Omnii Feature #2 : Under the lid with… MIMRA
Meet MIMRA. Icelandic vocalist, songwriter and producer.
This is her Omnii special feature, scattered with her chosen sonic influences:
Why did you choose these tracks?
Over the last months I have been recording and producing my unreleased debut album for my project MIMRA. Again and again I found myself going back to these particular tracks, amongst others from some of the same artists. Most of these songs inspired me directly in my production choices and sounds. My muses. All of these artists are female singer-songwriters. I know Tune-Yards, Fever Ray and Ibeyi are hands-on producers and Laura Mvula is a great composer. Laura Mvula’s amazing instrumental choices, including glockenspiel and claps along masterful vocoder and backing vocal choices. Fever Ray for her brilliant use of grungy bass sounds and mantra-like melody. I admire Bat for Lashes for instrumentation as well as fragility and intimacy in her vocals. Ibeyi I also admire for their amazing production choices and for keeping it sparse. They masterfully intertwine their voices, often in nicely manipulated harmony with heavy beats but are never afraid of silence and breaking up their tracks. Tune-Yards is just all-round fun in her production choices. She uses amazing distortion and brings you fun, aggressiveness and vulnerability, alongside looped beats and percussive polyrhythms. Then suddenly changing the key, just so unexpected and fresh.
Can you describe your working method?
I actually consider myself a singer, songwriter and composer before a producer. My working method has most often evolved around bringing a song I wrote acoustically into Ableton Live and making it sound the way I want. Bringing the song into Ableton creates different possibilities and usually gives me a great opportunity to combine the electric with the acoustic. However I’ve recently started to challenge myself with writing songs while producing which gives a different outcome, usually more electric. I think it’s a good work order to have your beats and percussive elements tight, as well as a clear idea of vocal melody and bass. These three elements create the core… And not being afraid of creatively messing up parts and trying new things once you have everything more or less together :)
How did you get into production?
Actually I got into production through working on electronic music with an ex. First coming into the studio as the topline singer, gradually starting to manipulate my own voice and starting to make beats, performing electro-pop live and getting smitten with Ableton Live.
What is your favourite bit of gear and why?
My favourite “hardware” gear at the moment is my Boss RC-505 tabletop loop pedal. Five channels and endless possibilities :)
My favourite software are my three valhalla plug-ins I recently purchased, oh the sweetness they add to any sound!
This picture shows my live set up rather than my studio setup. I like to use Ableton Live and a midi keyboard for producing, the keyboard is small and easy to work with. In my live set up I add touchpad, loop pedal and drum pad to the fun.
What is your personal ‘top tip’ for producing/ mixing?
Less is more. Present fewer elements, make them sound tight and really go for them. I have a hard time following that myself.
What are your future projects?
I want to establish my solo-project MIMRA and have just released my first single! It’s in Icelandic and called Söngur Valkyrjunnar (Valkyrie Song). It’s actually a song I first wrote on my Boss RC-505 as a vocal loop song, then brought into Ableton Live for production with some grimy Nordic results.
Check out MMIRA here: