- 01 Mar 23
Derry groove mechanic James Donnelly (aka MILD) fills us in on his unique electro sound.
Have you always been drawn towards electronic music?
Growing up in rural Ireland meant there were rarely any electronic songs played locally. However, my dad was a raver in the ’90s, so I’d say my initial nudge towards the genre is down to him. I remember at age 13 watching old Tomorrowland sets, and being amazed how people were enthralled by so-called ‘computer music’ that didn’t involve traditional instruments. As I got into my late teens, I began almost solely listening to lo-fi house, synthwave and future bass. I’ve always been more drawn to maximalist electronic music.
Who are your influences?
It varies depending on what I’m trying to go for when I’m creating, but I would say my most prominent influence is Kaytranada. He’s got such a unique sound with beautiful chord progressions and distinct rhythms, and I try to capture some of his style in my tunes. My dream collaboration is probably Sam Gellaitry – his first Viewfinder album is one of the main reasons I started producing music, and his newer stuff is even better.
What have you got in store for 2023?
My current focus is my next EP Tapewinter, which will be coming out sometime in the middle of the year. Some of the songs have been in the vault for a while, and I’m super buzzing for everyone to hear them. It’s the closest I’ve gotten to my own sound and showcases the wide variety of styles I’m influenced by. I’m immensely proud of it.
What inspired your latest single, ‘Dial In’?
The song was created at the tail end of last year after a short trip to Edinburgh. I felt a real connection to the city and came home feeling creatively rejuvenated, and I wanted to make something that reminded me of the time I’d spent there. I got the distorted static sound from an old synth patch I’d made ages ago, which ended up being the core of the melody. The rest of the song’s telephone-esque aesthetic fell into place from there.
• ‘Dial In’ is out now.
Read the full A&R Department in the new issue of Hot Press, out now.
- Film & TV
- 21 Mar 23