Canadian producer and composer, KITZL is the first to enter the blog’s SOTD spotlight of the Month with single, ‘Wizard Girls’. The single forms part of her album 40 Moons That We Know Of (April 2019), mastered by Michael Fong (Ryuichi Sakamoto, Electric Youth).
Inspired by the likes of Baths, The Knife, Empress Of, Asgeir, Sigur Rós, M.I.A, Bon Iver, Four Tet, Phosphorescent, SolarSolar, Imogen Heap, and José González, each piece of KITZL’s music is emotionally rooted in humanoid experiences. Instrumentally and lyrically it might bring up images of anthropomorphized planets and objects, as well as imaginary races of probably non-existent life-forms. There is subtle conflict in KITZL’s work and aesthetic. It’s a disquieted feud between a playful, child-like wonder, and a darker, more displeased bitterness at something. Enigmatic in genre, Kitzl’s sound draws parallels to that of her contemporaries such as Grimes and Regina Spektor.
Eschewing categories, ‘Wizard Girls’ is a shining offering, combining elements of ambient-electronic-pop, art pop, and experimental shoe-gaze into one remarkably cohesive whole. A humane glow envelops the track, rendering quixotic sketches into tangible, hook-heavy electro-pop – beautifully conceived and executed. There is a fearless, uninhibited confidence to KITZL’s work, a delightful whimsy which takes her already-arresting sound and expands it to widescreen.
The up-and-coming ambient pop-creationist has garnered support from CBC’s Radio 1’s The Key of C show hosted by Craig Norris, and wowed audiences at Hillside Inside Festival, and Kazoo! Fest in her native Canada. She has seen substantial media support, including features in Canadian Beats, New Noise Magazine, Ride The Tempo and Aesthetic Magazine.
STEELE ‘s latest dark pop number ‘Looking For You’, seamlessly fuses elements of post-rock and trip-hop with electro pop. Likened to Imogen Heap and Bjork but with her own recognisable stamp, the Swedish alt-songbird is raising eyebrows around the globe.
She was featured in Rolling Stone – three times – and also appeared at Elle’s 2017 fashion show, which put her at the brink of something huge but tragedy struck when she was struck down with meningitis, leaving her with epilepsy and a complete lifestyle change. This has merely forged her resolve further to succeed within the music industry and to date, STEELE‘s songs have collectively reached over five million plays on streaming services.
‘Looking For You’ is the follow-up to her stunning ballad ‘Temporary Love’, both of which appear on her soon to be released debut album ‘Paroxysm’ on 13th.
If you had your eyes peeled on this blog or its chat show on Instagram recently, then you’ve definitely seen this pretty little face around – MAKK MIKKAEL – thanks to her debut ‘Jungle’. Featured last November, the single found its way to NEW LEASE MUSIC’s Top Ten Songs of 2017 list, ranking at #7 and is currently named Song of the Month by the blog. With a grand entrance to the music scene, I think she deserves a place on the interview hot seat…
NLM: Thank you for agreeing to do an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC.
MM: Thanks so much for reaching out to me, and the constant support you guys have shown me.
NLM: First up, I have to ask you this question: is Makk Mikkael your real name? If not, how did the name came about?
MM: It is my real name with a swedish twist on it. The correct spelling of my name is Mackenzie Michael but I prefer going by Makk Mikkael.
NLM: You released your debut single‘Jungle’ back in November.What’s the public’s reception beyond this blog?
MM: I’ve been stoked on the feedback I’m getting from listeners. I recently won a contest with “The Deli Toronto” as artist of the month. The fact that I was even included in that is just bizarre. Excited for everything that’s happening and the journey I’m on.
NLM: How would you describe your sound to potential fans?
MM: Artist wise I would say my music is in the same category as “The Weeknd, Esthero, Alina Baraz, Imogen Heap” to name a few. I really look up to those artists. Toronto has a really cool thing going on sound wise right now so I’m inspired by the scene there. I think my sound would be described as spacey, ambient R&B.
NLM: What’s your inspiration behind your unique sound?
MM: I experimented with a few different sounds earlier on in my career when I was around 14-15 and released a country album. haha I don’t do country now and could never see myself doing that again… In the last few years I would say my style evolved to my sound now and keeps evolving constantly with artists I’m inspired by and from experiences I have. I love the R&B sound a bunch so I think that’s just what I gravitate towards naturally.
NLM: If you had to collaborate with ONE mainstream artist who would it be?
MM: Just one? That’s brutal. I would without a doubt collaborate with The 1975. I’m constantly inspired by what they do and who they are as human being’s. They produce their own records and co-produce with Amber Bain of “The Japanese House”. The sound they’ve created for themselves is a sound that really speaks to millennials. I think we’d make some great stuff and dive into something unique.
NLM: If you had three wishes to change the music industry today, what would they be?
MM: I would put all three of my wishes towards making sure all artist’s can make a living doing what they love. Having the financial freedom to create whatever they want whenever. Artist’s are so valuable in our society, if we could focus 100% on our art it I think it would make a difference.
NLM: So what are your plans for 2018?
MM: My goal is to start touring with artists and obviously continue to release music. I’m currently working on my album and more music videos.
NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?
MM: I love having fans/artists reach out to me. On my website http://www.makkmikkael.com you can send me a direct email. Or on my instagram: makkmikkael you can leave me a direct message.
NLM: Finally, if music didn’t exist, what would you do?
MM: I think I would be a photographer, screenwriter, author, or director. Anything in the creative field really. I Love the idea of being behind the screen and creating for people. I’m very into directing I think that’s super cool. Sophia Coppola is my favourite movie director, would love to work alongside her on a project in the future.