Our ever expanding list of ladies in dnb takes us to visit the lovely and very humble Mizeyesis, across the pond in USA, and she throws down an exclusive mix for us too.
Thank you for taking time out to take part in our Ladies Of DNB series.
WOW thank you! I feel honoured.
You’re from the USA. Which state and have you lived there all your life?
I’ve lived in the US, UK, and Caribbean. My family is from the Caribbean, Antigua and Trinidad are our bases, as well as other islands. I’ve spent a lot of time in all 3 places.
Can you start off by telling us how you got your DJ name?
MIZEYESIS is a variation of Isis. Isis is the Eyqptian Mother Goddess, wife of Osiris and mother of Horus. I have studied Egyptology my entire life. In 2002 I was going to just name myself, “Eyesis”. Isis is all seeing, her third eye is enhanced, and sis for obvious reasons. My homie, another dj in the area Snafu put reality in me and said, “too many people are named that, and you are kind of unique… I like ‘Miz’ infront of that cause you have a certain flava”. And thus that’s how Mizeyesis came to be.
Can you tell us how it all started for you?
I’ve been DJing since 2002. I was a professional dancer up until 2001, and due to an injury I stopped, and became disillusioned. At the height of my dance career, jungle was the soundtrack to my life. Buzzing around NYC going to class, rehearsals, I was always listening to it as music was at the forefront of my life even before DJing. Jungle to me was a saviour… I was in a serious relationship at the time, and remembered telling my ex that I wanted to DJ. He didn’t like the idea because he didn’t think about the art. When we broke up, I went to a local record shop THAT day, and brought my first 5 LPs. 3 months later, my first pair of decks. I practiced for years at house parties, until a friend who was a promoter, DJ Mighty Mouse offered me a chance at my first gig which was July 23rd, 2004 at the Municipal Cafe in Hartford USA. I practiced hard, and after that set, the bookings came rolling in.
You started promoting in 2004, how did that kick off for you?
I started a night and crew with two friends of mine that was called THRESHOLD Sound. Where I live in Connecticut, we had jungle/dnb nights in the past, and at that time, the rave scene was under fire as we just evaded the mass restrictions of the rave act. Connecticut was hit hard as a Senator here was a big supporter of this bill. At first the crew was just 3 of us, and four years later we had amassed 10 strong, and had a local home at Sully’s Pub till 2008. We had booked Breakage, Remarc, Tester, Liondub, Strife, Shichman, Joe Nice and many other DJs who pushed jungle, dnb and bass music. We were active as a crew till 2010, then we moved on to other projects. Sometimes we have reunion shows, or will still do things together. We are all still friends, and respect another dearly. http://www.facebookcom/thresholdsound – We also collabed with many crews, one being Cybergroove which at the time was a DJ collective which morphed into one of the largest booking agencies in the United States.
You played at the Miami Winter Music Conference – how was that experience for you?
I performed in Miami in 2008 which was one of my first festival bookings. I was booked by Vinny Sky of Sky’s the Limit out of NYC for “Sky Invades Miami 4′ which was hosted at Gem Nightclub on Washington right in South Beach. It was a fun time, I got to play alongside some legends like Frankie Bones, Heather Heart, Godfather, Annalyze and many others in the US. My set was a tag with well known NYC Dj named Big Ears, which was awesome because we both have a profound love of jungle riddims. That week was very profound for me, and one I’ll never forget. Being able to dj was definitely a dream come true, but even more cool that I was able to catch some of my djing heros like DJ Jazzy Jeff, Mark Farina, DJ Spinna, Roni Size, Teebee, Babu, Peanut Butter Wolf, Madlib and so many more. It was so sick!
You’re a seasoned traveller and have lived in the UK. How do you find the USA scene and UK scene different?
2007 I briefly lived in the UK, Oxford and London. Although a brief time of 5 months, the connections and friendships I made lasted a lifetime and also helped push my DJ career in a new directions. I would say that the UK’s scene at that time was more massive than in the US meaning that there were jungle nights and just in general electronic music everywhere. I remember going from Oxford to Cambridge via bus and driving by a small pub in St Noet’s which had a poster on it for a show featuring John B. I was like get out!? Lol… Or seeing regular posters in Oxford featuring guys like Micky Finn, Ellis Dee, Kenny Ken, and so many pioneers. In Oxford I regularly attended nights by Hit & Run or HQ. I met DJ Fu, Mannikular, and so many other great UK Djs that were just as passionate about jungle/DNB as I were. It was how we bonded. Also spending some time in Cambridge I linked with the Life4Land massiv which at the time had Monsta, Stivs, Jahba, Ed Cox and absolutely loved the events they threw. It reminded me of what we were doing back home… This experience made me see that jungle/dnb was truly a universal language for those who loved it. When I came home that May, our scene was still kind of in a funk here in the Northeast… However, then came 2008-2009 and an explosion of events plus new interest in electronic music in general took place. It was an exciting time to witness and still be here. I feel like we are getting there… I just finished a mini tour this year in the midwest and there’s raw blooded jungle and DNB nights hosted so many crews where people, young and old attend and enjoy this music. In 1997 I’ll never forget so many music magazines calling jungle/dnb a fad that wouldn’t last long… Its 2015 and its still here. Worldwide even, strong in the United States… People are still dancing to it, still producing it, still discovering. I’m so thankful to be apart of that.
