INTERVIEW: Midoca Discusses The Beauty Behind Abstract, Nocturnal Production
Meet Midoca, an LA-based producer of what he pins as “mood wave” music. Under the Sexy Electric collective, Midoca has been on the rise in the electronic scene, creating something that is all his own. The soundscape he paints is that of a dark atmosphere, but blends elements of decorative, expressive melodies that create an interesting palette of art. Bodying this signature artistry, his cascade of easy-listening beats fuse with thumping rhythms to make electronic music worth chilling to anytime. He is working on a new album that is set to release in the summer.
While he was in town supporting Jai Wolf’s east coast tour run, we sat with him and chatted about things like what music he grew up with, what he considers to be "real" music, and how he wants to be remembered.
What color do you feel like today?
I feel gray. It’s not a negative thing, it’s a neutral thing.
When and how did you know music was the answer?
Music is something I always came back to. There was nothing else that made as much sense as music did to me. I tried going to school but didn’t entirely have an interest or passion in anything. I’ve always known it’s the answer.
What did you listen to growing up and does it show in your own sound?
I was thinking about this recently. When I was young, my parents always played bands like Grateful Dead and Fleetwood Mac, but once I began to find my own interest, I really loved Nirvana -- specifically the Bleach album. I was really into Pearl Jam when I was around 14 as well. Harder rock stuff… Just exploring sounds. Even today I still go back to Nirvana. And with their music especially, the creativity is so raw and didn’t necessarily rely on talent, but more so emotion. Kurt Cobain played probably four chords max every song and they were simply power chords… But that’s a great example of how everything doesn’t need to be polished. It should just make you feel something. They're great at that, and I hope to do the same with my sound.
So what’s your first musical memory?
Yes! I was 3 years old. I saw Elton John in concert! I don’t remember much, just being on a hill at an outdoor venue. It's a very faint memory, but it’s a super pleasant one.
Aside from that, what is the first record you owned? Or piece of music you bought.
The first time I bought a CD with the money I saved up, it was two New Found Glory CDs. One was From The Screen To Your Stereo and the other was Nothing Gold Can Stay. I also remember getting the Marshall Mathers album super young and reciting the lyrics in my room and my dad knocking at my door and wondering why I was saying the things I was...
What are you excited about right now? In terms of your craft and moving forward.
These Jai Wolf shows are really pumping me up. It’s a pretty big deal, and the best part is that I’m doing it alongside my close friends. There’s not a crazy pressure, there’s already this trust that has been built in the whole circle. Sajeeb is my great homie and it makes me really comfortable to be supporting him. It feels amazing.
I have an EP coming out this summer and I’m really excited to get this music out to people. It’s been a long time coming. I really value my time in the studio, creating and writing with my friends, it’s really special. But performing is so much fun and it’s such a great experience so I’m really looking forward to balancing both roles.
As a producer of electronic music, how do you make your sets feel as LIVE as possible?
For me, what I do is run an Abelton Live set, playing two different synth sounds. It kind of does sometimes feel like “syntheziser karaoke..." I used to be the person who wanted everything to be live, the whole “live music is REAL music” thing... but I’ve grown to learn that at the end of the day, music is powerful regardless. I’d rather listeners simply hear it in the best way possible, no matter how that goes. Being the curator of a room that is having a great time is an amazing. It goes back to the music itself.
So what is “real” music to you then?
Simply put, “real music” will always make you feel something. That comes from a special place, I think. You can’t type that in a midi keyboard or program feelings.
Ideas, integrity and passion will show truth.
What do you listen to when you wake up in the morning?
Nothing! Well, for the first hour it’s usually silent. But cooking breakfast calls for Fetty Wap and Jeremih. Either that or some metal. Something that’ll wake me up. Dancing and cooking eggs just makes sense to me.
Ha! And how about when you're about to sleep?
That’s when I listen to deep electronic cuts -- Burial, Shlohmo, Whispa…
Who is one of the most inspiring or influential people you’ve come across?
Personally? Dark Waves, for sure. He’s the vocalist in one of my recent singles and he’s just so fluid with ideas. We get in a room, I play him a track and he has a full fledged song. It’s so easy with him. It’s also special because what he’s saying and creating always seems to resonate with me. You find people that do that, and him and I really click. I'm inspired by his ability to execute ideas and creativity. We have a great dynamic. He definitely inspired me to sing on my own track, I haven’t done that in YEARS. He’s getting ready to release something next month. Be on the look out.
How do you feel about the relationship between different art forms? Audial art and visual art. How do you decide how your branding/graphics are going to pair with your songs and be cohesive?
When it comes to my music, you just… know. The connection is important but it’s hard to describe how things go together. Colors, obviously. But things just appear in my head. It’s an intuitive thing.
What would you be doing if music was just… not for you?
I truly can’t even imagine that. I try not to think about this. It’s all I care about.
What would your ultimate concert be produced like?
Oh! Midoca headlining show -- You know what, I’d do something like Skrillex and Diplo did at the Rose Bowl. The dome on top of the venue had 3D projection mapping and the whole place was covered in visuals. It was a one-time thing and it seemed incredible. I’d do something similar. This is the future of concert production for sure.
How do you want to be remembered?