Miink’s haunting falsetto vocals move you irrevocably. Oblivious, you find yourself in the London-based singer and producer’s realm of in-betweens, where his angelic voice echoes in a tunnel of dark, lo-fi R&B beats. Quite literally pouring his bleeding heart out in a visual for Scorched Moth, Miink wraps raw honesty in evocative mystery. Can perfection be reached in this balance of opposites? For Miink, that’s brutally uninteresting. “[Perfection] is stagnation, it’s death. There are no more questions, nothing left to learn.” The artist would rather test how far he can push things before they break. And in Miink’s musical world, you may tear up or you may laugh, but one thing is rock-solid sure: everything is soaked in affection.
Miink, this may be an introduction to you and your work for some of our readers. So, who are you?
I’m the beauty hiding in the shadows.
What’s your first musical memory?
People coming and going at all hours in my grandma’s house. There was a studio upstairs, but the kids weren’t allowed in. Food was being cooked constantly. We were all drinking and smoking downstairs with loud music throughout the night, nobody concerned about school the next morning.
Your latest project touches heavily on the concept of pain. What does it mean to you? How do you accomplish to use pain as a creative tool?
I don’t intend to use it as a creative tool. I try to understand it so as to understand people better. It’s the communication I’m interested in. Everyone’s just trying to communicate the way they feel, but that’s difficult given no one wants to pour their heart out and be vulnerable. It’s easier to just stay cool all the time. It’s easier to support something cool, because everyone’s doing it. You don’t feel so stupid when you’re a part of something. When you’re too honest, you get alienated. If, instead of acting tough, people admitted they were hurt and didn’t fear the repercussions of it, we could communicate more freely. If we could understand each other, we could get along much easier.
Is it creatively comfortable to be uncomfortable? Do you need to get out of your comfort zone in order to create?
I believe creativity is figuring out ways around a problem. When you’re out of your comfort zone, you have to work your way around the things that make you uncomfortable, the things you’re not used to, the things that are stopping you from doing what you want. But creation is more about expressing yourself, and how freely you can express yourself usually determines how good the creation is; how true a reflection of yourself the creation is. If you’re uncomfortable, it’s more difficult to express yourself until you can figure out a way around the discomfort. I feel you need to put yourself into some form of comfort zone in order to create well. That’s why fearless people are better at it. We’re attracted to people who will be themselves no matter the situation. They aren’t phased by uncomfortable situations.
You’ve mentioned that you’d sometimes want to make the audience just listen and experience your sound emotively, instead of intellectually. How do emotions and rational thoughts play out within your creative process? Do they oppose each other or are they in harmony when you create?
My aim is to always find the balance in everything. For me, a song is a success when it has the right amount of feeling and thought. I want listeners to look deeper into the meaning of the song and think about the way I’ve written the music around it—but only if that’s their way of consuming. I personally react better to the energy of art, and I know there are others who feel the same. If it feels right, it is right. If it makes you move without noticing, if it makes you tear up or if it keeps you smiling the whole day, it’s a job well done because you can’t deny it affecting you.
I produce with this balance in mind. Because everything is done very digitally, it’s very straight to the point, it’s a 0 or a 1. So, straying from the rules is important. If a demo take is recorded terribly but has the right feeling, it has to stay. Because once the moment has passed, you often can’t get that feeling back again. The fun comes in how far you can push things before they break.
You were featured on the pages of our latest issue, UTOPIA | DYSTOPIA, as one of Glamcult’s favourite talents. Do these two concepts play out in any way in your personal life or music-making practice?
My focus is always on the in-between, the heterotopia—being both but neither. Culturally, I’m in-between and have always mixed with as many different people as possible. And I create from what I know. “Perfection”, either way, is uninteresting. It shows the end, the limit. There are no more questions, nothing left to learn. It’s stagnation, it’s death.
You’re a self-sufficient, self-made artist. Regardless, is it important for you to work with other artists too? If yes, can you share an experience that you had with someone else that informed your creative process in any way?
The collective is dead. There was a great moment not long ago with Odd Future, A$AP, Raider Klan, Pro Era, etc., when collectives made sense and were exciting and helped each other go further. But more recently, the idea has been twisted. What came from a place of inclusion now comes across as very exclusive. There’s mixed messages coming from these collectives. They love everyone and want everyone to be a part of their movement when it’s time to sell a product, but the rest of the time they’re far too cool to be associated with anyone who isn’t a member. They remind me of religious scammers, fake healing and running off with the donations. This is why I say: ‘we don’t swindle the small clans’. I see collectives fighting others just like them, not realising there’s a bigger threat taking advantage of all of us. I’m not saying, Don’t create with your friends and people you share ideals with. I’m just implying there’s only 2 groups really. You’re either us or them.
I sense a religious influence throughout your work. In what ways have you adopted religious principles to the times we live in today?
We all pursue something with great devotion. We all have our habits and rituals. We all have our ideals and beliefs we live by. My interest isn’t in religion in the conventional sense. I’m more focused on the reasons we do what we do, be it pray 5 times a day or smoke 10 cigarettes a day. Looked at from the outside, everything we do is pretty weird, and that’s interesting.
As an emerging artist, how do you measure success?
Regardless of the level you’re on as an artist, it’s difficult to measure success. It’s not very black and white, and you’re likely to spend a long time creating a product that’s a truthful reflection of you and your feelings. By the time it’s finished, that feeling has probably passed, you’re already expressing the next one. So there’s no instant reward for your work. Personally, it makes me enjoy other things more. Cooking is that much more satisfying when you’re working on a song, which probably won’t come out for months, if at all. You make and consume the food within a couple of hours; the reward for your work is instant. If anything, emerging artists shouldn’t worry about success. I don’t feel like I create for any reason other than enjoyment itself. I would have stopped a long time ago otherwise.
What’s next for you? Is there something you’re dreaming about, obsessing with or wanting to experiment with?
This so far is all part of a bigger plan. What’s next is already in motion, and if you’re reading this, you’re already a part of it. Either roll with us, or you’re one of them.