MING Releases 'Blackout EP' & Discusses Illustrious Career With EDM.com
MING has been producing dance music for almost two full decades, and today brings the release of his Blackout EP. His experience shines through on the bass-heavy EP, which is being released through Datsik's Firepower Records. EDM.com sat down with the legendary producer to pick his brain about the EP and his career as a whole. Hit play on the Blackout EP and learn more about MING below.
(E = Mike Walkusky of EDM.com; M = MING)
E: What was the creative process like for the Blackout EP?
M: I’m always working on a number of productions concurrently. I generally decide the style and tempo ahead of time and then get into the details of the songwriting and production.
The Blackout EP started with the song “Drop Out,” which is a collaboration with Mister Black. He and I were working on an EP, and he started the production for “Drop Out.” As soon as I heard what he had created, I knew I could add something that would really complement his Dubstep vibe. Dubstep meets Trap and that “Trapstep” sound became the backbone of the EP. (Side note: Naza from Dubstep.net introduced me to Mister Black, the rest is history).
Right after finishing the track, "Blackout," I moved on to a trap remix of “Gold Rush” for Clinton Sparks featuring 2 Chainz and Macklemore. I had created a bunch of synths sounds that I wanted to apply to my own tune, so I started work on “Need For Killing,” which is a bounce Trap/Twerk track.
“Like It Rough” featuring Tatiana Owens was started much earlier as an electro house track that I just couldn’t get to bounce properly. So I decided to take part of Tati’s vocal and make a futuristic Dubstep roller around it.
“Get Even With You” was the first trip back to my drum and bass roots in almost ten years. I had been working on a couple of drum and bass tunes just for my own pleasure, but as the EP started shaping up, I realized that this was the perfect time to bring D&B back into my repertoire. I had worked with Moxiie previously on “Block Party,” which was a top ten Beatport success. I loved her punk rock-meets-glam vibe, so we wrote the lyrics together and she’s featured on this track.
Those four songs were basically the EP, but I felt there needed to be one more track to round it out. That track ended up being the collaboration with Ricky Vaughn for the title cut, "Blackout."
E: What did you hope to achieve with the Blackout EP?
M: I was looking to make a bass-heavy EP that had the bounce of of Hip Hop. From the reaction so far, I think I’ve achieved that goal.
E: You collaborated with Ricky Vaughn on the title track. He has been a great friend of EDM.com, and he even wrote an article for us (http://edm.com/blog/ricky-vaughn-moombahton). How did the collaboration come together? Also, what was it like working with another experienced producer like Ricky Vaughn?
M: Ricky and I have collaborated on a number of mixes over the past year. We started with a trap remix of “It Won’t Stop” for Sevyn Streeter, which we’ll be giving away for free soon. Our plan was to do a MING vs Ricky Vaughn EP, but we only got as far as the first track, “Mr. Incredible,” before I had to focus on finishing the Blackout EP. I’m sure we’ll finish “Mr. Incredible” soon and give it away on the EDM network.
Ricky and I had been planning on doing the Blackout Tour together, so I suggested we collab on the title track so that the tour tied into the release.
E: How long will the tour last, and which cities do you plan on traveling to?
M: The tour will continue all summer, and we’ll be hitting as many cities in the States, Mexico and Canada as possible. Promoters send your requests!
How did you link up with Firepower for the release of the Blackout EP?
M: I met Troy (Datsik) through Chris from Terravita and Casey from Case & Point at a Datsik/Terravita show in Long Island a little over six months before starting "Drop Out." After we finished "Drop Out," I direct messaged the track to Datsik; he loved it and asked if I wanted to do an EP. You’ve got to love Twitter for that kind of stuff.
E: You were producing D&B back in the 1990s, and the dance scene has come a long way since then. How has your sound evolved from the time you started producing up until today?
M: In Ming+FS we were focused on experimental Hip Hop, which included fusing Hip Hop and Drum and Bass. After four albums with Ming+FS and touring relentlessly for ten years, I really wanted to do other types of dance music. We had been playing D&B records slowed down to 145bpm way before Dubstep was even a genre, so the next logical progression would have been for me to produce Dubstep. But after living through the “Bro-ing” of Drum and Bass, I didn’t want to be part of the Bro-Step movement that was taking over Dubstep.
The new sound of Electro House was really exciting for me, so around 2009 I started doing Electro House remixes such as Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” ft. Beyoncé; Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl;” Black Eyed Peas’ “Rock That Body;” and Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.”
At this point I feel like I’m able to produce in any style that’s moving me, while being technically accurate with that genre.
E: How do you feel about the current state of dance music?
M: I started producing dance music way before having a career as a DJ/Producer was even a remote possibility. I make music for the love of it and hope that other people dig what I’ve created. Luckily, I’ve been able to make music my life’s work by connecting with an amazing underground audience.
It’s incredible how far dance music has come and I’m stoked that Americans are finally seeing dance music as a serious art form. That being said, dance music has become pop music and with that comes all the fake acts, major label manipulation of the market, and fans that will probably jump to the next big musical thing whenever that comes.
Right now the “EDM” fans are getting tired of the same big room minimal sound that is ruling the festivals. I hope our A-list producers get the hint and start putting some more love into the tracks they are creating because these big money acts are starting to push the new fans away.
E: Where do you see dance music headed in the near future?
M: My hope is that the new fans start to understand what makes a truly great DJ and producer. For me, the ability to read the crowd, adjust my set accordingly, and bring the fans on a journey is paramount. I’ve spent the better part of 18 years as a DJ perfecting that ability. I also think the scene will grow past the major label sponsored acts and refocus on those DJs and producers who have pushed the boundaries of dance and urban music.
E: What have been the top moments of your career?
M: To name a few I guess, playing the first Coachella festival, opening for Sting in Bryant Park NYC, and touring with the Beat Junkies, Scratch Perverts, Triple Threat DJs, and Scratch Pickles.
E: What should the world be expecting from MING following the release of the EP?
M: I’m working towards a multi genre full-length album, but you’ll probably see another EP or two and some trap, electro and bass-oriented singles way before I get that done.