One of the perks about writing this blog is that I’m exposed to an abundance of different genres and New Music, which is awesome for me as I appreciate all kinds of music and between you and me, it’s one of my favourite things to write about. It also means that I get to share, recommend and hopefully introduce you to music that you may not have stumbled across yet. This category ‘Artist Spotlight’ gives me a platform to do exactly that. So if like me you appreciate raw talent, impeccable songwriting and discovering music that resonates with you, then keep on reading!
“Mi’das a.k.a Mike Davies creates soulful pop music infused with his trademark vocal and guitar playing. His sound has been described as “timeless, but discernably of its time”
Brighton based singer/songwriter Mi’das has a gift for mixing meaningful lyrics with soul, pop and just the right amount of grit which makes his music and sound distinct. I sense a slight bluesy and funk vibe too. It makes perfect sense that Mi’das has released a series of three EPs, each with their own theme and collectively they tell the ‘Story So Far’.Genius!
Last Friday saw the EP Launch Party of the final installment from the ‘Story So Far’ series; ‘Stronger’ and I was there to support and celebrate this standout EP. The set list included songs from all 3 EPS and a few covers which I loved. Hearing Mi’das cover ‘Jealous Guy’ has quickly replaced Gavin Degraws version as my fave take on the classic. Also I’ll shamelessly say that hearing ‘I’ll catch you’ live almost made me cry. It’s a beautiful stripped back ballad and the silence in the room spoke volumes. I’m not one to use oxymorons often so that’s saying something. Nothing beats live music and one thing I couldn’t help but notice was how talented everyone on that stage was. Seeing musicians vibe together its…special. Great vibes all around which is always nice and I hate to “pull a Darius” on you guys but I have to say there was a lot of love in the room!Ha! In a nutshell the night was fantastic, sincere, raw and intimate.
Leading up to the launch I interviewed Mi’das and here it is!
Describe your writing/recording process and how you’ve managed to get to the point of this standout EP release.
I tend to develop song ideas for my own project over quite a long time. I like to hone them and chip away at the lyrics until they’re exactly what i want to get across. In terms of recording the songs, again with this EP its been a long process, I started in March 2014 and it was finished in February this year. I’m proud of it for all the time its had spent on it though.
The two EPs I did prior to this were recorded very quickly, both took a few days to complete.
The idea of releasing a series of 3 EPs (Story So Far) is such a unique way to allow people to get to know you and the different themes of your Music. In terms of the ‘Stronger’ EP release, what was the inspiration behind each track that made the cut?
The first track ‘Wish Road’ is about the thought that we know deep down where we want our life to lead but its choosing to follow and accept that path. Too ‘Little Too Late’ is a song I wrote 5 years ago and its about the the worry of growing old and having regrets about the life you’ve led. ‘Vienna’ encapsulates the feeling and i’m sure many others have had when it seems that the grass is always greener or were always wanting something we don’t have. When I was writing the song I’d never been to Vienna and it seemed to sum up that feeling of wanting to be somewhere else other than the here and now.
Who are you listening to right now in the studio/down time?
I’m listening to some Marc Broussard, the new Kendrick Lamar album,
Kwabs and as always one of my favs, Foy Vance.
What other musicians do you listen to and are there any artists whose work you admire?
I listen to anything and everything. Strange as it may sound for a long time in my twenties I haven’t listened to much music though, I listened alot in my teens. The last few years i’ve really started to listen again and im really enjoying discovering new things, theres so much great music out there. I admire a lot of the soul greats; Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles etc and also a lot of the songwriters from the 60’s and 70’s. More recent stuff I like are artists like Fiest and Everything Everything.
Name one Song/Album that transformed your life?
Probably ‘O’ by Damien Rice, it spoke alot to me at a low time in my life.
What was it like recording part of the record in the famous Abbey Road Studios?
Unfortunately I didn’t get to record there this time round although we were very lucky to get it Mastered there by the amazing Christian Wright (Ed Sheeran) who masters a lot of the big artists that come through the doors. Just hearing the music played in that room was a great moment. I did record in the a lesser known studio called ‘State of the Ark’ in Richmond though which last year was used by the likes of the Who, James Morrison and Richard Ashcroft to name a few.
What are some of the best and hardest things about creating your own music?
The best thing is when something you write affects someone else and reaches them in some way. It’s also very satisfying getting some frustrations with the world out on pen and paper and in melody to try to make sense of them. The hardest thing is probably the not knowing where its going to lead and the never-ending questioning of whether its right or not.
Tell us about your new video for ‘Wish Road’. It’s a beautiful song and I love the concept and artwork in the video.
For a long time I wanted to have a video illustrated and it just occurred to me that ‘Wish Road’ would be the perfect track to do it with. I happened upon some amazing drawings by an old friend from music college James Kuszewski and quickly asked him what he could do in terms of ideas for the video for ‘Wish Road’, and I’m so glad I did as the result is brilliant.
Is there a particular track that you just love to play live and how different is it playing with a full live band vs an acoustic set?
Yeah, I really like to play “Call it love” with the band live as it has a great feel in that setting. In terms of the differences between the band setup and my acoustic shows I do really like the freedom and expression afforded in the solo shows, that’s when a song like “Everybody’s Changing” really shines.
Favourite Music Venue or Place to hang out in London?
I really like hanging out around St Christophers place area just off Oxford street as its nice and central to meet people and there are loads of great bars, cafes and restaurants. In terms of venues, I always love a night out at Ronnie Scotts for great music.
A lot of my friends play there so its always nice to see familiar faces too.
If you were to give a class of 12 year olds a lesson about music, what would you tell them and what records would you give them to listen to?
A few key things I notice that are missing from a lot of young musicians vocabulary are things like dynamics and listening skills. Like BB King the famous blues guitarist says something along the lines of, music is like talking you don’t need to shout all the time. Everybody’s different but a couple of artists that really affected me were, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder. Most work by them is well worth a listen!
Any plans for a UK tour?
Yeah, I have a UK tour being put together for October so can’t wait to get out to more fans and play these songs.
Wishing you all the best for the EP release, What can we look forward to from you in the future?
Thank you, I’m currently working on an album and will be untill its done! I’d like to release it in spring next year though.
Check out the new EP ‘Stronger’ available on iTunes and
OfficialMidas.com for news and dates!