Interview with Mia Dora

UK producers Mia Dora are shaping up to be one of the finest names in the game. With releases this year on MadTech and Moda Black and with support from the likes of Mary Anne Hobbes and Giles Peterson, the duo seem to have hit the ground running and haven’t stopped since. Blisspop was fortunate enough to have a brief conversation with the young artists on the heels of their latest effort, the You In The Future EP, which has proven to be another fine addition to their already stellar catalog. Read the pair’s thoughts on their development, influences and creative processes below.

How did you decide on Mia Dora as your name, assuming you’re not just avid fans of women’s fashion?

It’s pretty random actually.  It started off as Theodore, for no reason other than he was my favourite one of Alvin and the Chipmunks.  Over time it just gradually changed into Mia Dora.

You’ve had a really big year with a Pete Tong essential tune and releases on Moda Black and Mad Tech. What were your personal highlights?

Essential new tune was definitely a big one for us.  Also having the opportunity to release an EP on MadTech.  We’ve had the chance to travel to a lot of other cities to play some great gigs.  We played Fabric twice this year which was really exciting.  When we played Room 3 in September the atmosphere was brilliant.  Playing the Slam Tent at T In The Park was probably the biggest highlight.  The 12,000 capacity tent was full to the brim.  At the time it was the largest crowd we’d ever played to by about 11,500 people.  It was terrifying at first, but such a buzz.

Can you give some insight into your rock background? How do you find that informs the music you’re making now?

When we first met I was the singer in a metal band and Rob was writing house and techno.  We thought it would be interesting to try writing music drawing in both our backgrounds.  I still listen to a lot of metal so when I sit down in front of the keyboard quite often something pretty dark or gothic will come out. It’s definitely been a positive influence on the music we write, it keeps our ideas outside of the box.

Your music has a wide range of influences, and even between “Clear” and “You In The Future” there’s everything from house to garage and bass stylings. Do you produce with these styles in mind or just develop them as they come?

We always sit down to write with a totally open mind.  It’s the best way to work if you want to write something interesting.  We’ll maybe start by messing around with some ideas on the keyboard, then when something sticks we’ll try and develop it with percussion or a bassline. I think if you write without any preconceptions about what the finished product will sound like you come up with your best ideas.

As a duo, what’s the songwriting process like? How do you deal with compromises when they arrive?

We always sit down and write together, we’ve very similar ideas about what we want to do with our music so the songwriting process is quite natural.  When two of you write together there’s bound to be points where you disagree about a part of the track.  The most important thing is to be patient, if the other person is adamant that something will work and you disagree then you just give them time to roll with it and see if it works out.

Where do you think electronic music stands right now? Where do you want to see it go?

I think it’s a really exciting time for electronic music, It’s great to see it appreciated so much by the masses and make it into the charts. Moving forward people need to keep pushing the boundaries of what they do.  So many really exciting artists are really moving things forward by disregarding what their peers are making and putting out really creative electronic music. Labels like Bpitch, L.I.E.S, Thema, 50 Weapons, Innervisions and Pictures never stop impressing with their explorations further and further into electronic music.