Tigran Mimosa (aka MiM0SA, due at the Fillmore Auditorium this Saturday, October 29) hails from the West Coast, but after returning from a summer spent in a New York studio, he can attest to the positive influence and energy emitting from that side of the country. On the eve of embarking on his largest tour to date in support of his new album, Sanctuary, out today, Mimosa chatted with us about the moombahton craze, life in New York, and how great it is to grow up in a generation that has so much access to music.
Westword: Your new album has a remix of a track off 58 Dregrees. What's up with the moombahton?
Tigran Mimosa: I'd just heard a little bit of it from NastyNasty when we were exchanging tunes one day. I had heard moombahton before and was interested. He sent me a few tunes, and one of them was one that he made. I threw it in my set, and I was really feeling the tempo difference between that and the rest of my set. I ended up investigating the music more, and I really liked the rhythm, so I just kind of wanted to incorporate it. I like the percussive aspects of it -- kind of brings a little Latin flavor to it.
Sanctuary has a lot of hip-hop samples and influence, different than 58 Degrees and more like Flux for Life. What brought you back around to the hip-hop?
I wanted to work on something different. When I was working in the studio before, it was going to be an all-808-beats album that was totally hip-hop influenced. Then I started making these other tracks, because when you make too much of one thing it gets boring, and I get tired of working on the same thing. I made these tunes on the side. Things really came together on this album, and I ended with twelve tracks. I'm just trying to keep it diverse. I did a lot of things on this album that a lot of people didn't expect from me.
Do you have any personal favorites on the album?
I don't. I like all the tracks. I was most stoked about "Ice Box," because it kind of captured the feeling of where I was at the time. I made most of it while living in Brookyln, New York. It just really shows the period of where I was at at the time.
What were you doing out east?
I just wanted to hang out and check out the music scene out there. Samuel Sleepyhead lives out there, and we have a project together called SexyTime. We are working to release a new EP. Haven't really got a release date yet, but it's in the works.
Is that your first time living out there?
I grew up on the West Coast, and I am so used to the sound and what it's about. For me to go out to the East Coast and see all this new music that I don't know much about -- I got to go to all these hole-in-the-wall clubs and hear music that I usually don't listen to, with rhythms that I don't usually listen to, either. It really opened my eyes up. That's not to dis on the West Coast, but it was inspiring.
Last time you played through Colorado, you did an impromptu set at Albums on the Hill, advertised through social networks and word of mouth. Had you ever done anything like that?
Albums on the Hill was the highlight of my summer. It was the first time I had ever done anything like that, and to top it off, it was National Record Store Day. My manager is from Boulder, and he hit up the store, announced it that day, and we just waited. It was so cool being able to meet fans and people who like my music; definitely one of the coolest things I have ever done. I'm incredibly grateful for that and stoked that Colorado has a cool following for me. More and more people are following me and my music, so I feel blessed.
Are there any other collaborations in the works?
No. None whatsoever. Actually, I'm lying: I had a collaboration with ill.Gates that just got released. We made it a few years ago, and he just put it out last month.
What are your thoughts on that style of the musical creation process?
The possibilities are endless, and you can do whatever your imagination lets you do. It's limitless to how deep into it you want to get. If you want to play layers or use Ableton [Live] as a mixer, you can do that, too. I think it's great that there are tools out there that are so accessible to anyone. You can get Ableton, make music and just play it out live on the spot. I am so grateful to be a part of that generation. I was fifteen when I got Fruityloops, and I started making jingles. A few years later, I was touring. And, yes, R.I.P. Steve Jobs.
What are you working with during your live sets?
It's a simple setup consisting of Ableton Live, a mixer, a computer and a backup computer on stage. I have all my tracks broken down into segments, which gives me the freedom to mix the segments and produce live on stage. The backup computer is there in case shit hits the fan.
Has shit ever hit the fan? What's going through your mind?
Yes! Several times. Sometimes it's water on your computer, sometimes it's wires, sometimes your computer just doesn't want to work. I don't really trip when that happens. I don't get nervous being in front of people. If it can't be fixed by me, then I leave the stage and let my manager fix it. I just hit "play" on my next computer.
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