“I just want to keep flowing with my ideas and make them into reality”
5 Questions with Faze Miyake
Faze Miyake is a beat-maker, a producer, a label owner and a merchandise mogul. Brought up on local pirate radio and the underground sounds of England’s capital, the East Londoner’s mammoth break-out track ‘Take Off’ (2011) saw him tipped as one of the UK’s hottest names in grime – but his goals run far wider than that. Over the last five years he’s claimed a monthly Rinse FM residency, released work on his independently owned Woofer Music imprint, and – most importantly – run his career at his own pace, by his own rules. Before Faze brings his party to Sneaky’s on April 6, we had a quick chat on the phone with the man himself.
Hi Faze! How are you?
I’m just out at the minute… but I can talk!
First up, your influences are crazily broad – from grime to dub, hip-hop to trap, a bit of funk… Do you remember the first tune you heard, that made you think yeah, I want to do that too?
Ooooh that’s a hard question. I listen to so much and take so much in… I’ve always been in love with [music]. I’ve always been fascinated with it. When I was younger I thought it was a really big deal to make music, but now it’s so natural I don’t think about it at all… It’s become a natural routine, and obviously I’m getting paid for it! It’s a good and positive thing to be doing. Nothing else really makes me happier…
Music aside, you’re a multi-talented man! You’ve had a pretty out-there range of merchandise recently… what does the Faze Miyake by Faze Miyake aftershave smell like?
You know what, I can’t actually tell you? I could show you though?! Or let you smell it? [laughs] I’ve been told it’s nice! I’ve been told by a couple of people that it gets them multiple girls, soo…
For a modern producer or DJ, is it important to have that kind of empire building around you? You’ve designed tons of merch, you’ve released a short film, you’ve got Woofer, you’re picking up residencies…
You know… I just do everything I want to be able to do in my life in general. And it’s important for me to be able to do it myself… I mean, it’s just me being an artist at the end of the day. It’s not me being a producer or a DJ – I want to do all the art I can possibly do. Whether it’s putting out products or music or merch, just any project that I’m working on creatively. I just want to keep flowing with my ideas and make them into reality. It’s still me just having fun and expressing myself… Yeah, I just enjoy it man.
Does that go for social media, too? You’ve got a massive following on Twitter and Instagram…
Yeah! The thing is, I don’t try to do anything but just be myself – and I think people take a liking to that, from anyone. People want to be able to interact with you, and get to know you as a person, get to know your character rather than just your music. So there’s no point following someone else’s model, just run with whatever you are and how you wanna do it. I’m a big fan of Periscope, too – it’s like live streaming, and people get to watch what you’re doing, how you’re working.
You’ve spoken a lot about keeping a clean, simple approach to making beats – is that still important to you?
Yeah, like, polished! To be honest, with me and my music I just want it to sound as good quality as possible. I try and keep it as universal as possible, so it’s not too much for someone to take in, so they can enjoy it. That’s how I like listening to my music, so I make it the same way. I have loads of different styles, you know, and I guess they just vibe with different people… So I’m just going to keep doing whatever I want to do, and not really think too much about how I’m doing it or what it sounds like. As long as I’m enjoying it and other people are enjoying it, we’re winning!
Finally… What can Edinburgh expect from the Faze Miyake experience?
Expect, first of all, a lot of Faze Miyake tunes being played! Maybe stuff you don’t always hear, maybe things that people have probably wanted to hear from me, up there in Edinburgh. Just expect a nice musical journey, man. That’s what I like to call my sets. Take people on a little ride in underground music. Yeah man, it’ll be good fun.
This interview has been edited and condensed. Faze Miyake plays Sneaky Pete’s on April 6th.