Labelling genres is ever evolving with new names popping up every other year. That’s why British soul artist Midé defines himself as ‘Alternative Soul.’ He manages to push the boundaries not only within his music but with his performances as well. Midé first started out as a rapper but deep down he knew he was destined for soul. His first ever EP was “Travellin Light,” and today he releases his new album ‘E.G.’ The album will feature Mide’s soulful offering "Hello Before Goodbye" which has so far been featured on the likes of Soul Train and SingersRoom.
We chat to Midé about what we can expect from his album E.G, why he thinks sometimes he’s not easy to love, and what exactly ‘Alternative Soul’ means. Margaret Tra writes.
You first started out as a rapper, what was it that made you turn to soul?
I first started out trying to rap but I don't think I was very good. It was more of a lunchtime hobby with friends. I carried on after college though, writing poetry but then as I was already playing the piano by then, a fusion of both is what gave birth to my song writing today. Soul music however has always been my influence, whether I was aware of it at the time or not.
“Hello Before Goodbye” is your latest track, are you one to fall in love easily?
I don't think I fall in love easily. It takes me a while and in fact "Hello Before Goodbye" is some kind of reminder not to walk away too quickly from something that could develop. I think sometimes I'm not easy to love but then again nobody is, and I guess that's the beauty of being a separate being from someone else. Also I think people fall in love at the right time. Who’s to say whether it’s too soon or too late?
Tell us about your forthcoming album 'E.G', what can we expect and what is the expected due date?
E.G." (For Example) is the upcoming project and it's out everywhere on the 31st March. It’s been an incredible journey from the first project. There's been two other EP's in-between and with each one I think I've gotten much better at saying what I want to say. To the point that I feel it deserves an album to convey it all. You know, almost like I used to write articles for publications and now I'm putting out my own book.
Have you travelled much? Which country do you think is a great place for artists?
I haven't travelled as much as I would like. Not just yet but the time for my globe surfing is coming soon. I think France and other European countries have a much bigger palette for music in general, so does the UK, so there's more of a mixture of sounds. I have a UK tour planned from May. After which the team and I will be looking at other avenues outside the UK to spread the Midé vibe.
You define yourself as ‘Acoustic Soul’ what do you mean by that?
I used to work with the ‘Acoustic Soul’ title early on, and that's because I played a lot of shows with just my acoustic guitar so it kind of made sense. But now I go with ‘Alternative Soul,’ really because now there is more of a blend of elements both on the record and in a live performance. I think it justifies the myriad of sounds. The album has a number of songs that feature a horn section; I couldn't bring myself to call that ‘Acoustic Soul’ although there are other songs that fit. Besides, this whole business of labelling genres is ever evolving with new names every other year.
London is a great place to be for soul, do you find you get much support?
London is a fantastic place for soul. I do get a lot of support especially because I think what I do and how I do it isn't very common and a lot of people are getting more hip to it now so the support keeps growing. One of the key things that make it an exciting place is that London is a sort of melting pot and in it you find people with very different tastes and though you'll find some songs and styles predominantly on the radio I don't think it’s reflective of the capital as a whole. London has a lot of music.
What Stimulates Your Soul?
What stimulates my soul? People! People make the world go round for me.
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