Missingno. – Light [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words?

I’d say my sound is Chill, Game-like, and 808-Bit. By 808-Bit I mean that I take 8-Bit / Chiptune synths and pair them with modern production, usually with 808s.

How many beats do you listen to before you end up using one? Tell us a few things about your creative process.

Zero, since I produce my own music. I guess technically the answer is one, since I do end up using a beat. It’s just that I don’t have to listen to more than one beat to get to one I want to use. I just make one and tweak it until it’s something that I like.

My creative process starts with the production. Usually I have an idea and I just take it into Reaper (my DAW) and start messing around — and I do literally mean messing around. I just play until I come across a sound that I know I can work with, or one that grabs my attention. From there, I keep playing until I have a few rhythmic or melodic ideas. They’re usually not together at this point, like they could be all over the session. I could have a melody sitting at 0:01 and then have a whole ‘nother idea sitting at 1:47 or just somewhere out of the way until I can piece all of them together into a cohesive melody or rhythm. I guess I work in a very piecewise manner.

After stitching together an instrumental, I’ll usually have one or two words or phrases that keep repeating in my head and I just keep those in mind and listen to the instrumental on repeat. As I’m listening, I write down my thoughts in a sort of stream-of-consciousness type manner…just writing the words whether full sentences or sentence fragments. From there I usually try to map those fragments onto melodic ideas and then keep slowly building until I get a phrase, a verse, a chorus, and eventually a song.

This process for me is NOT fast at all (funny enough my girlfriend, Tiqua, disagreed with this..maybe I work faster than I thought. I know I just summarized it, but it could take days to years depending on the song. Some songs you just get stuck on, and have to let sit before you come back to it. And I don’t mind that at all. I think it’s a good thing to let a song “marinate” before finishing it. I say that because it’s sort of like giving an idea the “test of time” before it’s released. So if I notice myself humming and thinking about that melody before it’s even a full song, then I know I might have something special to work with.

The other thing that’s important to my process is that I tend to keep my “mistakes” when producing. So if I accidentally drag a file over to the wrong track and it makes a new sound that’s interesting, I’ll generally try to keep it in the song, as long as it fits. My friend Deron used to call those “happy mistakes” and I have to agree with him.
I mean think about it, I’m adding elements into my songs that I’m not even thinking of, they just happen. I believe keeping those things in my music has helped me vary my style a little more and make it more interesting.

For which lyric you are most proud of?

In all honesty, I don’t have a lyric that I am particularly proud of, but if I had to choose one, it would be:

“And I know it’s lame
But I can explain
Can’t deal with the same
Damn thing all day”

This is from the chorus on a song I wrote called “Digital World”. I only chose it because it pretty accurately describes myself and my style, even though that’s not at all what I was trying to do while writing the song.

Favourite rapper, lyricist and producer?

Sheesh, this question. Don’t really have a favorite anything right now but I’ll go ahead anyways. Uh…rapper is probably Lil Uzi Vert. I just really like how he’s been flowing recently. Flo Milli too man, her flow is super dope. BUT, Lil Wayne will always be my GOAT. Lyricist is Lupe Fiasco. Producers…jeez. There’s so many dope producers I can’t even choose one, but I’ll list a few: Pharrell, DJ Dahi, Honorable C.N.O.T.E., P’ierre Bourne and a special shout out to Supah Mario for keeping video game sounds in hip-hop. He’s doing some really great work.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Hip-Hop culture represents people who have to fight to succeed against the odds. People who are real, uncut, determined, youthful, and sometimes rebellious. So I would say that Hip-Hop symbolizes strength in the face of adversity.

Favorite music related film?

Don’t have one. I don’t watch movies that often.

Should we expect an album in the near future?

Not the near future, but not the distant future either. Non-committal answer I know, but that’s where I am. I do have an album that’s “outlined” right now, but I still gotta “color it in” if that makes sense. Not to mention planning the release and the marketing yadda yadda…The music itself is almost there, maybe 50-60% done. I’m just heading into the final lap now.

Thank you!

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