"I just want to create the music that I enjoy making and that I can listen to at home on my headphones and that hopefully other people will like to"
Mouissie begins his independent work. This uniquely inspired musician, who has made a name for himself through a handful of tasty songs.
His music is unclassifiable, but it has no rival. Close your eyes and let the sensations flow.
Hey Erik, where can we find you right now? How did you start off your day?
Hello! I just got back from my local record store (support them!) here in Dordrecht (Netherlands). I bought the reissue vinyl of ‘Nite Versions’ from Soulwax. It was out of print for many years. Ten years ago i’ve started collecting vinyl records, so my collection is already pretty big and it’s still growing. Soulwax is one of my favorite acts, so you can say that my day started really well.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background? Where are you from / how did you get into music? Was it all internet based?
Music has always been a big part of my life. There was always music playing in the house while growing up. I started playing guitar at the age of 13, because of John Frusciante from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Marr from The Smiths and Bernard Sumner from Joy Division - not the most typical guitar heroes. I never had any musical lessons, I just learned everything by ear. Over the years I slowly got into production and synthesizers. I was getting into some other exciting music like Radiohead, Apparat and Modeselektor and I really wanted to learn more about how they made their records.
Who have been your main inspirations (Both musical and in ‘life’)? And how have they affected your sound?
That’s a very tough question. I’ve always been very inspired by musicians like John Frusciante, Peter Gabriel, Trentemøller, Kate Bush, Kevin Parker from Tame Impala and some great Dutch artists like Thomas Azier, Eefje de Visser and Weval. They have all in common that they write, record and produce their own records. Musicians who are constantly searching for new and interesting sounds/concepts and always try to develop and do sometimes very unexpected and new things. That’s something that I want to do the same. Right now I'm making electronic music with my own project Mouissie, but I see Mouissie going further than purely electronic music or as a DJ act. I would love to have some live act with other musicians around it in the future.
How would you define your sound?
I’m constantly searching for this combination between vintage and modern sounds. I really love the sound of those vintage synthesizers (for example: Yamaha DX7, E-mu Emulator) from the eighties, but I try to use them in a new and fresh way.
What can you tell us about your track Callisto, published in Ritmo Fatale? How was it born?
I made my first track ‘Skytrain’ last summer just for fun and decided to put that track online and just see what happened with no real expectations. It was suddenly picked up by some international indie blogs and the people seemed to really love that one.
After that I came in contact with Ritmo Fatale and i sended them ‘Skytrain’ (which was already released at the time) and they were positive about it and asked me if I wanted to share a demo. I started working right away on this new track that eventually became ‘Callisto’. So in some way without Kendal and Paul (founders of Ritmo Fatale) ‘Callisto’ wouldn’t exist right now.
What do you value most about the music you listen to? What do you want to convey with your sound?
I love musicians/producers who are making music, because they just love making it. If you're making music in order to become famous or loved by the masses that's not something that I personally like. I just want to create the music that I enjoy making and that I can listen to at home on my headphones and that hopefully other people will like to.
What has a label like Ritmo Fatale contributed to your career? What do you value most about this label?
I will be forever grateful to the guys from Ritmo Fatale. Kendal and Paul (founders of Ritmo Fatale) are doing such an amazing job with the latest and upcoming releases and I'm so happy to be a part of that journey. They have such a clear vision with the label, but are also open minded about other music. I love working together with them and I hope we will stay working together in the future.
How has your sound evolved so far?
My first track ‘Skytrain’ was really an ode to the great artists from the eighties. I wanted to make a positive track that could be played loud at home or at a party. ‘Callisto’ had some elements from ‘Skytrain’, but was a bit darker and more melancholic in sound. My music always has some melancholic elements to it, but it’s something that will feature more in my future music.
What can you tell us about your productions? How did you decide to produce? What is your production criteria?
I was always fascinated by how people make records. I was reading booklets of my favorite records to see what kind of equipment that they used and which producers were on those records. I learned a lot by just recreating songs that I liked and using some of those ideas in my own music. Ableton is the first DAW that i used and it’s still the main piece of my (small) studio. The last couple of months I learned to set myself deadlines and finish tracks quickly. If an idea for a track makes me want to listen to it again after hearing it multiple times, then it’s something that I will finish.
How have you had to adapt as a result of recent circumstances?
Making music is now something that I do a lot more in my free time. The reactions I had on my first tracks are a real motivation to stay working hard on new music and make every time something better and more exciting than the previous ones.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m working hard right now at my first EP. I love records that tell a story and I have a clear concept in my head for this record. I hope to finish and release it soon. After that: we will see. Some months ago Mouissie didn’t even exist, and I never expected to have people around the world to listen to my music.
Do you have any final words of wisdom?
Never do things that people tell you to do. Be a rebel in your own way. Do what makes you happy and don’t care what other people think of you.