Mitch Oliver

Mitch Oliver’s New Show ‘Aurora’ Makes DEEP Connections

R.A. Bakr

Mitch Oliver’s Aurora takes us on an emotive journey filled with deep dark melodic colors and energetic groovy rhythms. We caught up with him to chat about his career move, influences, first EP release and of course being part of the FRISKY family.

Mitch Oliver’s goal is to share his passion for music, one beat at a time. Starting at a very young age, he was often described as a music curator. His sound is versatile, flexible, and his musical taste is nothing short of fantastic. From Deep House to Deep Tech and Techno to Tech House, what matters most is music’s melodic groove. As Mitch points out, “I’ve always been a huge fan of music that can move people, tell a story, heal, and get through difficult times”.

After working for more than 7 years in a highly corporate environment, Mitch felt the urge to pursue his passion for music and decided to embark on a full-time journey into deejaying and producing. Even though he’s been mixing for nearly a decade, he’s taken a more serious stance recently, within the past three years.

Hailing from Canada, Mitch delivers non-stop magic stemming from his DJ residency at Velvet in Montreal to playing at festival main stages. “It’s been a very busy last couple of months and I’m very excited with the gigs I got to play this summer”, he shares.

Just like the spectacular polar lights (auroras) need all their energy from the sun – deejays become energized by their listeners and fans alike. That crowd connection and being “fueled by their energy” is important to any music artist. As Mitch explains, “The power of music is limitless and it’s absolutely stunning to see the connections that can be made by sharing it with people”.

Being one of FRISKY’s newest artist additions, his show ‘Aurora’ indeed connects while synchronizing an energized aurora-like journey for listeners with each new show different from the next.

Here’s a full glimpse into our interview:

Hi Mitch! Welcome to the FRISKY family – It’s true a pleasure to meet and interview you. Let’s go back in time a bit and if you would, kindly share with me your backstory?

Mitch Oliver

Hi Rhanda, it’s a true pleasure to join the FRISKY family. I’m from Montréal, Canada and I have been a music curator/passionate since my childhood. The power of music is limitless and it’s absolutely stunning to see the connections that can be made by sharing it with people.

Is it true you changed your career from a CPA to a full time DJ/Producer? Provide some insight about this journey.

I did, and what a switch of career that has been! It’s definitely not an easy process, but I’m extremely glad I made the move to quit the so-called 9 to 5 (or should I say 9 to 9) corporate job to become a full-time artist. I started mixing roughly 8 years ago, but only took it more seriously in the last 3. So, after juggling both my full-time job and artist career for a little over 2 years, I decided to quit my job to take a one-year program in recording and sound design learning more about sound in general.

I’ve completed that program in January 2019 and I’ve been focusing on production since. You can say, it’s been an adaptation to switch environments so dramatically, but I’m very appreciative of everything it’s taught me so far. I’ve also inspired a lot of people around me to pursue their dreams and go on with their passion, which has been very flattering.

On that note, you have been very busy these past couple of years. Some of your most notable gigs have been: Burning Man 2019 plus opening for Jody Wisternoff and Kidnap among others. Tell me about your favorite place and or gig(s) you’ve played. Is there one that always sticks out from the rest? Why?

It’s been a very busy last couple months and I’m very excited with the gigs I got to play at this summer. I believe my highlight was playing at Guy Laliberté’s new project called PY1. The immersive experience that the venue provides to its crowd combined with the magic of the environment made it very special. Over 1,300 people were there and it was very special.

I even got to have my parents to come see me play and celebrate my 30th with me for that one, so definitely a highlight. Playing at AIM Music Festival’s main stage was also a dream come through this summer. So many of my inspirations played on the same stage, such as Behrouz, John Digweed, MODD, Rodriguez Jr, and many more, so it was an exciting experience for sure.

Other than that, I run my residency night themed Aurora at a small underground club in Montreal called Velvet where I always have a lot of fun as I find intimate settings to be the most powerful on a musical connection. Being able to connect with the crowd so closely and being able to be fueled by their energy brings the best of me as an artist.

Since starting out, how has creating music transformed you? And what would you say keeps you motivated on a daily basis?

Creating music has actually changed my relationship with the art. I’m fascinated by how music has no boundaries, how any song could never be finished and could always be flipped upside down even when it’s 90% completed. I don’t listen to music, being electronic or anything else, in the same way. I’m a lot more analytical, curious as to how each track was made, etc.