You love all styles of jungle and dnb, do you have a favourite?
When I Started DJing dnb, I was heavily into liquid, however it was 2004 at a rave, a friend dropped Prophecy by Breakage. I remember I was outside and heard crazy amens and ran inside to see who did this track. When I found out I went online and did research on Breakage and found out about Equinox, Chris INP, Fracture, Neptune and others who were pushing sounds that reminded me of the type of DNB I first got into back in 1997. I remember finding these guys on myspace lol, and becoming friends with people like Theory, Phasix, and others who are at the top of their game, pushing drumfunk, jungle, and choppage dnb sounds, which is after my heart. I was like these are dudes that like the same things I do. Source Direct, Dillinja, Photek, Goldie, Lemon D, Blame, Peshay, Dego & Marc, and other that pushed that particular sound in the late90’s. Don’t get me wrong, I love all forms of jungle and dnb. I spin ragga jungle, dubwise, neurofunk, techstep, automatic and so much more but, I’ve always been one that loves complex moody type of jungle, if not the atmospheric stuff. I’ve opened up since to all sounds of jungle and dnb as it’s good to mix everything… and when you do it right, you can show people the complex things you like.
Do you play any radio shows?
In 2011, I was approached by DJ and producer Antidote about doing a show on jungletrain.net. I had been a fan of jungletrain since 2004, often listening to it at work and couldn’t believe that they wanted to recruit me. One of the reasons they stated was my passion and devotion to the sound, and how I can engage an audience. It was in November 2011 that my show “The Aural Report” was founded and thus, I have been doing this for 4 years, biweekly on Weds evenings, 7pm-9pm eastern. Sometimes I do solo shows and sometimes I have guests. I’ve had Digital, Jams, JF Killah, Iris, Bulletproof Tiger and many guests on my shows that are both local, national, and international headliners.
You have a good relationship with Seed recordings, how did that come about?
In 2012, Bill Kraemer who runs Seed Recordings, was working at Satellite EDM/Satellite Records. He approached about becoming the Currator for its Jungle / DNB stock. I was honoured and accepted the opportunity. He started Seed around that time, and hopefully, you’ll be hearing some remix projects from me with that label very soon.
Can you tell us about the MIA DNB connection?
I joined the largest DNB collective in the US, MIA DNB which is a brother and sisterhood of jungle and dnb DJs from the US and Canada in 2012. MIA stands for Murder in America and was founded by Chicago jungle/dnb DJ Alfonz De La Mota in 2006. It has expanded out of Chicago and now has chapters all over the country including members in Canada. I love this group as we are truly a passionate bunch of junglists that really just love this music, plus we look out for another. Like production tips, mixes, bookings, the whole 9 yards… We have a lot planned for 2016 with expanding the brand and pushing more MIA themed nights around the country. Its really an exciting time for us! Www.miadnb.com
You did some productions with Skru, can you tell us more?
Well when I got to play at Rupture in London in 2013, I remember speaking to Double O about what I was doing back home. And one thing he impressed upon me was to push my production a lot more. He said something kind of profound to me, “If you have a tune with soul, and its good, put it out there… Everyone focuses too much on chopping, that will come… But if you are making good things, show everyone.” Now coming from a legend like that, when I got home, I worked. I made a tune called “To Absolve” which was a joint that reflected my love of atmospheric jungle. I was so surprised when so many people reached out and said to me, dude, this is beautiful, or please make more…. One person who noticed this was a producer out of Greece named Skru. I found out about Skru as he released a tune on Foundation X sometime back which is Skitty’s label. His sound was a contrast to mine, it was heavy, dark and broading, in terms of production. We talked about our interests in jungle/dnb and who, what our influences were and decided to bounce some stems back and forth. We’ve so far have made about 3-4 tracks together. Some which may be featured on some labels coming in the near future.
What DAW are you on and what are your favourite plug ins?
I love Ableton. When I first had the program I stayed up drinking yerba mate for 10 hours going along with youtube videos and my apk mini to teach myself the basics. After that I spent a lot of time just learning, and I still am, you never stop that. Lol… I don’t have too many favorite plugins at this time, but I do adore Ozone Izotope which is a lifesaver and something I’m finding very essential in my production. I love the compression features in Ableton as if you mess with breaks, sometimes the sound isn’t as crisp… You can load it into a program like Ableton and use those plugins to make things pop or change them. I’m using Live9 which is a beast! Depending on the type of beat I’m working on it can take 2 hours or a couple of months until I’m satisfied. I’ve also started to break away from just making jungle/dnb riddims and have been messing with garage, house, techno and even my very first love, hip-hop… Making hip-hop is fun!!
