A conversation with Miink
Backed by respected voices such as DJ and Radio 1 presenter Benji B, Miinks soothing, soulful and introspective debut album Small Clan received critical acclaim for its genre spicing sonic backdrop mixed with D’angelo meets Prince vocal layers.
We caught up with the west London native to talk about the modern music industry, Japanese fashion and his latest release “Miss me More” /
So tell me about how you got started with writing and producing? What were you doing up to this point?
To be honest with you I think I woke up from a thousand year slumber in a forest not long ago.
When you look at the industry and how its progress from say 10 years ago, what would you say are the major changes in how artists can break through under their own steam?.
10 years ago? 2009 was that prime eurodance meets hip hop era haha trash time in music. I think a lot of good things around those times got misinterpreted by the industry and they made monsters out of it but the youth were watching and understanding and beginning to get fed up because a short time after you saw younger people popping up and making things happen on their own. I feel like it was just a big confusion for most of the older heads that’s been allowing artists to keep breaking through. But it’s a window that’s closing quickly as the industry get their heads around how it’s being done and how they can start gatekeeping again. But during this time the main difference has been the feeling in the music. We got a much more truthful representation of what artists were because there was no middleman editing, polishing up and rounding off the edges.
You have some great support from people like Benji B etc. How have those relationships cultivated over the years and how have they effected your path?
Relationships are everything really. I was kind of confused by a lot of it when I first put out my music because I’m sceptical at the best of times and didn’t expect people to come out fucking with me heavy like that. But it gave me a lot of faith in taste and that there were people with good taste who were into the same things as me. I realise now no matter what I do, as long as it’s truthful, someone out there will get it.
“As long as what I put out is truthful, someone will get it” Miink
Tell us about the new release?
“Miss Me More” comes from the modern struggle of staying elusive. Everyone is everywhere all the time now and we’re always getting let closer into people’s personal lives and intimate moments. Even if a lot of what we see may only be the better moments of each other’s lives or specific highlights, it’s easy to feel as if we know everyone like the backs of our hands just from looking at them on a screen. But that personal space from others is important. It’s not difficult to become sick of seeing the same face over and over. Absence can make the heart grow fonder at times and Miss Me More is a reminder of that.
Your social persona is somewhat more comedic than your on screen or track persona… how does that manifest itself across the two? Is this a conscious thing or just a natural element for you?
I think the comic social media persona comes from not taking it too seriously or relying on it too heavily. They're often seen as platforms you can use to do whatever you want on but you got to remember they're owned by someone else and that owner can change the rules whenever they feel like it. If instagram shuts down tomorrow a lot of people’s lives could crumble. I feel like they already push us exactly what they want us to see on explore pages etc. so I just try and stay away from being controlled while still having fun and connecting with people who enjoy the music.
Musically who has had the biggest impact on your own output?
That’s hard to say because there’s a lot but probably someone like Björk. It’s just all the people who kept pushing things forward, stayed truthful and focused on a whole world around them. My answer might change tomorrow.
You have quite a deep knowledge when it comes to fashion and product, especially Japanese brands… was this always a passion or something that got picked up along the way alongside music?
I didn’t think anyone noticed. It’s wild to see how fashion everyone is right now but then how uninterested in fashion they are. I just see it as part of a cultural thing. I bond with a lot of people on that type of stuff and come to realise we’re not only into the same brands but the same music, we use the same language, everything. It comes back to the taste thing and being able to recognise like minds.
What’s next for Miink?
I’m focusing on moments now. Things that will be remembered.
Images / Joseph Barrett
Words / graemegaughan