Exclusive Interview

Give us your bio It’s an unusual story, I’ve been promoting independent singer songwriters for the last ten years for the love of new music (for which read ‘altruistically’), helping them reach more people. I am Helen Meissner irl, artist name MidLifeMix and split my time between Hertfordshire and Norfolk. Around the time of my 54th birthday in July I suddenly decided to have a go at creating music myself. Had no idea if I could. Got the ipad out and opened Garageband. And wow! Mind blown. Without any real instruments or previous song writing experience I started to create some tracks I liked. Then asked my daughter, producer Lauren Deakin Davies, if she could show me what to do with the demos so I could produce them to broadcast quality. I made some horrendous mistakes, still on Garageband and it was certainly not plain sailing, but the reaction has been really encouraging. People seem to love the genre bending and blending, I don’t limit myself, there’s lush wordless voices and nods to orchestral influences mixed with all sorts of samples and progressive house touches. There are no rules! I just let my ears tell me what works. I am grateful to everyone who has played a track on their radio show and especially those who have interviewed me live!

Who are your top 5 influences? My first single was Gary Numan’s Cars, which was followed by Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Solid State Survivor, and then the sweeter side of arrangements such as Alan Parson’s Project ‘ Eye in the Sky’, Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells 2 and especially Yazoo’s album Upstairs at Erics. Vince Clarke is an absolute god. I see so much of the 80’s coming into newly created music, across all genres. It’s a very exciting time to be making music.

When are your new projects coming out? My debut six track EP release, self titled MidLifeMix, is out on Friday (25th Sept), today, on all the usual platforms! Would be wonderful to see some streams. That feature where you can see if anyone is streaming you on spotify is a real buzz!

What helped you get into music? Ten years ago I started promoting the band my daughter was in, with no previous music background. I was the classic ‘mumager’ and found a whole vibrant scene of independent artists who I thought were SO good, I just wanted to help everyone get more exposure. So I started a little independent altruistic label to help that along. I ‘retired’ from that just before lockdown as I was burnt out. It’s 24/7, 7 days a week. Weird that I am now promoting myself! Never had a desire to create my own music until a couple of months ago. And now my life has changed forever! I jokily refer to it as a glitch in the matrix and it certainly seems that lockdown has thrown us into a parallel universe where anything is possible! What is one thing you would tell your fans? It’s never too late and you’re never too old to start doing something you’ve never felt was possible before. If you don’t try you’ll never know. It might be a disaster, or a non starter. Or it could open up a whole new chapter. Music is the perfect thing to try in these strange socially limited times, you can be self sufficient with an ipad (or even an iphone) and the free Garageband app. It’s so absorbing and doesn’t rely on anyone else.

What are your biggest goals for 2021? My biggest goals are to be played on BBC 6 Music and the local BBC stations. I feel we in the independent electronic and synthfam scene have the potential to be tastemakers and influencers, showing how a song doesn’t have to have words to be captivating and innovative and I am always up for a challenge! So you don’t need to have a ‘good voice’ to be able to make music. Just release your imagination and soar. No limits! I hope that I will release another EP or two– is an album too long for people nowadays perhaps? And (everyone’s dream?!), to have my music synched to an ad or film. Finally, I would like to help older aspiring musical creatives and people of all ages who have been sidelined due to outdated marketing remits. I’d like be involved in developing a non judgmental platform, which would help people find their voice and facilitate their own unique self expression. It would increase everyone’s confidence so they could make their own music, provide online mentoring for both mental health or tech support, (making us all feel more valued and productive) and bring marginalized musicians centre stage in a new musical world order.

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