Our artist of the week this week is the master of Trill and Future Bass; Mr. Tigran MiMOSA. A wonderfully talented artist with a one-of-a-kind approach to his music, MiMOSA has been on the forefront of the hip-hop infused bass music movement. Constantly redefining the genres of trap, trill, future bass, and glitch, this artist breaks down musical barriers and then baffles his audiences with sounds they’ve never heard before. Check out an awesome interview with this legend below, as well as a few recent tracks of his, AND a recap video of his performance from Decibel Festival. Enjoy!
Interview with Tigran MiMOSA at the Showbox at the Market in Seattle, for Decibel Festival 9.27.12
I’m sure you get the same questions over and over, and I already know that you are influenced a lot by hip-hop; do you feel influenced by modern hip-hop, or was it just old-school stuff that served as the gateway to bass music?
The hip-hop that I was influenced by was the golden era of hip-hop, which I consider to be ’96. I’m still down with the new hip-hop. I feel like new hip-hop — in the last five years or so — has been keeping its ear closer to the underground scene. I feel like the EDM world and the hip-hop world are merging right now. I love the beats in new hip-hop I hear on the radio; I’ll bump that shit in my car, even though it’s cheesy as fuck.
Speaking of the two worlds merging, I have heard some of your more recent mixes and your new SexyTime project with Sleepyhead, and I feel personally that it sounds slightly more hip-hop, at least in terms of vibe; it’s kind of more low key and more intimate. Is that intentionally more hip-hop sounding, or am I way off?
It sounds more leftfield, I would say. We definitely are not trying to sound like a mainstream hip-hop vibe, but I am always influenced by early hip-hop. Like Tu-Pac, Dr. Dre, Timbaland, UGK, Biggie and all those cats. It was a part of growing up in LA. I think on either coast, though, you are exposed to that kind of music. The first album I got when I was seven or eight, my mom bought me Too Short’s Life is Too Short. I was a seven-year-old bumpin’ that, talking about asses – that’s just what I grew up on. Then I moved to the bay area, started listening to electronic music, and it just broadened my perception on music. I found a crossover from that psychedelic sound and that hip-hop sound. If you go back to my early days, you can see that my music has always been hip-hop oriented in one way or another — it has just evolved. When I dropped my first album, Hostilis, I was sixteen or seventeen, and I’m twenty-four now; of course my sound is going to change, because I’ve changed as a person. It’s not like I’m following a trend; I’m just expressing myself.
How is performing on stage different than when you are recording in the studio?
My set-up in the studio is a completely different monster than what I have up on stage with me tonight. In the studio, I am using a different computer; I am usually using two different programs: Ableton and Logic. The creative process in the studio is a much more personal expressive thing, whereas when I’m at a party, it’s more about keeping up good energy and having a good time — they are totally different art forms. When I produce an album, I’m thinking about different environments; there are some tracks I want to listen to at home, some tracks I want to listen to laying in bed; there are some tracks I want to bump in my car, some tracks I want to play at a club. Playing a show or a party is more about having fun and expressing myself in a raw way.
Back to your collaboration with Sleepyhead for your SexyTime project. Being a mostly solo artist, what was it like collaborating with someone else? Was it challenging to be working on the same piece, or did you only make each other more creative?
I met Sam when I was really young. I don’t really produce music with other people; I’ve only really collaborated with one other person besides Sam. It just happened organically. We used to play at the same clubs in the bay area, and at some point we decided to try meshing our sets together to make one long set and it worked really well. The SexyTime project actually started as kind of a joke. We were doing some work for a friend digging ditches in the middle of the hot summer building a fence. We were in a six foot hole, in the hot sun, and we were clowning around because we were completely delirious. I forget what the exact joke was, but it was right around the time Borat came out and we were joking that we should start a project called SexyTime, and later we just sort of went with it. It has been a great process; he is a very talented artist. We make very different types of music; he’s more into a more house sound now, but when we come together in the studio, we vibe off each other very well.
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