Following a big year for him with a solid collection of records, Millbrook slams into 2021 with a hot new single on RAM.
Millbrook is rapidly rising the ranks in the drum & bass world. The Berlin-based artist has so far consistently delivered big dancefloor tracks which have been flooding the radio, live-streams and such. Elevating his sound with each new release, we’ve only just begun to see the beginning of this acclaimed producer.
Last year, despite the on-going pandemic Millbrook was still able to steadily drop tune after tune. A slew of tracks out on labels, Viper and Discover where he’s laid down a strong foundation for the years ahead. Now preparing to build up, he kickstarted his 2021 with his debut release on RAM. He leaves his impression on the esteemed label with, 'Holding On' - a euphoric dance floor cut featuring the fantastic vocals from Eviya.
As he takes steps on wards and upwards, we’ve had a quick catch up where we talk how he's surviving the ongoing pandemic, his approach to music and more...
How have you been during these crazy times?
I've been keeping myself busy with all sorts of things. Mostly I've been writing new music and planning my releases for this year.
Do you feel the pandemic has affected your approach to music in any way?
It certainly has, yes. I've had enough time now to reflect on everything that's happened so far and also had a lot of time to think about what I want to do with my music on the long run.
One thing I’ve seen people talking about is not being able to road test their tracks, is that something you have struggled with? What difference does it make for you?
For me, this hasn't been that big of a deal. I obviously love playing out and getting a live reaction to music from the people I'm playing to but during Covid, this has just changed to digital feedback. I have been trying to answer every message I get from people saying nice things to them asking me for feedback on theirs. If anything I have become more interactive.
I’m sure, like many of us, you’ve found yourself with a lot more spare time, what have you been doing to fill it?
To be honest, I like being on my own. Not all the time of course but this just means that I never had an issue with keeping myself busy. Making good music takes a LOT of time so passing the time sure isn't a hard thing to do! I am of course, just like many other people, guilty of binge-watching a few of my favourite shows again!
Despite all that’s going on, you’ve still managed a steady schedule of releases with your own original tracks and remixes last year. What is a key element in producing a Millbrook track?
I try my best. Keeping my momentum up was a big goal for me this year, as I am still a new name in this industry. Nowadays, producing a track is generally a process that starts with a concept. I get an idea in my head and 'write' it over time. This might sound weird but at this point the track doesn't exist yet, it only lives as a concept in my head. Once I think I have a solid idea in my head, I wait to be inspired and motivated, then I get 'in the studio' right away and start making it a reality.
Following a string of great records in 2020, your latest release 'Holding On' landed on RAM Records. Is releasing with RAM something that was on your bucket list or is it one of those chance happenings?
RAM Records is a huge label in the drum & bass world, so I always had it as a personal goal in mind for the long run. I honestly did not think it would happen in the first two years of producing under this name, but this has certainly been one of my biggest achievements to date for me.
The record itself has some serious hands in the air vibes - was there a venue or space you imagined playing this when producing?
I'm really glad to hear that! For me personally, I didn't really imagine anything specific, weirdly. This is one of those tracks where I was really zoned in and tried to create a personal listening experience for anyone to enjoy. A big goal for this track was to write something that both DNB heads and non-drum & bass people could potentially enjoy. It's melodic, it has emotions, a great vocal, and it doesn't necessarily require the drum & bass aspect of it to be enjoyed, instead it acts as a bonus feature.
It featured Eviya on the vocals, what about her vocal style did you like? How did you start working with her?
She has done an amazing job on the vocals! We started working on this track probably around 8 months ago. The instrumental was very basic but luckily was enough for her to be inspired to write something for it. We then just organically tried to expand on our ideas and worked on it for the following months... We both could not have been happier with the result!
The record has picked up some serious support from some of the biggest tastemakers in the scene, no wonder given its versatility. Setting a high standard to follow now! What can we expect from Millbrook in the coming 12 months?
I always get a little scared when a track is received this well to be honest. My personal work ethic is that I try to out-do myself with every release, not others. However, when I write something that I am really happy with and it also gets such a positive reaction from everyone else, this is a hard task. I have put an enormous amount of hours into the projects which are dropping throughout this year to make sure I gave it my best shot. The tracks coming out this year is a body of work I am very proud of, and I think some of those tracks are the best ones I've written so far. Only time will show how they will be received by others - all I can say is that I couldn't be more excited for each and every one of those tracks to come out!
Last year you took part in our influences feature where you citied movie soundtracks as one of your influences. What are your favourite film soundtracks, and what is it about them that strike a chord with you?
Movies and their soundtracks still have an enormous impact on my music. It's hard to point out any specific track as I don't necessarily take an entire track as an inspiration but rather take in subconscious parts of the music I hear combined with the images I see. I'm a very visual person and whenever something like this resonates with me I just take it in, whether consciously or unconsciously.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned over the years?
Embrace what makes you different.
Outside of drum & bass what are some of your favourite tracks right now?
I love everything Elderbrook does. Bicep tracks I enjoy too, especially their latest album!
If you weren’t in the music biz what do you see yourself doing as a career? What draws you to that?
I'd probably be a full time motion/graphic designer in some media company. It's what I've done long before I made music and I still do it from time to time. Modeling spaceships in 3D, creating special effects for movies and designing flyers for all sorts of events, that's probably what I'd be doing today. Nowadays I mostly just design my own logos and artworks for my music.
Millbrook’s debut release on RAM Records, 'Holding On' featuring Eviya is out now - Buy/stream
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