He goes by the alias, Numatic. 20-year-old Mikey Miele, shares his biggest influences and what success means to him. At such a young age, Miele has captured such a unique sound, mixing his dark and grimy rhythms with a strong drive and passion for music.
Q: How old were you when you started getting into djing/producing? Explain this time in your life
A: Back in high school, in grade 8 I met Riccardo Rocca. We became best friends instantly. We are both Italian and we both loved The Bloody Beetroots. As soon as we started listening to electronic music we wanted to aspire to create music from our musical influencers. In grade 9 we began to play at high school parties and little-organized events. With that being said, growing up, I was really into rock and roll and punk. I really liked Queen, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
Q: Do you have a trained background in music?
A: I don’t have a trained background in music - I was always into music, and sports. I’m the youngest of 3 brothers - my oldest brother Nick was in a band growing up and he would play bass, guitar, sing and I would drum and we would do jam sessions. He was one of the main reasons I got into electronic music and started producing. He saw the scene differently than me due to being 8 years older than me, but it's cool because he was doing all the stuff I’m doing now.
Q: Describe the meaning behind Numatic?
A: In the music scene, no one takes you as professionally as you would like until you’re of age. So when I turned 19 last year I started taking this music thing seriously and following this everyone around me took me seriously. Last March I dropped the alias Numatic. It came about when I was literally messing around and combining words together. I took the word NU as in new genre and then I took the word automatic and took out auto and then it was Numatic. It relates to me because my last name is Miele and Miele in Italian means honey and is also a vacuum and kitchen appliances brand. I looked up if Numatic was already taken and the first thing that popped up was Numatic Vacuums International- no one knows this but it’s pretty funny.
Q: How would you describe your sound? How do you set yourself apart from other artists?
A: I’ve always been into the dark, filthier, grimier, more heavy hitting sounds, not because it sounds better to me, it’s just more appealing. When I was growing up I listened to a lot of music and I think it relates to my favourite artists, Led Zeppelin and ACDC, but corresponds into the more electronic side. The first show I went to was Calvin Harris and Steve Aoki. Looking back the music scene since then, especially the umbrella of electronic music has drastically changed. There’s so much more that you can express yourself with.
Everyone is always trying to be different but at the same time, they’re trying to follow a certain style. In some cases, producers are using the similar sounds from sample packs. You can find certain sample packs that cater to what you want to make. Within producing I try to create my own unique spin, but at the same time, I want to follow what’s popular.
Q: Can you talk about one venue in particular that you really enjoyed?
A: I played at Center of Gravity Music Festival in Kelowna B.C this summer. This was to date, the biggest gig of my career - it was the most exhilarating rush of my life. There were about 800 people on the beach going crazy to my presence on stage. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps - it was unreal. I made so many connections and was given so many opportunities. Although, the most memorable thing about the whole experience was getting the chance to meet my favourite artist in the game and my number one inspiration, Skrillex.
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
A: I definitely see myself in a higher position, like a residency or a bigger and better position with Way Home, in the long run.
But if I could live any dream and make my biggest wish come true, I would to move to L.A and get signed to OWSLA Records, aka Sonny Moore aka Skrillex’s record label - that is the ultimate dream.Realistically I'd see myself more in depth in the industry, staying in Vancouver just to see how I could grow and how I could make the city grow within the music realm. There’s a new Blueprint project called Way Home that I am apart of.
Q: Who are some of your musical influences?
A: Without hesitation, Sonny Moore. I’ve done a lot of research about him - He’s one of the biggest electronic music artists out there. When I met him at Center of Gravity he was so humble. There are artists out that don’t give a shit about anyone and only care about the money, but I’ve only heard good things about him and they were true. Maybe one day I'll be collaborating with him or working along side his legacy.
Q: What does success mean to you?
A: Success definitely means having a set plan, making those goals, and following 110% to that commitment as far as it can get you. You should always put your all into something, what’s the point of putting a half-ass effort into something you care about. I’m only 20 and I have a solid footprint in this scene and I know it’s going to go up. I’m not trying to sound cocky, but I feel this is only the beginning.
Q: Do you find it hard to stay original in a time where sampling is so available for anyone to use and good records have been over sampled, how do you stay current without blending in?
A: When it comes to sampling you can do anything you want - It’s all up to you as an artist because at the end of the day it's your work you're putting out to the world. You can manipulate a sound in so many ways. It’s all behind the scenes but it’s what you want to do and how much effort you want to put into it. If you want to use public spaces for background noise do it - it’s simple yet effective, but when it's all said and done, it's based on personal preference.
Q: What are the steps you take when preparing yourself for a show? Do you follow a certain criteria during your sets?
A: There’s a certain step in a sense. There are different styles of mixing and Djing - if you look at the term it means ‘disc jockey’. A DJ essentially uses turntables, but nowadays that aspect is slowly diminishing in my opinion. If you are playing at a club you are using CDJ’s that have everything you need on it. Realistically all I need for a gig is a USB and headphones and I'll always bring my laptop just incase. Pioneer made a software, which gives you the power to prepare what you want on your USB, and that’s called Rekordbox. You plug in your USB and make all your playlists, loops and hot cues. Rekordbox gives you the power to simply add all the files you have created in the software and then you drag them onto your USB.
In terms of criteria - you wing your set or you prepare for it. You can do it on the fly or you can make a premade set list. You go to a show and see a huge artist - I’d assume this artist isn’t going to wing it - they know which songs are going to mix with each other and at what time to mix them in. You prepare on Rekordbox and you either decide if you’re going to wing it or if you’re going to prepare. Winging and making it organic is still knowing what you’re doing - but you don’t know all of the details.
Q: Do you have any new projects coming out that you want to talk about?
A: I’m just getting into the whole producing aspect - I started in this scene as a DJ. If I could do anything different I wish I started producing before I learned how to DJ. I’m trying to do as many gigs as I can and in order to try to get my material out there bit-by-bit. Producing doesn’t come easy at all; it’s such a vast world. You have so many options, that’s the beauty of it. There are no limits.
Q: You have Heavy Hitters Vol 1, 2 and 3 on SoundCloud, which one has been the most successful and explain the process you went through when creating each track?
A: I haven’t had enough material to put out on SoundCloud confidently so I’m putting out mixes. I’m a perfectionist – if I don’t like what I hear from my own work I will be hesitant to add it. My most successful mix has been ‘Heavy Hitters Vol 3.’ They are all a different kind of style involving dubstep, trap, grimy and heavy hitting sounds - hence the name. At home, I use a midi controller and my laptop into the software called Traktor. I make the mix usually 30 min - I never make them longer than an hour – I want to make them small so they can lead up to another mix. After I listen I will bring it into audacity, which is another software - it is an audio editor. I then save it and upload to SoundCloud
Q: Do you have anything else you want your viewers to know?
A: I’m in this for the long run and I’m not stopping until I get where I want to be. You hear a lot of people pursuing their passion/dream, but somewhere along the way someone or something stops them. For example, you see people put the effort in and 3 years later they express that, “oh it just wasn’t for me,” or “it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.” I think that when people let their dreams slip away from them, it comes from aspect of insecurity or something that they’re afraid of or the ‘what if’s.’ You can’t base your life on that. You have to be confident - I want my fans to know that I’m putting my all into this, into Numatic and that there's no sign of me slowly down any time soon. It’s only been a short span of one year and I can proudly say that so much has unfolded from this. It's only going to speed up from here because at the end of the day, music and this dream of mine is the most important part of my life and it always will be. I won't stop, not now, not ever.