Preamble | Mia Koden

We caught up with talented producer and DJ Mia Koden ahead of her producer talk at Corsica Studios in London.

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Published By
Tony Nwachukwu
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Preamble
Published On
November 16, 2023
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Conversation
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Published By
Tony Nwachukwu
Published On
December 7, 2023
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Your journey in music has been far from ordinary, what are a few of your highlights?

Ahhh so many memories and moments, I’m finding it impossible to choose! From when I was in Sicaria Sound, having been able to contribute to the modern dubstep community and (not my words, other people told us this) inspire some other women was extremely special to me. Now I’m solo, I can’t lie the support for my debut release felt surreal. Even just the fact I’ve been able to live off underground electronic music still amazes me, mad grateful for that and the people who have helped make that happen. 

What are some of your non-musical inspirations? 

Lots of things from day to day life. Finding interesting historical people and events from wormholing on Twitter/Wikipedia. Gemma Collins, queen of the huns (have got a groupchat dedicated to her with two other people from dubstep haha).

Last month you were part of Brighter Sound in Manchester’s event “Here To Remember”, and outside of dance music your interests are involved in heritage, culture and community projects, how do you merge the two in your productions and artistry?

First of all big up Brighter Sound who are doing great things to support artists. When it comes to incorporating culture and heritage in my artistry, the biggest thing for me is to do so in ways which are authentic to what I’m trying to do as ‘Mia Koden’. For example sometimes it’s not about how they’re present in the way the tracks ‘sound’, but instead how they may have shaped things like the research process/emotions/wider context of the project the music is within etc.

As a DJ you’ve played everywhere from Outlook Festival to several appearances at Fabric and even festivals abroad including Strøm festival in Copenhagen. How do you translate your sounds and style to different audiences? Do you adapt your sets to reflect the audience?

I am definitely still figuring this out as I go and it’s very important to me. I always have a batch of songs that I aim to play in every set for a couple weeks minimum but often for months, no matter where the show is or who it’s for. I’ll adapt and skip them when needed of course but those tracks help build my sonic identity and keep things cohesive at very different shows. A cheeky insight into some of these current tracks: Delian Sound - Finders Keepers, Alex Finkin & Rocco Rodamaal - In Da Hood (got this one from Marcellus Pitman’s blinder of a We Out Here set this year; I pitch it up to work with 140BPM stuff) and I’ll always play at least one Rocks FOE track in every set and have been doing so for years, can’t stop won’t stop! 

You’re a certified 140 don, what are your 5 tracks we should all be listening to?

Very kind of you to say! 

Anything released on Juan Forte, best dubstep label/party/people 

A perfect example of tunes that work really well with 140BPM is Honeydrip’s most recent release Psychotropical

An essential throwback: Geiom Feat. Marita - Reminissin' (Geiomix)

In Sicaria Sound’s Cutcross label era we released Conzi - Kway and I still play it loads. He’s also just put out a new EP and has loads of killer dubs

‘Chinatown Trouble’ from one of my favourite vocalists, Jianbo (but his whole discography is flames). We may or may not be doing something together next year, you didn’t hear it here first…

What can we expect from Mia Koden this year? 

Can’t quite believe it but my debut vinyl release is out a few days after this talk! After celebrating that besides catching up with overdue production duties I think I’ll be hibernating, love me some R&R. But I do have some juicy stuff planned for 2024. Including some creative and community concepts I can’t wait to share.

Are you more of a software baddie or a hardware babe?

I do daydream of one day having some beautiful kit in a studio. But right now my aim is to build better skills with what I’ve got, which is a cute lil stack of VSTs/plug-ins (I occasionally stick my Arturia Minilab in to use with them if I want to feel more hands on).

Talk us through the track you last [cmd] ‘S’d ? ([ctrl] ‘S’ to PC users)?

My laptop’s moved on to the afterlife as I write this and I’m in the process of sorting a new one so I can’t check (cry face). But it likely would have been either ‘P£tty Ca$h’ or ‘Bonecrusher’ (both now RIPs not WIPs).

What can the CDR audiences expect from your time with us?

To get an insight into my fairly chaotic creative mind and how it’s somehow translated into a music career 

And finally, for those just getting to grips with producing and keen to get their “Works In Progress” out there, what advice do you have for them?

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable: Accept that it may be a while until you get to where you want to be with producing, and that’s okay. Oh and get to grips with tuning your bass (I still struggle with this sometimes)

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