Born and raised in New York City, music producer, and artist Mïrändä has been busy creating both sonically and visually. Whilst billed under the guise of an electronic artist for purposes of filing, this never quite linguistically satisfies the complexity of her sound. Already with a well-received EP (‘Empire’) under her belt, Mïrändä’s playfulness and adventure in exploring meandering musical directions are apparent. With a background rooted in NYC with so much at the doorstep, inspiration and experience feeding into her work are plentiful. Today sees Mïrändä drop new track ‘Glow’. Mïrändä’s blend of influences, obvious or otherwise, manifests itself into glossy synths driven by a soothing bass. Offset by melodic vocals adding further depth and layers, there unravels a dramatic sonic tale. In celebration, we decide to take a moment to bother Mïrändä with a few questions…
KALTBLUT: Tell us a little about yourself. Growing up in NYC, how much has the city shaped who you are as the person and artist today? Mïrändä: No matter where you are in NYC you’re surrounded by art, culture, and creativity. In the span of one block, you can find Mediterranean food, a jazz club and stop by the Judaica. While I grew up listening to Celtic music, Hard Rock and everything in between, I also played classical violin for 9 years and studied Drama for 5 years. I think my classical, Celtic and theatre backgrounds remain very present in my songwriting.
KALTBLUT: Women writing and producing their own music and receiving their dues has been problematic in the music industry. How has your experience in the industry been? Mïrändä: Since I am pretty self-sufficient and very rarely use or need other people to make my music, I feel lucky to say I haven’t experienced any extreme cases of sexism. However, at this point, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had guys approach me with dumb, unsolicited criticism and then say “we should collab”. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since entering the world of production as a woman, it’s to beware of the “collab” and not to let silly boys play their macho head games. There’s no point in working with someone if there isn’t a mutual respect.
KALTBLUT: Your music is tinged with 80s drama, 90s dream pop, and electro. What would you say have been inspirations in your world that inform your aesthetics? Mïrändä: I’ve been listening to MGMT’s new album, Little Dark Age, a lot lately and I’m realizing more and more what an influence they’ve had on my musical style. I listened to them religiously throughout high school. Grimes has been a huge influence on me in so many ways – she’s the reason I started producing myself. I love how fearless she is with her production style and arrangement and she’s inspired me to try and do the same. I’ve also always loved James Mercer, the lead singer of Broken Bells and The Shins. He has this incredible way of interweaving genres of music and writes surprising, complex, beautiful vocal melodies and pairs them with bizarre lyrics. I love juxtaposition in music – sad or strange lyrics with playful, upbeat melodies. Funny enough, I didn’t grow up listening to much from the 80s, and I never sit down to write with the intention of creating Dream Pop, but I guess that’ll happen organically when you love bass-y synth sounds as much as I do.
KALTBLUT: The tracks on your EP ‘Empire’ in particular seem to have an expansive, ethereal feel and yet full of catchy hooks. What’s important to you in the song-writing process to produce a strong sound identity? Mïrändä: I only want to make music that I’d want to listen to. My favorite part of the process is choosing the sounds and creating layers and textures. Songs are like sonic paintings, and the qualities that I find pleasing in a piece of visual art are similar to the things I look for and love in a really good song. Melody is the most important aspect of a song to me whether it’s vocal or instrumental.
KALTBLUT: Great retro synths infused with electro dream pop, we are absolutely hooked on the drama of your new single Glow. It seems to have a faster pace and tone than your previous tracks. Was this a conscious decision? Mïrändä: Glow was actually two different songs combined into one. Neither song was working on its own so I took all of my favorite sections and turned them into one big (unconventional) pop song. The song arrangement is unusual and that definitely adds to the fast pace and tone of the song. I wouldn’t say it was a conscious decision but I’m always trying to play around with sounds, style, and arrangement. I expect and hope that my sound will continue to evolve because I think that’s one of the things that makes creating so exciting. I’m very interested to hear how people interpret Glow and what they think it’s about… it has a few different meanings for me and it’s always fascinating to hear what listeners take away from a song.
KALTBLUT: What other creative musical exploits can we expect from you this year? Mïrändä: I’d like to put out as many singles as possible in 2018 and maybe some instrumental tracks. I have a bunch of songs I play live that I haven’t recorded yet. I perform pretty frequently in the NYC area and I have a monthly residency at PIANOS starting March 7. It’ll be a great opportunity to continue to develop my live show and add some more visual elements.
KALTBLUT: Any plans to tour (maybe this side of the Atlantic?) Mïrändä: Not at the moment, but hopefully soon. I’ve never been to Europe and the idea of visiting for the first time while touring with my music sounds incredible.
KALTBLUT: And finally, what are you listening to at the moment? Mïrändä: Earlier I mentioned MGMT’s album Little Dark Age – my favorites off the album have to be Me and Michael, She Works Out Too Much, Little Dark Age, One Thing Left to Try and Hand It Over. Those five have been on repeat since they came out. I’m also loving Mayday by Hot Sugar, Get Free by Major Lazer ft. Dirty Projectors, Fuck They by Sofi Tukker and David Lynch’s album The Big Dream.