Get Familiar: Alfa Mist
Interview by Passion Dzenga
On April 5th Alfa Mist will be in Amsterdam to present his new album “Variables”. The album will be premiered in sound and vision at an invite-only event. Alfa will join for a Q&A after the screening. Patta has 10 tickets to access this exclusive and we will be picking 5 lucky winners and one a plus one of their choosing. Enter to get your hands on 2 entry tickets, a signed art print and a signed Patta Soundsystem DJ Slip mat. These tickets give you access the event on Wednesday evening from 19:30 CEST for you and a friend by entering via this form below.
Ahead of this moment together in Amsterdam, we sat down with Alfa Mist to get familiar with the artist so we can know a bit more about where he's been so we can better understand where he is going.
Can you tell us about your musical background and how you got into producing and songwriting?
I used to make grime and hip hop beats for fun when I was in school.
Your new album "Variables" is about to be released. Can you give us an insight into the inspiration behind the album and what listeners can expect from it?
Variables is about different decisions we make to get to where we are today. Each track on there could be the direction for a completely different album.
You've been known to experiment with different genres in your music. How do you go about incorporating different genres into your sound?
It’s not really on purpose. I think of music more in terms of tone and emotion, not genres. I guess if I’m not keeping track of whether something is normal for a certain genre or not the music usually will usually fall outside or in between genres.
The visuals created for your new album will be showcased at a screening in Amsterdam. Can you tell us more about the visual aspect of your music and how it complements the overall listening experience?
The album art is a painting by Kaya Thomas-Dyke. The visuals are by SPOD who used the painting as a base and mixed cinema 4D and after effects with various AI programs. I’m really interested in the relationship between visuals and audio and wanted to show that on this album since I’ve never really done it before.
You've collaborated with a number of different artists in the past. Who are some of your favorite collaborators and why?
Kaya Thomas-Dyke and Emmavie because they are both ridiculously good at what they do.
Your music often tackles important themes such as mental health and the experiences of Black people in Britain. How do you approach addressing these topics through your music?
In the past I’ve used audio clips from conversations. I rap sometimes too so I bring up issues in my verses as well.
Can you walk us through your creative process when making music? Do you have any particular routines or rituals?
I try to create as often as possible whether it’s an idea in my head or a project in Logic, most things won’t be usable but I think you can practice creativity, the more often you try it the better you get at it.
How do you see your music evolving in the future, both in terms of style and message?
The music will evolve as I evolve as a person so I’m not really sure where it will go. You know how we don’t really ever notice that we’re growing taller until we look back and see where we were before.
You've been described as an "inspirational figure in London's jazz renaissance". What do you make of the recent resurgence of jazz in popular music?
I think the internet has made it possible for people to come across music that isn’t really on the radio, and for musicians to put out their own music without waiting for a machine to help them. Technology has made it easier to do things yourself.
Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring musicians and producers trying to break into the music industry?
A lot of this is pure luck but just in case: work with people you like, build something you’re passionate about, finish your music and release it.