Pulling inspiration from the 90’s house music and underground culture, Miles Ellis is an up and coming DJ with a heart for the studio. Based out of Arizona, his formative years were heavily influenced by his musician dad. A drum set bought by his dad on his 5th Birthday played a key part in building the producers’ foundation and later on, his obsession with drum machines. His love for Jimi Hendrix and Iron Maiden has since evolved into listening to artists such as Frankie Knuckles, Kerri Chandler, Detroit techno ‘Belleville Three’; Juan, Derrick, Kevin and the likes. Miles’s early efforts in producing music that is raw and authentic has not gone unnoticed and have been featured in live streams at events and festivals. Now he’s making his own way on the electronic music scene like a techno lover and a house defender.
We had the chance to talk with Miles Ellis to talk about his new release ‘The Pier’ via Integrity Records.
Electronic Groove: Hi, Miles, and welcome to EG. We have to ask first about the current situation with the virus COVID-19 and what’s your opinion about the current measures?
Miles Ellis: Hello all. Honestly, COVID-19 is crazy. I’ve been practicing my social distancing but also trying to not be afraid of it. No one really knows what’s going on with it, and how it’ll affect us as a society but I’m keeping my head high and making sure I do what I need to do to not get or spread the virus.
EG: Has this affected your professional and personal life in any way?
Miles Ellis: With everything that has been going on of course there has been some change in my everyday life. Clubs for one instance, they are all shut down over here in Arizona. I also can’t find toilet paper, because everyone’s hoarding. At the same time, it hasn’t affected me though. I have spent the past year dedicated to the studio, sitting out shows and events to have more time (and money) in the studio where I’ve been focusing on defining my sounds and finding the hidden gem artist and labels for my music archives.
EG: Moving into music, how did start your journey with music? Do you have any music memories that stand out as inspirational?
Miles Ellis: Music, in general, started when I was born more or less. My dad was the lead guitar player in a hair metal band called Full Thrust in the 80s. As soon as I could hold a drum stick I was playing them. One day when I was around 13 an older neighborhood kid came over, put a bootleg copy of FL studio onto my computer (don’t worry I own it now) and that’s when it all really took off. By far this is one of the most stand out moments – without that kid who knows when I would have found my love for producing. This year has also been full of inspirational moments. Starting it off with getting my first signing to Integrity Records, then having one of my unreleased tracks played out by Ben Sims at his recent gig here in Arizona.
EG: Talking more exciting stuff (I guess), your solo debut EP ‘The Pier’ just came out on Integrity Records. How has the reception been so far?
Miles Ellis: I was counting down the days for this release and I’m thrilled it’s out! With it being my first solo EP, of course, there were a lot of things that could go right or wrong with it. Feedbacks have been coming in and I’m happy to say it’s all been good. ‘The Pier’ EP has garnered plays and support from some of my favorite producers, The Black Madonna, Slam, Horse Meat Disco and Fred P. It has also received great reviews from Mixmag and other publications which I’m extremely humbled to say the least, when you work hard and you see something in response, its always a good feeling to know people enjoy what you’re doing. Most recently my tracks ‘Got to Go’ and ‘The Pier’ was featured on Beatport’s Best New House and Traxsource’s Essential Techno Chart. The EP is still pretty fresh so I’m looking forward to getting more feedback!
EG: What were you looking to achieve with this EP?
Miles Ellis: My personal goal with this EP was to get my foot in the door and get my music out there the right way. I make music daily and have been sitting on a lot of music for a while now. Finding a perfect home for my tracks on a label I respected was what I wanted to achieve, and I’d like to think I did just that :).
EG: How was the production process? Any special software or techniques used?
Miles Ellis: My production process is always to go in with a fresh pallet – no limitations based on genres, samples, or anything like that. I sit down and make what I feel (as you can probably tell based off my EP). Music to me is a feeling and shouldn’t be forced. Make what you feel and make what you want. A few things I can not go without is definitely my TR8S and the Make Noise O-Coast.
EG: Can you share some of the artists that have inspired you to create electronic music and why?
Miles Ellis: From the start, Deadmau5 is what drew me in but as I dug deeper into electronic music I found a lot of inspiration in Ben Sims, Kerri Chandler, and Derrick May. All of these people are masters at their craft and I’ve taken huge inspirations from all of their styles – from productions to mixing.
EG: Many thanks and we wish you nothing but the best!
Miles Ellis: Thank you! And you guys be safe during this crazy time!
Miles Ellis’ ‘The Pier’ is now available via Integrity Records. Stream and buy here.