#MusicInTheAir Podcast hosts this week :
Today for the MusicInTheAir Podcast on Villahangar debuts Mu Lan, who “knows where he comes from but has no idea where he will come”. Born in Lodi, on October thirteenth of the year in which Radiohead gave birth to “Ok computer” and Portishead played the notes of “Dummy” at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC.
Child of artists, of a practical and non-theoretical guitarist from whom she inherited passions and defects, she was born in music. “I can’t honestly say what my first encounter with music was, as I literally grow up between pedals, cars and records, but I can tell you for sure when I improvise my first song. At just over three years old, I am not exaggerating. (This document is still available since my father had the readiness to record me with a poor but undoubtedly functional microphone)”.
In the beginning she did something else, with a rock band and playing with her father, doing various projects. “During middle school I became a guitarist in an all-male RockBand, then adolescence swallows me and spits me out, leading me to detach myself from my nature and discover other, new, different ones”, she says.
From adolescence she broke away from that world and approached the electronic world, starting to play, in particular the tech house, introduced into the musical environment at that time.
As soon as she finished her studies, around the age of eighteen, she moved abroad between London, Ibiza and short but intense periods in Berlin.
She has worked with realities such as Music On in Ibiza at Pacha, Paradise.
She explains: “In European capitals I am passionate about the world of electronics and clubbing, I learn to put records in time with the help of a friend. I start the hated apprenticeship, playing in absurd situations for a few tens of euros and making improbable schedules, while I dance and carry out public relations activities for realities such as MusicOn, Paradise, Hyte, Mosaic, Pyramid etc until the need to give space to my creativity becomes too great. My seat wasn’t behind, I wanted to be the one with headphones on and hands up. At that point I decide to pull myself out and lock myself inside the house (great pun), I go back to Italy and give life to my first English electronic project”.
After a few years she started producing, fascinated by the progressive and melodic techno world. She gave birth to her first electronic project, in English, bringing it to X Factor. From there she tried to produce something more Italian, both linguistically and in terms of productions, and experimented with some of it, meanwhile, in 2019 she returned to Italy and moved to Rome.
She says: “As I told you, I create my first project. Nothing exceptional, undoubtedly a starting point. Sounds more tending to dark pop if I must be honest. The blood pact with melodic/progressive techno I will tighten after some time. (True love is sometimes slow to arrive, isn’t it?).
So I bring my experiment to the selections of XFactor in 2020, I come out with a great general “no” and an invitation to know the Italian recording reality, leaving aside the foreign one. Do I take it well? Absolutely not. The first refusal is never forgotten, and believe me that really hurt me. Everything passes, I try for once to listen. (Now I not only accept the advice, but I appreciate it. Am I getting big?) Well, what can I say, the approach to writing in my native language, paradoxically, turns out to be a catastrophe. It disorients me and leads me to hate most of the things I do. After a few months, however, it becomes my favorite communication tool (adding Spanish here and there because I think you understand it, I’m stubborn)”.
She has lived many experiments: pop, funk, trap, indie medium, and now in urban she has found her dimension. In September 2022 she moved to Milan for negotiations, now on standby. Then she had the chance with another major that she is currently working with, with great commitment.
She currently lives between Rome and Milan. “I discover genres, artists, sounds and in December 2022 I finally find Muriel, I turn it into five auditions and send it to labels, A&R, producers. A couple of medium/large companies are interested in my character and my music, currently I’m still on standby. I will certainly not be here to explain my thoughts about it, it makes no sense. I understood that in life you have to at least try to have patience, whatever the cost”.
Since the post Covid of 2020 she has continued to play, mostly in private events. Moving to Milan, at the moment she is looking for a residence, difficult for her style today in a Milan where the tech house / raggaeton has a great success. She does the afters at the King Room, and divides her time between work and the recording studio. “Of course, despite everything, I still play other people’s records. Like everyone else, I am silenced by the pandemic and its ensues. Months, years of confusion and uncertainty. Private events mainly, some afters, some evening. Little stuff. What I do in Italy seems not to be contemplated. And I struggle to understand why. Milan has become impossible, situations are becoming more and more commercial and I feel I can’t find my place. Do I suffer from it? Probably. But let’s face it, I like to suffer otherwise I wouldn’t make music. It is an infamous job, it takes everything away from you giving you nothing and yet you are happy. I would choose her a hundred more times.”
What is your musical style?
My musical style? I hate labeling myself as a person, let alone as an artist. And no, I’m not saying this because it’s hard for me to give you an answer. I’ve always had a lot of influences. I listen a lot, really a lot, but I don’t like much. In life I do pop, dark pop, with some urban hints of the times but I tend to call myself dark. I have a smile on my face perpetually, believe me I am proactive, playful, sunny, but when I play, when I play I want darkness, soft light, I want intimacy. I like to tell stories, make people cry but at the same time take care of them, not make them feel alone, even make them dance why not. Many see my split personality, they cannot understand how mine is actually a world with only different facets. It’s me, the one who during the day works in a studio in front of a microphone telling of a past love and in the evening raises the gain of the system in the room to the maximum. I’m probably wrong, I’m confused, I’m weird, or maybe others don’t have a broad enough mind to let things in.
Do you play any instruments?
I play everything and nothing, I have never taken lessons, I learn by watching others. I am a great observer, I like to steal what people outside without thinking too much about it. I, on the other hand, tend to be very reserved.
Do you have favorite artists?
Here, a question that is difficult for me to answer and precisely this. Favorite artists? Every time for me it’s a drama. From Radiohead to FKA Twigs, from Moderat to dEUS. The Beatles, AC/DC, Ivano Fossati. ROSALÍA. The National, the XX, the Subsonica. Then there is the Berlin scene with realities like Kollektiv Turmstrasse or Stil Vor Talent (probably one of my absolute favorites) or Einmusik, Jonas Saalbach, Innellea, Annet Gapstream. But not only Berlin, also AFFKT or So Inagawa.
What do you think about the Italian electronic music scene?
What do I think of the Italian electronic music scene? We need more space, more freedom. Italy is not ready. Italy is full of talents, possibilities. But doesn’t notice it. I think Italy is currently one of the worst places to choose to make music. The songwriters of yesteryear, they were lucky. We aren’t.
What can you tell us about your Podcast?
And as far as my Podcast is concerned, there is very little to say and a lot to listen to, about an hour. I played it tonight, I couldn’t sleep but I needed to breathe. My DJ set starts and ends with the same track, so that it can reconnect to infinity and be a continuous and endless cycle of emotions, each time different from each other. A loop that never stops making noise, a bit like thoughts, a bit like our lives. I send love, Mu Lan.
01. TSY – Well Figure It Out / TSY Recordings
02. Einmusik, Dirty Doering – Tipe Lapse / Einmusika Recordings
03. Slow Hearts – Eyepads / All Day I Dream
04. Oliver Weiter – Aboro / Weiter
05. Dee Montero – Machina / Knee Deep In Sound
06. Rauschhaus – Blattgold / Einmusika Recordings
07. Einmusik – Ignition / Einmusika Recordings
08. Marius Drescher, Philipp Kempnich – Faith / Einmusika Recordings
09. Stephan Bodzin – Odyssee / Afterlife Records
10. Ben Böhmer – Fade to Blue / Anjunadeep
11. Ben Böhmer – After Heart / Anjunadeep
12. TSY – Well Figure It Out / TSY Recordings