Talented producer Misty burst onto our radar earlier this year with the splendid two track release ‘Amandrai’ on Montreal-based label Fauna & Flora. A leading light for the Egyptian scene right now, the veteran producer and DJ talks us through his rise, his relationship with the F&F crew, key changes in the industry and all that is to come in 2018.
WWD: Thanks for taking the time to chat. Tell us, what does a regular day look like for Misty?
If you asked me this question a few months ago, the answer would’ve been different. I left my job at a consultancy last April because it was a struggle juggling between 2 careers and a social life and at the same time I had a few music projects pop up, so I took that as a sign that this is what I should be focusing 100% of my time on right now. So, if I had to put it down in words, my day mainly revolves around getting up between 9-10am, have breakfast and hang out with my crazy demon dog before I go down to the studio at 12:00pm. I aim to get a good 8 or more hours of studio work during the day so if im feeling satisfied, I might go out later for a change of scenery.
WWD: Can you share with us some information about your current studio set up?
I used to have my studio set up in my bedroom but the room wasn’t treated and I needed more space so I can really be comfortable, so I emptied out this storage room we had in the garden and completely soundproofed and treated the walls by myself. I spent around 3-4 months reading about studio design and getting familiar with the right materials to use because hiring a studio engineer was too expensive, so i figured “I might aswell do it myself”(which turned out to be a bit of a bitch). In terms of the my technical setup, have a moog and a microkorg that I use on occasion with Dynaudio BM6A monitors and ableton running as my DAW. This past year I’ve found myself just working in the box and limiting any hardware use, but that might change later as my sound develops.
WWD: With a career spanning over 9 years, how would you describe the evolution of your music/sound from when you started to now?
When I first started, I was playing a mix of everything. I still hadn’t discovered the sort of sound I wanted to focus on but over time, I became accustomed to the direction of music that I enjoy most. I don’t like labeling, restricting or limiting myself to one specific genre of music, if it sounds good to me, ill play it
WWD: What do you seek for listeners to feel when they listen to your music?
Its important for my music to end up making sense to everyone. I want them to understand and relate to it and feel that they are a part of it. Earlier in my career it was about making sure everyone was raving out, full out dancing, big track after big track but recently I’ve found comfort in putting together a more structured body of work with builds ups, build downs, long outros and intros.
WWD: How did you come to join the label Fauna & Flora?
At a time when I was really struggling with music production and my knowledge was somewhat limited, I was put in touch with Tone Depth by his manager Khalid to help me start a mixing course with him which really eased me into getting better sound quality and warmth to the music I was making. Ever since then, Tone Depth has been an integral part of what im doing today and when he heard the stuff I was putting out, the opportunity of being part of his project popped up, and here I am. Joining the Fauna & Flora team is one of the decisions that I am most grateful for.
WWD: What can we expect from your collaboration with Fauna & Flora in 2018?
We got great feedback and response for Amandrai with support from some big heavyweights in the industry like Nicole Moudaber. We’ve locked down a few releases for 2018, where I get to put out tracks that are more “full bodies of work” as opposed to traditional 4/4 dance floor music.
WWD: Have you experienced any changes in the industry from the growth of the underground electronic music scene worldwide?
I remember around 2008-2009 it was a struggle to get people in Egypt to dance to house music and understand the genre itself. The electronic music scene was very small compared to today. Nowadays everyone is connected and people are more educated about music scene. The crowd size here grew from a couple of hundred people to almost a few thousand over the past 8 years.
Anyone in this industry will tell you that this scene is constantly evolving and changing and this is always creating opportunities for artists around the world to be able to get up on the platform and present what they’re doing to the world.
WWD: What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to a budding producer trying to break out?
It is a lot of work and will take a lot of your time, effort and commitment to see something really happen with your music. Make sure you’re always watching tutorials and trying to improve yourself within the field. Also collaborating and listening to other artists is very important. Finally and most importantly, make music that sounds good to you.
WWD: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the ‘Amandrai’ EP?
For the past while I’ve been looking to make my music sound more organic with a focus on grooves built out of ethnic percussions. This is probably because I’ve been really inspired by the stuff coming out of the Keinemusik label and artists like Trikk and Toto Chiavetta. While I was working on ‘Amandrai’ I found myself indirectly working towards an ethnic groove. After I set the drums and bassline, I found a vocal sample that fit right in and added to the hypnotic feel of the song. The bside track, ‘Dimensions’ was actually the first track of the EP that I had finished and that was purely made to work as a tool for my sets. It was more of a ‘straight to the point’ build up track.
WWD: If you could have an extra 4 hours in the day, what would you spend it doing?
Probably go out with friends or binge watch a show with the guys but being in a place like Egypt, you’re surrounded by so much natural beauty so I would definitely use up my time to travel around the country and find inspiration in anything but realistically, ill probably need more than an extra 4 hours a day for that.
WWD: What can we look forward to hearing from you in the near future?
My follow up EP with Flora is scheduled for early 2018 🙂
Thank you for this chat, I really enjoyed it.