Artist Interview – MJS

MJS is a talented songwriter and producer, generally in the electronica / dance genre and is from right here in the UK. MJS kindly agreed to give us a a quick interview regarding his interests in music, how he gets inspired and just how he comes up with those amazing electronica textures in all of his songs.

Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or number of genres what would it be?

I suppose primarily electronica – just because of the way I like to bring sounds together. Although I don’t restrict myself at all. If something sounds right and ‘fits’ then I will use it. So in my music there may be elements of dance, rock, and almost any other genre. I like to experiment a lot with different sounds.

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

Someone described it as ‘Music you can play with in your mind… and move to with your body’. Spot on!

MJS

Q: What is your musical background?

I started to get seriously involved in music during my teenage years when I had an avid interest in the sound technology that was around at the time. It was a time when music was exciting, innovative and you could try just about anything. Then I used tape recorders and ‘synths’ (and just about anything else I could get my hands on) to make all kinds of weird and wonderful sounds.

In my late teens and early twenties I became involved with two live music venues in Bristol (UK) where up-and-coming bands (such as U2) would play, and this gave me the opportunity to work with different artists on their projects.

Although I have continued to be involved in music in some way, it was not until a couple of years ago that I really started to seriously produce my own material.

Q: How was 2010 for you?

2010 was a brilliant year. It was a year when my music has been heard and liked by people all around the world. It has been a time when I have been fortunate to make contacts with many talented people, and a year where my music production has matured and started to move in a very positive direction.

Q: Who inspires you musically?

The inspiration for my music comes from many different people. Musical influence comes from anyone who is new and innovative grabs my attention. From the psychedelic rock of the seventies, through to the New Age and punk movement of the eighties, and into the more progressive artists of the nineties and today. The inspiration they give me is that you can produce something special and unique – dare to be different!

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

I think that The Prodigy and Faithless are the most recent artists I can say really grab my attention. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I like everything they do. But they have something unique and continually strive to produce new and interesting music. When they started, they were innovators, they pushed boundaries and continue to do so today. They don’t try to ‘follow the crowd’ or replicate other artists – they are unique. There are many other artists who have similarly influenced the way I approach making music.

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

I have met so many interesting and talented people through music it is really difficult to narrow down who I would like to collaborate or gig with.

Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?

All kinds of music! A diverse range from metal to classical.

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

First of all, I have to be inspired by something which invokes a feeling in me. It can be from anywhere – perhaps a picture, sound, situation, person, or sometimes something which creeps into my imagination. From then on the process is fairly organic, with the sounds coming together to relay the feeling -- although it doesn’t always work and there have been times where I have spent a long time on a piece of music only to abandon it because it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right. I have to be in the right mood too; otherwise the feeling of the music is lost.

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

The kind of music I produce is primarily instrumental, so melody is the most important part. Although, this year I hope to be working with some vocalists which will be interesting.

Q: Where are you based?

I am based in Warwickshire (UK), although I originally come from south-west UK.

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

Where I come from is a beautiful part of the country, and there are so many interesting things to do and experience. The music scene is vibrant and it has life. Sometimes I think I may move back there one day – we shall see.

Q: What are you currently working on?

My current project is ‘Broken Reality’. It is nearing completion and I am in the process of finalising the track listing and making fine adjustments to the music.  You can hear some of the tracks in the embedded ReverbNation player.


You can play the music in the car, on your home stereo, at a party, with your friends or alone, or put on a pair of headphones and lose yourself in the subtleties of the sound which you really can ‘play with in your mind’.

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Without doubt it has been meeting nice people along the journey to today. I suppose the biggest surprise has been being played in locations as far away as Las Vegas and Japan!

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

Perhaps 2011 is going to be the best year yet. A year where my career continues to develop and more and more people enjoy my music.  A year of interesting musical collaborations. A year of fantastic performances and a year of happiness and fun!

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

I don’t have gigs or shows finalized at the moment. But exciting things are going to happen in 2011!

Q: What do you do to relax?

Music and more music. Playing it, listening to it, learning new and interesting ways to produce it. Or, being out and about meeting interesting people and visiting interesting places.

MJS

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

You won’t like my music if you think X-Factor is the best on the planet – because your life is already over!

Editor’s Note: MJS is undoubtedly a really talented artist. Creating textures that are enthralling, individual but also pleasing too. I think I’d describe it as reflective electronic dance music. Something you could listen to and enjoy both in a club and by yourself in quiet reflection.


If you’d like to check out more of MJS, follow these links:

Official page: http://www.mjsuk.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mjsuk
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/mjsuk
Bandcamp: http://mjsmusic.bandcamp.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MJS/151520214870235

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Essential Pop is an online music magazine all about the best aspects of popular music and incredible interviews from the best up and coming artists. We're also on twitter, follow us @essentialpop!