Where there’s chaos and loud noises, “Jungle” is the type of song you listen to in a crowded atmosphere. It tunes out the sounds of mayhem and focuses your attention on the smooth electronic production.
Assisted by Canadian producer, Chase Ellestad, Makk Mikkael finds the right beat and feeling. They tapped into a futuristic R&B sound, where the music melts into you, where the music becomes you. The mellow atmosphere of the song can change any darkness into light while bringing a sense of hallucinated stability. He took some time to answer some our questions.
HighClouds: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in music.
I feel like music in imbedded in the fabric of my being. It’s more than just my passion, it’s where I draw my energy from. Both my grandmothers were Opera singers and my mom used to sing in a band. When anything happens in my life I write about it, sing about it and dance it out. I started writing songs as soon as I was able to write sentences. I remember keeping notebooks with poems at first and it wasn’t too long after that I was morphing those poems into songs. I first learned to write music on guitar and later I felt the need to learn how to produce my own music, create my own sound. Everything I have written I hear and visualize the production before I go into the studio to record.
Do you have any outside influences that helped morph your sound into what it is now?
I listen to everything that makes me feel something. I like sounds that are moody, spacey and have depth emotionally. Jessie Ware, Majid Jordan, The Japanese House are a few other sounds that have helped me morph my own into what it is now. All of these artist have such a unique vibe, each carving their own space in the industry.
If there was only one song that existed in the world, forcing you to play it on repeat, what would it be and why?
Still by The Japanese House. Nostalgia 101 love it.
Favorite music video?
Jessie Ware- Tough love… all the feels.
What inspires you to write? Where do you get your inspirations from?
The music inspires itself I find. When creativity strikes and I get an idea for something it’s just a matter of putting down a simple idea whether it be a phrase or a beat and develop in. My tracks always build from there and I feel inspired to see where the creativity takes me.
“I’ve come out of sessions with a completely different track then what I went in with and it’s so cool watching a song morph into something more.” – Makk Mikkael
What’s your production process like. Do you collaborate with any producers or is this a solo endeavor? i.e beats, synths etc.
I love collaborating with upcoming producers, hitting them up on insta and setting up sessions! There’s so much talent out there especially in Toronto, the energy of this city is amazing! Currently I’m using garageband which is great for just getting the basic idea down and then I bring my ideas to Chase or other producers I’m working with and we go from there! Collaborating is great for artists! I’ve come out of sessions with a completely different track then what I went in with and it’s so cool watching a song morph into something more.
Your track is very light, minimalistic and it possesses dreamy vibes. If you had to describe your genre what would it be?
Sultry dreamy pop.
This being your first single, why is this your first introduction to the world? Many artists have to choose between different tracks to release as singles, why did you choose this one?
I worked with an amazing producer named Chase Ellestad, music runs in his family as he happens to be the brother of Canadian star Kiesza. Out of the 15 tracks we had made this was one of the last ones but was the track that moved both of us the most. I remember when we played it back for the first time our heads turned to each other’s and we almost simultaneously said “this is the single”. That right then is when I knew it had to be the one.
What does this song mean to you and why did you decide to title it “Jungle”?
The Jungle is chaotic, it’s a place that I didn’t feel safe nor familiar with it. I was constantly around a toxic person that drained my energy yet I feel like they depended on me and vice versa. I often felt ungrounded and unsettled around them but I was in a new city and hadn’t made many friends so I felt like there was no escaping them.
“What I am creating right now gives me a deep sense of fulfillment and at the moment I will be sticking with whatever makes me feel good.” – Makk Mikkael
How does your music make you feel? Do you hope to convey that feeling to your listeners?
I feel like my music reflects what I was feeling at the time it was written. To me having that real life correlation is super satisfying when I listen back or perform. It feels as if a chapter in my life closed and I took from it what I wanted to say. My goal is to make people feel things good or bad from my music.
What can we expect from you in the future? Are you going to stick to this type of genre or are you going to surprise us with something?
I’m going to see where the music takes me, I would like to keep creating from my soul. Wherever that leads me it will reflect in the music I make. What I am creating right now gives me a deep sense of fulfillment and at the moment I will be sticking with whatever makes me feel good.
What are you working on now? Is there a potential EP coming?
I am currently working on an album and getting this single out there! Writing lots in the studio and collaborating with dope artists! I am working on a lot of songs that I’m very excited about with some artists that I truly admire. An album is in the works.