Mihalis Safras is a Greek artist currently living in the UK, and along with releasing on his own label Material, he has also featured music on many other labels including Kaluki Musik, Cajual, Hot Creations, Snatch! Records, and Truesoul.
Not only a solo producer, he regularly works with other artists, and we caught up with him to chat about studio collaborations, plus find out about his recent releases…
> For the people reading this who haven’t heard your music before, how would you describe your style and the key elements that define it?
Nasty tech house it is? To be honest in general I don’t feel comfortable with describing exactly what style I produce. I think that’s probably true of a lot of producers: if you can describe it exactly, it’s probably not doing the job it’s supposed to. I guess it’s dance music: but if you go on my Soundcoud there’s a LOT of music, so you can decide for yourself what it is!
> Your most recent solo EP is on Green Velvet’s label Relief, was there a concept behind the release?
My plan with this is the same as with all my releases: to produce quality club music. I do not work on a concept; I just have fun over producing tracks I would love to dance to. So far the plan seems to be working pretty well!
> I understand you have also produced tracks in collaborated with Green Velvet, can you tell us the story behind how you came to work with such a legend?
Green Velvet is a legend and I’m blessed to work with him, mostly as he is a great person and friend: being in the same studio as the man that has the most iconic tracks in our scene give you goosebumps. So far we have four collaboration singles and as we speak we’re finishing our fifth. He is a constant inspiration.
> Could you talk us through the creative process of putting a track together, and does that change when collaborating with another artist?
With the Internet is really easy to work on a track, sending projects back and forth, discussing ideas over the phone etc etc. Most of the times its a process of two to three days for me as two pair of ears are better than one. If I had time I would collaborate with as many acts as I could as sharing ideas is a motivating thing. You find that there’s always something new to learn, regardless of how long you’ve been producing or how many records you’ve made.
> You also run your own label called Material, as a label owner what do you look for when signing new tracks?
Mostly tracks that I would play on a set, which is that nasty tech house again haha! We run Material and 4 other sublabels (Playmobil, Materialism, MrCarter, Lit) and every label has their own style. It goes from minimal to techno but what matters with demos is that the tracks really feel unique. If I can hear an idea of sound that I’ve not heard before, that’s exciting. It’s been 11 years running the labels and there will be 11 years more to come for sure.
> What’s lined up for the coming months, do you have any special gigs or big releases in the pipeline?
Lots of upcoming Releases on Relief, the single with Green Velvet and I have an upcoming solo EP on Sola and a very unique collaboration I did with my man Yousef that will drop on his own Circus. Pretty excited for these. Then in November I have my third South America tour: it’s been a couple of years so I cannot wait to see my people on the other side if the ocean.
> Could you give some advice or words of wisdom to any aspiring producers who might look to your music for inspiration?
Love what you do, don’t listen to others and never give up. I know that sounds very typical of advice, but I think that’s the essence of being successful in every profession. Only devotion and love can bring you results. If you’re doing it for any other reason that the love of music, stop now!
> Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today, we like to finish our interviews with a couple of questions that are a little bit light hearted… without getting to personal, could you tell us something many don’t know about you?
I am a book lover: I especially love reading the Bible and consider myself a believer. I also get inspired by reading and discussing it with people I respect… and I also love souvlaki a lot!
> You don’t need to mention names, but what’s the most “outrageous” thing you have ever seen happen in a club… was it something outrageously brilliant, like a blindfolded DJ mixing seamlessly and scratching with his elbows, or something outrageously cringe-worthy, like some embarrassing drunk person urinating on the dancefloor?
One of the most crazy things I have faced was when after a set a girl came asking me to sign her body with an imaginary pen. Whaaaaat?!
> Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, is there anything extra you want to add before we wrap up the conversation?
Thanks for having me, life is short so dance as much possible!
> You can buy Mihalis Safras tracks on Beatport from …HERE…