Swedish born Mikael Willett AKA Mikal has a sting of releases on some of the most prolific labels in Drum & Bass with the likes of Metalheadz and Shogun Audio just to name a few. We caught up with Mikal to see what he’s up to right about now…
1. So you’ve mentioned you moved back and forth from UK to Sweden, your home country. Where are you currently based in the UK?
I currently live in Bath near Bristol. I was born in Sweden but only lived there on and off for about 5-6 years. Most of my time has been spent growing up and living in London so consider myself a Londoner more than anything.
2. You have mentioned you were into the music scene at young age, always buying records with what money you had. Where would you hang out?
Mostly in Unity and Blackmarket Records also the odd trip to Section 5 in Chelsea.
3. In-Reach really liked Spiritual/The Chant (Rido Remix), which came out earlier this year on Utopia Music. Do you have anything else lined up for 2013?
I have a track for Symmetry due out around the end of summer and a new Metalheadz EP dropping autumn time. There’s another Utopia Music release too, hard to say when probably the beginning of next year. I’m spending most of my time with Goldie and Ant (the label manager) at the moment to finalise my album, which is due out next year.
4. You also set your own label up back in 2009. Do you have any plans for this in the future?
No, this was set up by the now defunct Nu-Urban Music as an outlet for a backlog of music they could not release through their in house labels. So no never.
5. Could you tell us a little about your current studio set up?
It’s a very simple setup.. Mac Pro Tower, Macbook Pro, Akg 271 headphones, M Audio Studiopro 4 monitors and an Akai lpk 25 midi controller keyboard – that’s it.
6. Is there a particular process you follow when making a track? Do you find certain elements easier/harder than others?
No depends on the tune, my mood and what bit of software that isn’t wigging out at the time! Again certain elements seem to be easier and harder depending on what mood I have woken up in!
7. Any studio equipment/software you would recommend for up and coming producers?
It’s hard to say. There’s so much stuff out there these days. You just need to be able to get the best out of the equipment/plugins you use the most. Learn to master a handful of plugins really well! Any plugin by SoftTube is amazing…. some of the best Eq and Compressor plugins out there. I highly recommend the Fabfilter stuff too.
8. You collaborated with the legendary Break back in 2011. How did the collab come around? How was he to work with?
I’ve known Break for a few years now and we talked about doing a tune together for a while before it happened. Eventually we both found some free time to get together and make a start. “Just A Game” was nearly finished in the first day. He is great to work with, always comes with brilliant ideas and some of the best engineering skills available! Can’t wait to work together again. There is another collab from us forthcoming on my Metalheadz ep.
10. What do you like to get up to when you’re not in the studio or behind the decks?
Sleep. There’s little time for anything else outside of being involved in music!
11. What influences you outside of drum & bass? What other music are you into?
Too much to mention! I’m influenced by pretty much all types of music. When I’m not producing a track I will mostly listen to non-Dnb stuff. Anything from Classical to Hip Hop, Reggae, Dub and film scores.
12. Any up and coming producers we need to watch out for?
Loads at the moment – Mako is coming through with his own productions that are sounding great! Villem and Fields are doing the business with their new stuff too. Ruffhouse have got some wicked tunes out and Ed:it is also one to watch.
13. Always a hard one, what’s your favourite 12″ vinyl from your collection?
Hahaha! Way too hard to answer, my favourite record changes all the time! It would probably be something from the 70’s though.
14. Any bad experiences when playing out?
There are the usual ones like monitors not working or a faulty mixer or Cdj. At one gig someone managed to stand on an extension cable and pull it out of the wall socket, which knocked out the power for everything on the stage! The socket was quite hard to get to as it was under the stand for all the decks etc. There was no engineer around so I had to crawl underneath all the equipment and trace the cable back to the wall to plug it back in. That was a quite a funny one.
15. So we’ve got word you’re currently working on an album for Metalheadz. How’s this shaping up?
It’s getting there. I’ve got a stack of tunes put aside for it now with more stuff getting finished. There’s still quite a lot left to do but I’m feeling a lot more confident that it will be finished off this year.
16. Lastly, who do you think would win in a fight between a Coconut crab or Fox Bat?
If I knew the answer to this then I would become a bookie or a professional gambler! I would eek out my days in a paradise populated by fox bats, drinking cocktails only out of coconuts and dining on crab.
Check out Mikals Exclusive InReach Guestmix – Download from the player!