We sat down with singer-songwriter Midé who had a great 2014 after releasing his critically acclaimed debut album E.G. and touring the UK with several sold out shows – he has recently released an EP titled The Only Way Is Up, which showcases his versatility as a musician.
Hello Midé, how are you doing?
I’m doing very well thank you
What was the first ever song you ever sang?
I’m not sure I remember the first song I ever wrote but one of the earliest songs I remember singing along to was probably a Fela Kuti song. My dad loved his records.
How did that song make you feel? Did it inspire you to write the music you sing now?
I’m not sure if the song or the artist inspired me to write, at least not at that stage. I was very little and my ambitions in music didn’t come till much later for me.
What do you feel differentiates an artist from just a musician?
I feel like an artist is a bit like a conductor in an orchestra, he assigns different instruments and musicians various roles within a piece. I think that that choice of arranging more than one instrument into some musical tapestry is what separates an artist from a musician. It’s like someone who makes fabrics would be the musician and the tailor who sews it all into a dress would be the artist. Many times they can be the same person.
As a musician/artist how much creative control do you have over your own music?
Right now I like to think I have full creative control, especially over where I’d like to take my music
I’ve been listening to your EP “The Only Way Is Up”, great EP, congratulations with that. What was the songwriting process during the recording sessions?
Thank you very much, I’m glad you enjoyed it. To be honest the process of creating that EP was a first for me. Usually I spend a lot of time with songs before they eventually get recorded and released but with this EP I didn’t spend too long. I think a big part of that was because I felt that it was right and where it needed to be. I felt satisfied quickly and easily with it.
What image did you want the EP to convey?
At the time and maybe even now I like people to see me as both a musician and an artist. I like being able to express myself in intricate but also extravagant ways with music. Ultimately though I feel like I can only think and try to show that, people are in control of how they choose to see you, no matter what you do.
Listening to “The Only Way Is Up” it feels as though as you recorded these songs to be performed on stage. They have that live music feel to them, is this something you were consciously aware of?
Very much so. In the time between writing and recording the songs, I rehearsed it with my band maybe four or five times, and we were confident about it. From the start it had a very live music element for me and I’m always very happy to present that in my music. I absolutely love live music and live performances.
If you were given a chance to perform one song off the EP to a brand new crowd, what song would it be and why?
I think right now it would be “Oh Love”. It’s one of my favourite songs to perform live and I think new or old crowd, the song behaves differently each time.
As an artist/musician, how would you define success?
For where I am now I think success is to be able to play more of my music in front of more people.
What do you feel is missing from today’s music industry?
I really don’t think of myself as an expert on the industry as a whole so it makes these kind of assumptions on my part very myopic but I’ll give it a shot. I think if there were more collaborations and a general sense of daring to try new things, platforms, ideas…sometimes I think that sense of experiment is missing. Also because as a business the motivation is, a lot of the time, centered around the ‘bottom line’.
Are you working on any new projects? If so, when can we expect new music from you?
I most certainly am. I’m back in the studio working on a new project that I’m really excited about. Its a big opportunity for me to grow. But pending that time I have a new video for the lead single from the project out soon. The song is called “Right Where You Are” and I love it a lot. I’m also teaming up with everyone who supports me to help fund the finishing, releasing and marketing of the new project. Anyone can pledge to help bring it to life and I know that in thirty days we can raise a substantial amount towards it. The place to check is www.midesmusic.com