Miguel Migs is a man that need little introduction in the dance music world. Known for his impeccable productions and sound, and the man who helped create the classy deep house sound on the legendary Naked Music record label, he has gone on to become one of the leading house DJ and performers in the world. Much more than just a DJ, Miguel has now taken it to the next level, creating and performing with his live band Petalpusher – with Miguel on Bass. PETALPUSHER, Consisting of eight top notch musical black belts including Lisa Shaw and Tim fuller on vocals, is a unique and diverse blend of old school funky soul and current dance rhythms that result into a unique and intoxicating live experience. With an arsenal of material to choose from, the band will focus on performing new and old songs from Miguel and Lisa’s extensive catalogue. Miguel will be both performing live with Petalpusher and laying down one of his legenday DJ sets at one of NYC newest up and coming clubs Rebel NYC, Friday September 14.
Tell us about how you got into DJing and production. When and where did you get started? What were you playing? Do you have any formal training in music?
I was living down in Santa Cruz California just south of San Francisco and at the time I was playing in a dub/reggae band full time. I started messing around on my friend’s dj set up, and playing mostly old school hip-hop, reggae and deep house just for fun at first. Then it progressed into playing gigs at small house and underground parties and it grew from there.... At that point I decided I wanted to put more energy into experimenting with the production of electronic music, so it all started from there.... I basically taught myself how to write, create and play music starting with the guitar, although I did take a couple music courses in community college like history of world music, but nothing formal.
Did you have a mentor or someone who inspired you to get into DJing and producing? What were your influences?
I was just really into the soulful side of house music as far as that goes. So I was inspired by all the deep soulful stuff that was around in the early 90's mostly....
How would you say that you created the Miguel Mig’s sound? What inspired you to your aesthetic?
Well, I’m inspired by all kinds of music and have always listened to many different styles, from rock to dub to funk, soul and hip-hop and that all shines through in my music. So I like to create music that I feel, plain and simple. I write very spontaneously without planning too much and as a dj I do the same thing. I don’t pre-plan my sets or worry too much about the trends of what’s hot or trying to please everyone, I just like to create what I’m feeling and that’s the approach I have always taken to producing and DJing.
What is your mission when you create a new track?
I try to create music that can be enjoyed at home when you’re just chillin’ or taking a drive or having a drink at a bar/lounge or whatever, and not just for the club.
Your music was a big part of the legendary Naked Music label – which at the time might have been the most talked about label in the world. What part did you play in the label and creating its sound?
I was just one of the artists on the label. I did quite a few releases and remixes for Naked as well as mix compilations and an album, so I did a lot of work and music for the label for years.
You've had an amazing prolific career. How many records and remixes have you made? What are your favorite tracks and remixes that you've done?
Combined I’m not sure but it’s well over a hundred tracks and remixes combined. I don’t really have a favorite, but I am very happy with and proud of my new album 'Those Things.’
Petalpusher’s live 8 piece band brings things to a new level for both you and house music in general. Please tell us the idea and goal behind forming the band and performing live.
Well, I come from playing live music and most of my songs and productions incorporate a lot of live instrumentation, so its not hard to imagine the transition into playing the music in a live format. It’s sort of a natural progression with my songs, and I have been performing with Lisa for many years now, so it just made sense for us to start a new project focusing on performing our music live. Plus, I like to keep myself inspired by new projects and this is something that I’ve wanted to do for years now, so I’m very passionate about moving forward with it. I’m putting a lot of energy into kickin’ it off at the moment and the response has been great so far.
Tell us about the Salted label. What is your concept and mission behind it?
I wanted to start something new and fresh to keep myself inspired by dance music, and to build my own catalog and release music from new artists as well as music of my own. I wanted a home base that I could create and build so I decided it was a good time to start my own label that I would have creative control over what was going on. I have a tough time finding music that I want to play as a DJ these days, so I’m trying to keep a consistency with the label and keep it fun and funky, techy, dubby, vocal or whatever, just as long as I would play it in a DJ set.
What new music projects are coming our way from you and your label?
In the near future we will be releasing the new Lisa Shaw album that I’m really excited about. We also have plenty of new singles on the way by new and upcoming artists as well as myself. And we are also continuing with a new mix comp series called 'Get Salted' featuring mixes by many great DJ's.
If you had to sum up your DJ style and approach in a couple sentences, how would you put it?
I guess I will give you the basic generic description here!
I like to play what I feel and keep it funky, soulful and deep. Sometimes tracky, techy, vocal or percussive, but always good quality dance music....
What are your favorite places/venues to play in the US? In the rest of the world?
They are always changing.
Please tell us what NYC has to look forward to in seeing Petalpusher live and Miguel Migs on the decks.
You can expect a quality upbeat and funky, neo-soul meets electronic dance kinda blend of music performed live by some great players so keep an open mind and enjoy the show!