In order to keep me motivated and avoid from being too analytical and still be able to be a good music curator, I have to constantly change hats, from DJ to Producer, and vice versa. This allows me to do some track searching as a curator and not a composer when I’m putting my DJ hat on.

On the production side, a huge motivational point has been to receive support on my tracks from artists I’ve been inspired by.

Let’s talk about your influences. Who has played a key role in your development as an artist?

My parents are definitely up there in terms of influence, but in an indirect fashion. They both worked in very rational and scientific environments, far from the artistic world, but have been passionate by music in all forms all their life. From Jazz, Blues, Rock N Roll, Disco and Classical, we always had music playing at home and it would always fit the activity, circumstance of the moment.

As to influences musically, I’ve always been a huge fan of music that can move people, tell a story, heal, and get through difficult times. I love all genres of music but specifically the ones that make people move, physically or emotionally. When I compose music, I try to incorporate as much organic sounds as possible, in order to make the music more natural, close to what nature would sound. I think it’s also important to get back to basics and listen to some groove masters such as James Brown, who inspires me a lot.

Local stars have also inspired me a lot. Having Kora and Gab Rhome do so well on the deep house scene recently is definitely a huge inspiration and proof that hard work pays off. Having these guys from home do so well is very motivating.

My cousin also began her musical career at a later state in her life and her courage as motivated me to pursue my own dreams. She has quickly become very successful and I’m very proud of her and love all music she makes. Her artist name is BEYRIES and we are definitely planning to make some magic together in the near future.

Mitch Oliver

Your first EP release is coming up. Tell me more about this.

It is! It will be coming out later this fall under Magician On Duty, which is a label I’ve been a fan of since their beginning, so it’s an honor to join their family. It’s a 2 track EP. I’m very excited to see what people’s reaction to it will be.

What was your creative process that went into the EP?

Working on it has been very rewarding with the creative process. There was a direction in mind and a sound I wanted to achieve with it, but I’ve let it flow – made it happen. Wanted to create an EP that was emotionally loaded, full of organic sounds and harmonically rich while still being groovy and moving, and I believe I did just that, so I’m really excited to share it with the world.

What further musical boundaries do you seek to explore?

Nowadays, technology permits musical producers to emulate almost any sound, to the extent that we can’t really tell what an instrumentalist has recorded or what’s been synthetically reproduced. However, I still believe that the feel and touch of a musician who has been working his instrument for so long makes a real sounding difference.

In my next productions, I want to work with more instrumentalists and include them in the creative process. I also want to work in teams, in order to create an ecosystem where creativity can spark. I’m a strong believer of the teamwork approach, where each member brings to the table his background and skills to create something unique.

After listening to your mixes, I’m excited about what you bring to FRISKY. Let’s talk the about your show, Aurora. Is there any significant backstory and/or meaning behind the name?

The name comes from the name of a residency night I run in Montréal in an underground venue called Velvet where I’ve been playing for more than 3 years. In terms of what to expect from the show, I will be including a lot of my own productions as well as storytelling music that would be something I play at my residency. Although, the advantage of a show is to be able to create a whole story from start to finish with an intention, without any distraction, which can give more of a complete story line. However, at my Aurora nights, I use a lot of the crowd’s energy and vibe to be guiding my sets.

What will we get to hear from your show? Anything special FRISKY listeners should look out for?

I will definitely include some of my own productions, as well as some of my friends’. I also love to include my favorite tracks of the moment, mixed with some of the classics I’ve been playing for years. Each set will be different musically as I let my emotional state guide the musical selection, and seasons have a lot to do with that state.

I like to ask this from time to time: In one word how would describe your music? And in one word how would you describe yourself?

Music, emotional. Me, passionate

I want to thank you, Mitch, for taking time with me and FRISKY in sharing your thoughts. It’s been fun! Plus, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you and better insight into your musical world. Therefore, before we conclude our interview, do you have any final thoughts?

Thanks to you for the invite, I’m very happy to have had the chance to chat with you. I’m very excited to join the FRISKY family; it’s an honor to be able to host my own show on such a respected platform. I can’t wait to share so much music with FRISKY’S audience and share my passion for the art.

Don’t forget to tune in every second Monday for Mitch Oliver’s Aurora right here on DEEP.

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