Does knowing a producer’s true identity impact how you listen to music? Most of us will say that it doesn’t, but the majority of us are all too quick to pander to more established artists as we are check out up-and-coming or, as is the case here, unidentified artists. The artist in question here is Tia-Mellow, an Italian based in London who’s released – or so we’re told – on some killer labels, but has decided to step back and adopt a whole new guise and sound. All things considered, it’s a move that’s working out a treat if his debut album, the magnificent Memories, is anything to go by. A considerate and textured album that’s perfect for these times of uncertainty, it’s dexterous and diverse,e but also packs enough dancefloor prowess at times. It is, to put it bluntly, a wonderful exercise in the eclecticism of electronic music. In this Instagram age it’s rare to encounter a musician who prefers to let the music do the talking, but by the sounds of things, Tia-Mellow is no ordinary proposition. Much as we found out when we put some questions to him recently…
How was 2020 in the end for you? What are your hopes and dreams for 2021?
I hope we can soon return to everyday life, go back to travelling, get back to being able to socialize with people, go back to being able to go to concerts, festivals, theatre, cinema. Return to normalcy that at this moment is always so distant.
How did you deal with the pandemic? What did you learn about yourself? What were the good and bad bits about 2020?
I learned a lot during this pandemic, above all having to stay at home even when it becomes difficult to do so, I learned additional aspects of myself; I studied a lot.
What made you start a new alias? What made you keep it mysterious?
A new alias because the musical genre is entirely different, I would love to not mix with my other alias for this I keep almost like a secret.
What do you see as the benefits and drawbacks to releasing anonymously?
I do not see that it can be a benefit, for the moment and a choice but I believe soon I will reveal my identity.
Did writing this new album during the pandemic year change how it sounded do you think? Or when was it produced?
It was composed entirely during this period of lockdowns. It wasn’t straightforward, especially for the collaborations, but I am pleased with the result.
There are some great collaborations on the album, can you tell us a bit about who’s involved, the ideas behind them and how they came to be?
There are two collaborations on the album one with a dear friend of mine Louis Options, the track with him and very dark dub many shades. The other collaboration is with MC Doppic C, my brother; we planned for years to collaborate. When the opportunity arose, we did not lose the chance the track is called the reason of love, a very melodic track that contains many elements.
Did you write it with a certain audience, club, time to listen in mind?
I haven’t written the music for a particular audience, but I think this type of music is much more listening than club music, except for some tracks.
How did you approach it any differently from previous EPs and LPs? Was it tough to move into a new mindset with regards to your sound?
I never have a well-defined plan; I go a lot to sensations; I imagine the track a little; I guess the sounds inspire me at that moment. It also depends a lot on the days and the weather. It depends on so many factors.
How important is the sequencing of the album, the overall story? how hard is that bit to get right?
I have carefully chosen the album sequence, which starts with two very complex and hefty tracks. After that, it is an up and down of emotions until the last track is a real outro.
Are there any tracks you really love, that really came together well or hold the album together you think? What tracks would you really recommend?
To be honest, I love all the albums, but I particularly like two tracks, the reason for love and anything, can’t wait to share with the audience.
What did you find are the biggest challenges that you overcame when producing the album?
The biggest challenge was to find the right vibes during this strange period.