Myxe is a songwriter & producer born / residing in Norway with his eye on the global heart of dance music. We had a good time talking to him and getting some of his story, here is what he had to say..
On your website, you have a little mention about a Yamaha Electone organ you bought when only 13, what was it in the advert that made you want to go buy it?
It was a rather good ad actually, I remember it said something like; “If you want a proper organ with a MASSIVE sound, this is something for you”. The whole point of me playing the organ at the time was due to the grand sound from it, I remember playing in a couple of churches around Rogaland (the region in Norway where I´m from) when I was twelve. And there was just no other instrument that could fill a room with the same amount of sound like an organ could. Obviously I couldn´t afford or fit a proper church organ inside my bedroom, hence the smaller version in the ad. It did the job!
You have been experienced in guitar and bass on top of organ, do you have a favorite instrument today?
My favorite instrument today is definitely the piano. I still play a lot of guitar, but I find it easier to work on new melodies and projects using the piano. On top of that I also find it more fun to play with, I can sit with the piano for 2-3 hours just jamming on absolutely anything that pops in to my head. That being said, If there´s an after party and girls present, the guitar all of a sudden becomes my best friend, for some reason the majority of girls are still more into rocking tunes on a guitar than a Hans Zimmer piece on piano.
When producing, do you try to fit around a genre or do you prefer to let your mood guide the project?
Even though I know sticking to more or less one sound is important, I still let my mood guide most of the project. I´ll do anything from tropical house with that popular “pitch-bend sound” to late night “Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike” tracks. That being said, I feel like I´m getting closer on finding a sound that I like. On every project I work on I´ll try to bring in some of the sounds from previous projects, just to keep a red line (is that what it´s called?) in everything.
Originally from Norway, what was it like seeing the dance scene evolve there?
I was around fifteen when I started listening to dance music. I mean, I kinda grew up listening to Tiesto and Armin Van Buuren earlier, but it wasn´t before I was fifteen I really started looking into other artists that wasn´t so mainstream. At that point, I wasn´t old enough to get into clubs and events here in Norway, so I started looking into other places to go. So, I discovered an event called “Trance Energy” ID&T held every year just outside of Amsterdam in a town called Utrecht. The age limit there was 18, but I took my chances, and it worked out fine. I attended Trance Energy two years in a row, and it was great!
It wasn´t before I was twenty years old I really started seeing the dance scene evolve in Norway (five years ago). There was quite a few dance events here and there in the big cities, but it was far from as big and commercial as it is today. Today the majority of tracks being played on most of the big radio stations has some kind of dance elements in them.
It has been really exciting seeing how drastically the dance scene has evolved over the past few years.
Your English is very good, 90% of your countrymen speak English, is it compulsory in school there?
Thank you! Yes it is compulsory in school over here. If I´m not mistaken I think we start learning English in third grade, so quite early in other words. On top of that most youngsters today learn a lot of English through video games, films etc.
Do you feel there was a golden time for dance in Norway, or is that yet to come (when you take over!)?
Haha wish I could say “when I take over”!
I would say the golden time for dance music in Norway was 2-3 years ago. It is still very popular, but from what I can see the “softer” house is taking more and more over. Like Kygo for instance!
I´m still working in my lab with the ingredients for the next up and coming sound and genre, hoping to find the recipe soon!
When Moby contacted you about releasing your Rune remix what was your first reaction? What was the first thing you did?
The first thing I did was to say; No freakin way it can´t be true. Then I read through the email about twenty more times. It was from Moby´s mananger. He said that Moby really liked my remix, and I just couldn´t figure out why, since it had like one vote in the Beatport Play contest. On top of that I wasn´t even happy with the mix, the sound quality was (sorry for saying it) crap.
Nevertheless, it got released after mastering the heck out of it! Under my artist name at the time “Rune”.
Was there a point where you decided music production was something you wanted to do/learn?
I´ve always been into music since I was really young, so it just came naturally starting to produce my own stuff. I remember writing love songs when I was ten, and yes I was even into Backstreet boys for a while. But the real producing using DAW´s started when I was seventeen. And when the dance music scene in Norway took of I really started to use time producing.
What hardware set up are you running for your production? Do you have a go to tool you always find yourself turning to?
Hardware: KRK VXT8, Fireface 400something, Novation Launchkey, Mac mini, Vicoustic multifusors, Boss GT10 for guitar stuff, and a Shure SM58 for short vocal bits (it´s what I used for my latest track FUNNK, yes it is actually my voice on it, pitched obviously)
Right now I´m looking into some of the MOOG analog synths, the warm analog sound is just something out of this world. So if I´m able to sell my right foot I might order some stuff from them pretty soon!
How about software? What are your essentials?
I mainly use Logic Pro X as DAW, but every now and then I turn to Ableton Live if I want to do some freaky tempo stuff, not sure why since you can do the same in Logic, it´s just habit I guess.
I´ve got a ton of plugins, but the ones I use the most at this moment is Xferrecords´s Serum and Reveal Sound´s Spire. Also, the Waves plugin’s are frequently used, they´ve got so much good stuff. Lately I´ve tried to minimize the amount of plugins on my channels, there was a period where I used waaaay to many. Especially on my master bus. So if I were to turn of all the plugins on the master bus you wouldn´t even recognize the track, not good.
What have you found the most useful skill you picked up from playing with all those instruments when you were young?
To be honest I think the most useful skill I´ve picked up playing different instruments is to be flexible and creative, using every instrument for what it is worth. Even though I have to admit I also fall down in the “standards and norms” all the time. If I´m going to pick one instrument that has helped me the most producing-wise it must be the piano, learning chords and so.
Do you dabble in doing vocals for your songs at all or do you prefer to work with vocalists?
It all depends on what kind of project I´m working on. If it is just a few phrases I´ll do them myself, but for tracks where vocals play a big part I would go for vocalists. For some reason I never get satisfied enough with my own voice, even though the Waves plugin Wavestune is able to fix just about anything. Last year I got lucky and was able to do a track called “This is all” together with a fantastic Norwegian singer Tone Michelle (artistname BLvD), the track was released through Luxor Music which is one of Ireland´s biggest labels, and was ranked in Beatport´s Top 100 Chill Out list for three weeks straight. That was cool!
Norway isn’t shy of the cold, do you like any winter sports? Or is that when you would rather be on a tropical island?!
I actually used to be into snowboarding when I was younger, but when my snowboarding-teacher told me “Rune, you should just focus on music instead” I figured I was better of spending more time on music. That being said, I´m more of a tropical island person, if you´ve got a speedboat and a wakeboard I´ll definitely be your friend! My dad and my younger brother lives in Thailand, so luckily I´ve got an excuse to “see them” a few times a year.
You mentioned the small population of Norway forces one to aim for the international scene, what are 3 countries you would most love to see your music grow in?
Like many artists, getting big in the USA, Europe and Asia is a big dream, but I think a lot of the youngsters today forget that you have to start small before you go big (well, most of the time)
But if I´m going to pick 3 countries it would have to be Norway (since I´m from here obviously), Holland (Since dance music is what they eat for breakfast), and New Zealand (Did you see that coming? Haha)