Get To Know MIA GLADSTONE [Interview]

Ian Hansen

For New Jersey native MIA GLADSTONE, music is everything, and it has always been the healing component to her life. She wants to push that forward to her fans and her recent project, LOOPY, is just that. It is a genre-bending and healing experience that takes her fans on an incredible sonic journey. Get to know Mia Gladstone below:

Congrats on releasing LOOPY. How gratifying is it to have this project out?

It feels amazing. Now, it has kind of set in that it has been out, but at first it didn’t feel real because I put so much time and energy into it. I spent so long on it. People would ask me what I am doing, and I would just constantly be like, “I am just working on a project.” I felt like a broken record being like, “It’s in the works.” It finally came out and it feels very beautiful. I am so happy.

Where does the name LOOPY come from? What was the overall direction of the project?

On SoundCloud, I had a little playlist I called, “loops.” It was of random beats I have made, and then I shared it with my friend, William, who made all the visuals with me. We just started describing things as loopy. Like, the only way we could think of to describe the music was loopy. It originated from the name loops, but then we just kind of ran with it and wanted to build a whole world, and it felt like a good name.

How did the Teezo Touchdown collaboration come together?

What I found, which was really gratifying for me as a producer, was that pretty much every artist I reached out to for the project, whether I knew them previously, or had no contact with them before, was very receptive to the music. I purposely reached out to artists that are not clout driven, but they are art driven. With Teezo, I knew that he just respected art. I didn't know if I would get a response. A friend of mine knew Teezo and his manager and sent them the song. He was super down. He was really, really cool about it. Many months had passed, and I hadn't heard anything, and I was trying to wrap up the project. My managers were like, “Oh, we should move on, and maybe send it to other people. And I was like, “Nah, he's going to do it,” because he was really excited. He came to perform iin Charlotte when he came here on tour with Tyler. I reached out, and then I met him at the venue, and we hung out. I wasn't going to mention the song because I don't like pushing things, and I just want things to flow naturally. He mentioned it, he's like, “Yo, I love that song, I'm gonna do the verse.  texted him again, like, maybe two months later being like, “Hey, I really have to put out the project, and he just responded with the audio file.

Take me through the process of producing your entire project.

It was really dope. It started out as this very low pressure thing that I would just do. I would have a lot of the time, and I'd have sessions during the day with whoever. Usually producers, or people I was co-producing with, and then I would come home, and my way of just decompressing was just making random beats. It was just this thing that I did that was like a concrete thing. Once I decided to make a project, it became this whole other thing. I felt like I was a bit in over my head, like committing to producing the whole thing. Suddenly, it was less of a flow and more of like, “This is something I have to do now.” So it was an interesting journey it took me on as a producer. But all in all, now that it's out, I feel really grateful that I produced it. I mean, it came out in a way that it wouldn't have if other people were involved. Yeah, it taught me to trust my ideas. And to just, kind of roll with them in a way that I guess I hadn't previously.

That's awesome. I feel like some of the most respected artists such as Kevin Parker and Tyler, The Creator to name a few, are involved in everything. So I think that's really cool. How did you find your sound? It is really unique and unlike anything I have heard.

Thank you. I mean, I listened to so much music. You mentioned Tyler, Kevin Parker, those are like two of my favorite artists. I don't know, I never like to set an intention for anything I make or what it is going to sound like. I kind of just like to work with the tools I have. I feel like my knowledge of production is pretty limited. It just ends up sounding the way that it does. I gravitate towards jazzy chords, I guess. I like chopping them up and sampling them. Then, it'll have this kind of like, cohesive sound. I feel like I haven't worked that hard to develop my sound. I've just kind of flowed with whatever comes out.

I was just going to say, you mentioned jazzy, I feel this project kind of blends soulful, r&b, and kind of that jazzy hip hop that you get from like A Tribe Called Quest, in a sense. Kind of take me through who inspires your sound?

I've never pulled direct inspiration really. Although, when I think about it, I can think of certain songs where Solange definitely inspires me. “When I get home.” That album was very inspiring. Just the way she layered her vocals, and I liked the production of it. Tame Impala, Tyler, the Creator, and Salami Rose Joe Louis are artists I'm really into. I listen to all kinds of stuff that they all kind of tend to blend different genres. I listen to so much stuff. I feel like it just naturally blends into what I make. But I can’t always pinpoint what the actual inspiration is.

It just kind of comes from feeling. I feel like the best stuff comes just from not overthinking, and going by your mood.

I've been reading this book called, “The Power of Now.” They were talking about how true art and creativity doesn't come from the mind. It comes from something a lot deeper just like the flow state. I really liked reading that because it puts it perfectly into words like the feeling because I'm always like, “I don't know how I make stuff.” I just make it, and I never remember how I made it because it just happens.

One thing about your music is that I think it's experimental. It just combines so many different things that makes for just a great listening experience. It pushes boundaries. How important is pushing boundaries?

I feel like it's just really important to not be restricted, and to not be boxed in. So I, as a person, feel very fluid. And I think humans in general are very fluid. Like, we're not in a fixed state, everything, every experience, we have all the information we take in that shapes us and shifts us. So I tried to just allow my music to flow. I never set an expectation for what it'll sound like. I guess that in itself is like genre pushing or boundary pushing. It's not like I'm trying to sound any other way or like push things. I'm just trying to flow.

Speaking and pushing boundaries, tell me about “Producers Who Produce” and kind of your goals with that.

I made that with the intention of just having more representation of people who produce who aren't cis men, just because growing up, when I was like, “Okay, I'm a musician, like, I'm going to be in the music industry,” I had like this skewed view of it, but I was like, “Okay, I need to find some producers to work with.” It was just this natural thing where I was like, “Well, I always see producers who are men.” I always wrote songs and I would write it on piano, but I didn't really produce it myself. I just started experimenting. I was like, “Wait, this is actually pretty easy and quite accessible.” If you have a computer or you have a phone, you can make beats. I don't love to claim that I know that much about production. I just wanted to make a platform to kind of show what I do and  help other people express themselves.

What kind of goals do you have in the next year or next five years?

I'm not super goal oriented, to be honest. I really just go with the flow, like through and through. I don't know, I don't know where I'm headed. I just try to follow my joy and fulfillment. For a while it was just making “LOOPY.” Now I've made “LOOPY,”  And I'm back in the state where I just want to make music and not have the pressure of making a project. I hope to just connect with more people through music and through just humanity, and just see where life takes me.

What do you want your fans to get from your music?

I want people to feel a sense of community. I want people to heal. I've gotten really sweet messages that my music has been healing for people. I just want that to keep going because it's so fulfilling and a really beautiful thing. I feel I've always made music for healing, and it's been this thing that was always the focal point of my life. I think that's why I just want that to keep happening. I want people to take positive stuff away from it.

What do you like to do outside of music? What kind of hobbies do you have?

I do all kinds of stuff. I love cooking. I'm very passionate about vegan cooking. I love being in nature. I just really appreciate the earth. I love exploring and traveling. Like just connecting with people, animals, and plants.

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