- Words 18 Montrose
18montrose are about to debut the first in a series of collaborations with some of the UK’s young, original voices.
The brand recently linked with Notion Alumni Miink, a one-man-army of production, singing, songwriting and visual artistry. They shadowed the native Londoner for a day and picked his brain about the shifting state of British identity, self-care and balance maintenance.
In danger of starting off too heavy…
Dive into the politics man
British politics seems to be in the background of daily life at the moment, I’m interested to know if these shifting notions of the British culture have had any effect on your own sense of identity, your sense of place in the country and your outlook on the future?
I think people make big deals out of any change. I don’t think people like change, but people are good at it. That’s why we carry on because we’re good at change, good at adapting. I think it’s the same as any big change, we just need to roll with it.
I don’t think there’s any reason to go back and change things. That’s kind of what I base everything on – making sure you’re aware of the past, but not holding on it. Not just trying to stick to things because you’re comfortable there. I think it’s just a case of people being out of their comfort zone for a bit. A lot of people trying to put up a fight, but you can’t stop those sorts of things. I don’t think it’s changed my way of living, my way of being. I don’t feel like my identities threatened, I feel like that’s a part of my identity. To move with things and find that balance in a new place.
Are there certain sounds that have had an impact on your life, sounds that make you feel especially nostalgic for a certain time or place? – like the sound of friends laughter, the sound of your mum cooking, the theme tune to a tv show…
Um not really, and I think that’s kind of strange because that should be on my mind all the time, but I always feel like when I’m making music it’s more about a bigger concept, so the sound’s only one part of it.
The message is my focus rather than the sound, so I don’t tend to focus too much on the sound. Being that I produce things, I’m used to adapting sounds and making them into whatever they need to be.
I do have a lot of sounds that are stuck in my head, that’s a common thing. Things that get stuck in my head that won’t go away until I get them out.
Do you ever have that thing where things you see are linked to sounds, or you hear things in certain colours. A certain experience manifesting itself as a certain sound or image.
I think all of your senses are kind of linked. I was thinking this morning about how it feels to sense the presence of someone behind you and whether that’s just a mixture of all your other senses, like feeling the wind change because it’s bouncing off something behind you or the sounds of things coming closer to you. Or you see the slight darkening of a space because they are blocking out the light. You’re not really focusing on those things, but they can give you the feeling that there’s something there behind you. Or whether it’s a completely different sense entirely, and you can actually feel energy and that becomes the same thing as touch. I didn’t come to a conclusion in the end, but that was what I was thinking about in the shower this morning.
Would you describe yourself as introspective? Are there times when you find yourself feeling lost, out-of-place, directionless?
I’m never lost, directionless, or anything like that. But I am in my own head a lot – pretty much all the time. I think that comes from being a part of a big family because there’s someone always around. I personally like to find my own solitude and kind of get away from it all. But that doesn’t make me feel lost, I’m quite comfortable in my own solitude.
I’ve read an interview where you describe your own culture as a heterotopia, can you explain that a little? Do you feel like you’re a collection of contradicting parts that make up a whole?
Yeh, I think the just comes as a part of being mixed race. There’s a mixture of cultures that you’re brought up around. There is the sense that sometimes you don’t fit in either, but you do fit in both. I think it’s led to me looking for the balance between everything. That’s become my identity, the try and balance everything.
Do you try and apply that philosophy to all things in your life – your music, your style – things that are an outward projection of your inner life?
I put it in everything. Everything I do is a reflection of what I feel inside. It kind of becomes a philosophy, something to live by. I feel more comfortable when things are balanced, so I search for balance in everything.
I also read you’re an early riser, what’s your favourite part of the day and why?
Getting up before the sun does just makes you feel better about the day. I have no idea why, but seeing the sun come up makes you feel like you accomplished something already before the day’s even started. And then you’re thinking – I have the rest of the day ahead of me to do whatever I need to do. I also just don’t like to sleep – that’s the real thing. I was reading about this tribe that thinks the more you sleep, the less of yourself you become, so they do 15-minute intervals of sleep up against trees every now and again. I think it probably greatly diminishes their life, but it’s a cool concept.
I guess that’s similar to those tribes that believe when someone takes your picture, they steal a part of your soul.
That kind of makes sense, imagine one of those really big celebrities that has TMZ at their door all the time, they do kind of seem soulless don’t they?
Do you think people’s perception of you is important in a society where creating a persona that’s not necessarily authentic has become more and more common? Do you find it has become harder to be authentic and successful?
I don’t find authenticity a problem, I think other people do because they’re lost and haven’t found their sense of identity yet. I think that’s why you’ll find a lot of people who are really different online to how they are in real life.
When it comes to creating any kind of art, I don’t like making a caricature of yourself, it seems a bit ridiculous. I’m always just going to be myself and I think people will always feel the realness there. People will always understand that a lot more than someone who’s putting up a façade. Because the minute you start sweating or start freaking out, the whole facade will fall, people will start seeing the cracks in it, and the whole idea of you is no longer so exciting. So yeh I don’t feel like it’s ever a struggle.
What’s more important – staying true to your own personal history, where you’ve come from and the environment you’ve grown up around or embracing change and trying to evolve with the times? can you ever do both at the same time?
Everything needs balance, the aim of life is just to keep that balance as balanced as possible.