept behind every track of mine is the idea of considering music as a living organism that is always generating harmonic content which I receive as musical suggestions.
T.H.E – Who did what in terms of production? Did you take care of certain parts?
MIICHII – LEILAXMAREK created the initial musical idea which you can hear in the form of a piano chord progression. They also experimented with arpeggiated ideas in the Moog synthesizer which you can also hear at certain sections of the track. Leila later added her vocals as a background melody which nicely accompanied my vocals.
Later on, I took on the task of polishing all of those ideas, arranging the storyline, and finally mixing and mastering the track. Oh, and I also added the electric guitar which is definitely my favorite element in the song :)
T.H.E – What gear do you use in the studio and does that matter to you?
MIICHII – Throughout the years I have experimented with multiple pieces of gear and instruments, including analog Moog synthesizers, the Ableton Push 2, electric guitars, MIDI keyboards, and condenser microphones for my vocals.
Every piece of gear has always inspired specific musical ideas based on the tonality they bring, as well as the musical structure they are designed around. For example, during the pandemic in 2020, I experimented a lot with a Moog Subsequent 37. This synthesizer is designed in a way that I could create sounds in a very immediate way, permitting me to instantly focus on melodic ideas without having to dig in too much into sound design at the beginning, and subsequently, I could go back to it and design unique sounds way after the ideas were printed in MIDI language inside the computer. In a way, I was attracted to the idea of being able to use current digital technology with classic analog synthesis.
Nowadays, I switched to producing everything inside of the box. Although I love to play piano, I am currently using it more as an instrument to clear my mind and inspire me, rather than as a direct tool for composition. For the past couple of years, I became obsessed with having direct communication with the production software, meaning that any musical ideas I have in my brain, get instantly written in MIDI language using my mouse.
T.H.E – How important is racial and gender diversity in dance music, on line ups, on labels, in the behind the scenes jobs?
MIICHII – When it comes to any kind of diversity, our only job as industry professionals is to see people for who they are inside, their character, their skills, and their passion.
T.H.E – What else have you got coming up?
MIICHII – Well, I have multiple projects that I have been growing for the past two years!
One of them is the creation of a mixing and mastering process that shows producers step by step how to achieve a satisfactory end result in their music, by properly managing dynamic balance, tonal balance, and competitive loudness without compromising the dynamic range and integrity of their mix!
Another one is the launch of my record label ANDANZA with a new Melodic Techno EP coming soon by the talented German producer Adrian Schneider! I am very excited about this new record label since I will be able to curate music and help up-and-coming artists as well as established artists that wish to release music in the melodic techno genre.
And I also have 3 remixes that will be released in the near future for Mustafa Ismaeel & DANTE (Mirrors Toronto), Wassim Younes (Camel Riders), and Adrian Schneider under ANDANZA!