Mwansa is an upcoming singer and producer based out of Perth, Australia whose music has been described as ‘beautifully melodic indie electronic tracks with stark poetic lyrics' – we couldn't agree more and are excited to help premiere this one! “Moving On” by Mwansa is a soulful Summer friendly original single that features some vocal help by Kaitlin Keegan that help take it to the next level. The production has a minor Tropical House influence to it but with a more modern and feel good vibe to it that will make you want to go to the beach this weekend. It's been about a year since the Aussie talent has released anything new, but this tune is a preview off his forthcoming debut project, so stay tuned for that. This one seriously sounds like Summer, so enjoy it now below, get familiar with Mwansa if you're not yet into his catalog, and keep an eye out for more new music by the rising star. We also had the opportunity of sending a couple questions for him to answer which you can read below the stream. Check them out.
What is the Australian music scene like?
Vibing. Most people know some of the larger acts like Flume, Chet Faker
, Sia is technically still from here, Safia, Peking Duk, we're trying to claim Lorde – the list is massive.
But there is so much more going on. It's a cross-pollination of great ideas right now. I'm based in Perth, the most isolated capital city in the world, and that adds its own charm. It's a very close community, and I think it breeds super interesting acts like the Tame Impala boys or Ta-ku (definitely check him out if you've never heard his stuff). Kučka is also from Perth, wildly talented, she's worked with Flume and Vince Staples
, ASAP Rocky. Heath Ledger was from here. There's a lot from this city.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
I'm putting Ye up there for sure. I don't agree with everything he says, but I vibe with the energy. I won't lie, I like Coldplay – no one does melody like Chris Martin. Diplo and the whole Major Lazer vibe, its one of my life dreams to master
rhythm like Pharrell. I'm a hip-hop head from way back, so that's a whole other lane – needless to say, DMX needs to be part of the top 5 conversation. Kendrick, Jay Cole, Jay Z, Hendrix, Bob Marley, Tom Waits.
Marley is the most culturally referenced musician in the world. His influence eclipses Micheal Jackson, Madonna, Bieber – nobody touches him. I've traveled the world,
More obscure, I'll put Hans Zimmer on the list – Swizz Beats, RZA, Trent Reznor (real composers – not just producers), and definitely, definitely Bob Dylan. He's the reason I started singing on my tracks.
You have only released a handful of songs over the past couple of years, can we expect your debut project soon?
I want to say yes. So yes.
There is a project, and its almost done.
I'm as independent as they come (at the moment), I also kind of stumbled into the business of music and before I knew it, its a 5-year exclusive publishing deal on this track, 30% of sales on that. It got messy quick and very early, but that was kind of a blessing. I see it for what it is now, and I've got a great team around me.
I need to put it out properly.
But the answer is – YES.
Why have you stuck to solely releasing singles?
I need to stand by what I put out. I'd rather have that, then a tonne of music out there. For every single I have released, I've probably written, recorded, mixed, mastered and created the artwork for 20.
Plus there's so much noise out there. I can imagine you would receive stacks of new music every day. The least I could do is proofread my work. I typically live with each track for the better part of a year.
Quality is better than quantity – I live by that.
That being said, I've live with this EP for a long time, and I think its ready.
Do you enjoy performing live or do you prefer to record and create music?
I love people, but I'm a creative at heart. There is nothing like the energy you get on stage. You can't really replicate that.
But I get lost in creating and recording. It's a zone. Things you consider habits and necessities, eat, sleep, whatever – become slaves of the process. And then you start hearing and seeing things – that sounds like a string section – so you add strings, is that an extra kick in there? You add the kick.
I like the art of being able to create because I'm a creative at heart.
What would your dream collaboration be? The artist can be dead or alive.
Kanye West / Kurt Cobain – can you imagine that.
You produce, write and sing your own music, who are some of your favorite multi-talented musicians in the same lane (James Blake, Chet Faker/Nick Murphy, etc)
I love Bon Iver. I think he's is a genius. Gotye is a massive inspiration.
Anyone that is really pushing sonic boundaries is a hero to me. James Blake is amazing, Nick Murphy is great. FKA Wigs, Chris Walla, there's a bunch.
What do you enjoy more? Producing music or singing on top of your creations?
Definitely producing. Playing with the sounds, arranging parts. There's a mad science to it. I look at a song like a recipe and sometimes it needs my voice as an ingredient sometimes it doesn't.
What software do you use to make your music? What's your go-to set up?
Do I get an endorsement for this?
I'm FL studio all the way. And yes I know, this will split people. It's accessible and just really really good. I track my vocals in the studio as opposed to Sonar or Pro-Tooling it at home but FL for composition and production definitely. I'm just super familiar with it, I've got my plugins the way I like them, constantly building my sample bank – I'm good.
Vocals got too tricky – it's like a Camera
, you can only do so much with one lens. A choice of mics makes a huge difference, and try as I have, the vintage vocal emulators and plugins never really compete with the real thing.
For my earlier tracks, I was trying to set up the master on my DAW to emulate an SSL board, so everything comes out slightly colored. Could never really quite get it. I think also I like the idea of music created quite electronically “in the box” to have vocals as rich, natural and warm as possible, I like that juxtaposition. So I'm recording my vocals in the studio actually going through the SSL board, typically with a choice of whatever vintage Mic
you want, compressors, it's all out the box.
If I could record my vocals to tape, I probably would.
Nerding out here.
You make very cinematic sounding music, would you ever entertain the idea of scoring for a TV show or film?
Oh for sure! Definitely. That's the dream.
I have compositions on compositions on compositions. Written, recorded, ready to go.
How did your collaboration with Kaitlin come about for “Moving On”?
I didn't know her too well. I did the whole thing myself originally, but as I lived with it, I realized it needed another perspective. My engineer Charlie suggested Kaitlin come in and try something.
Blew us away.
It was one of those late night sessions – where you leave and everyone is like – we created something special today. It was a moment – that's all I can say. It just felt like – this is a moment.
What should we expect from Mwansa for the remainder of 2018 and 2018?
I'm producing a lot. I'm working with an incredible artist out of South Africa, now in Italy. She is dynamite. So we'll debut her stuff soon. My stuff is coming out soon. Working with Audalize on some music technology stuff. My brother and I just started a new company Millionaire Somewhere – check it out on instagram. There's a lot going on.