You were amongst the list of lovely ladies in this year’s Jungle Award nominations. How did that feel?
I was shocked, lol. But honoured to be included in such esteemed talent from around the world. Sometimes you just don’t know who is watching and it really surprised me that people put me in that class. I am US manager for DNB Girls which is a 14 member collective of female djs, producers, mc’s and artists around the US and Canada. Our members are Jams (Our CEO), Distinct, Mittz, Kytami, Ella Grave, Krystal Rhodes, Ninjette, Bulletproof Tiger, Iris, Bitch Plz (Miss Haze & Corrine) and Lovelace. A lot of us are really taking our craft to next levels with bookings, tunes being released, major festival bookings and even awards… We host a monthly podcast called LOUD (Ladies of Ultimate Destruction) and a Ustream Radio session. We also encourage another to look out for our fellow sisters in the beat locally, nationally and internationally as its all love. And sisterhood in this business which can be very male dominated at times I feel is very important. So being nominated for me was further validation of something I’ve been working towards with people I love. Some ask me, don’t you feel its kind of sexist to be nominated for just an award for a female dj? I say no, and the reason for this is as a woman, we do need positive role models and reinforcements for inspiration. For me, those ladies were Storm, Kemistry, DJ Rap, Reidspeed, Empress, you, Strife, and many others… Seeing them excel with the passion they had, made me want to do the same. Why not recognize women who were full of passion, and if I’m considered one of those, especially by a UK based jungle organization, that’s an extreme honor in which I’m humbled by.
What other states in USA have you played?
Wow, well, I’ve played in Connecticut which is my home state, Massachusetts (Boston, Western Mass), Rhode Island (Providence and other cities), New Hampshire (Manchester and other cities), Vermont (Burlington and other cities), Maine (Portland and other cities), New York State & NYC, New Jersey, Pennsylvannia (Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other cities), Maryland, Virginia, DC, Florida, Missouri (Kansas City), Minnesota (Minneapolis), Texas (Dallas). I’ve been around and hope to get out further. This year I’m hoping to add the West Coast to my resume, and maybe Hawaii, as well as Canada. I’d even like to travel to Central, South America as well as the Caribbean, and even back to the UK and the EU… So many places to go to spread my love of this music. And I will do it.
Can we have your top 5 favourite tracks at the moment please?
You know this is a broad question because I love to play jungle, but I listen to so much other music or even play it from time to time… So I decided that making a mix of some of the tunes I’m truly digging right now would be the best choice. I will say though, producers like Jaybee, Rumbleton, Double O, Digital, 6Blocc, Will Miles, SST, Liminal, Quadran & Iris, Homemade Weapons, Dave Owen, Madcap, and many others always are on my radar, especially with the amazing beats they’ve made this year.
What do you like to do to relax?
Meditate, eat and sleep. Lol… Meditation to clear my mind as I’m a thinker and need that. I love food, I live in New Haven, right by Yale University and this city is a culinary dream. And the pizza here is outstanding!! Even Frank Sinatra when he was alive used to come to New Haven for his pizza because it was as close to what he had been brought up on in Italy. From Italian, to Thai, to Japanese, to Chinese, to Indian to your basic fried chicken to Caribbean, New Haven is awesome for foodies. And sleep I love to sleep. Sleeping is good, I need a lot of it, lol.
What are you drinking from the bar if we see you out?
I’d be drinking an IPA which I have been enjoying for over ten years before they became popular or some sort of Ale… I also love stouts… I’m not big on pilsner’s and lager’s at all, but if its a good one I’ll drink it. I’m a whiskey and tequila lover as well. Sometimes I’m not having any beer but I’m drinking whiskey or scotch on the rocks, or shots of it or tequila. And lastly, I love wine. Give me a red, that’s REAL wine to me lol…
Any shouts and thanks?
Thanks again… You guys really surprise me and you have no idea how grateful I am for these opportunities. Shouts out to my family, my friends, DNB Girls, Jungletrain, MIA DNB, Awake Productions, DNBC, Threshold, 413 DNB, 4orce Productions, DieHard On Decks, Elements, Reunion, MPLS, Two:Tone… My neareast and dearest folks Felicia, Meszenjah, Elijah Divine, Miah Love and so many others… LETS DO THIS IN 2016!!!
Interview by Aliina Atkinson (Missrepresent)
Website : http://www.mizeyesis.com
Twitter : http://twitter.com/mizeyesis
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/mizeyesisDJOfficial
Soundcloud : http://soundcloud.com/mizeyesis