Micachu: interview

There‘s no end to the talents of 21-year-old east Londoner Micachu. She‘s studying composition at college, is about to release a mixtape (’The Filthy Friends‘) and she‘s already one of London‘s most interesting songwriters

  • Micachu: interview


  • Signed to Accidental Records, she’s Mathew Herbert’s latest protégé

    ‘I went to him with some songs and we spent 12 days together. He was really accommodating and up for just letting me do what I wanted and helping me to realise what I want to do without being judgemental or worried about the outcome. I learned a lot from him in terms of not compromising my ideas. He didn’t make me eat any apples into a mic, but we did break a lot of CD covers. It got quite crazy. We spent 12 days in this little room in Whitstable.’

    She’s already composing a piece for the London Philharmonic

    ‘Basically, it’s a young composers project. Studying composition is a bit of a dead end really because no one hears your music. They pick four people a year to have a go and I’m one of them. It’s intimidating but you’ve got to feel quite fresh about it and be as imaginative as you can and forget about the pressure.’

    She knows how to keep it street too

    ‘I always DJ garage at inappropriate times and it’s always a bit of a disaster. I really like producing hip hop and grime and R&B and stuff – just any music. Any music at all.’

    Even her heroes are leftfield…

    ‘I’m quite bad at listening to long pieces – I’ve got a pretty shit attention span. But I’m really into this guy, Harry Partch. He makes his own instruments and sort of invented his own tonality with them. That’s the only way he could make music, by making things from scratch. He was a hobo during the depression and he’s got a lot of things to say about society.’

    She’s a musical Rotwang...

    ‘I’m actually making my own instrument called the Chu. Like my name – what a dickhead! It’s an adapted guitar that’s got a bass string on it and a really broad pedal for a particular string so you can shift the pitch on it quite a lot. I’ve got to finish it with my power tools. Mum bought me a drill for my birthday so I should be a bit quicker now.’

    …and uses a Hoover onstage

    ‘First of all, it’s a good electronic sound. But also, you know when you put a record on when you have to Hoover your floor? It’s about that. We move it up and down because you get different frequencies at different places, like this bulgy, bassy kind of thing. It sounds pretty nasty like… um, a Hoover. There’s not a lot of connoisseur-y things I can tell you about it really.’

    In spite of all the glitch and leftfield sounds, she makes pop music

    ‘It’s pop music, definitely. I don’t know, maybe experimental pop. That’s probably the simplest. I don’t really know what it is. I’m not saying I’m doing something amazingly new and different but I’m a bit greedy in that when I bring songs to the band I’m taking a lot from everything I listen to. I’m a sucker like that. Like, if I’m into something, like garage or R&B, I try and write music like that. It gets all mixed up and makes it pop because it’s not one specific genre.’
    Micachu supports Tawiah at our On The Up showcase at Bar Academy on Feb 28.

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