Photo courtesy of Miro Belle.
The music of Miro Belle invites listeners into a dreamland of instrumental wonder, sweet, sophisticated, and amusing. Like an animated tale, all the tinker-tanker-tockerings, pops and flickers, and nuanced sound effects we imagine to exist in the world are highlighted with bright exclamation points, as the beat and the melody carries the narrative through a stream of consciousness. Poetic yet without verse or pattern, his music plays out like a youthful soliloquy, and his sentiment remains warm and abstract.
BTR talked to Jeff Tuyay, the San Diego-based musician behind the artistry, to get his take on music invention and cross-genre sound, as well as where the world will be able to hear him next.
BTR: You describe your music on Bandcamp as hip hop, lo-pop – It actually has a bit of an electronic feel to it, so how would you say it fits into these brackets and how does California influence your sound?
JT: It sure does have a very electronic feel to it. But, I put hip-hop because they are all classic breakbeat based beats. I put lo-fi pop because of the song’s low-fidelity catchiness. I’ve lived in California pretty much all of my life. I find the vibe to be pretty laid back and playful, which I think mirrors Miro Belle sometimes.
BTR: You’ve released a series of EPs – what’s your status as a musician and what projects are you currently working on?
JT: Well, the series of EPs basically consisted of me slicing up breakbeats and songs, and rearranging them. So, I am a bit hesitant to proclaim myself as a musician in regards to those songs. But I do have other projects that don’t incorporate samples. I play guitar and sing in this poppy rock trio by the name of Casa Verde Nova. Unfortunately, we’re on hiatus on account of everyone living in different cities. Someday, we will formally record. I’m currently working on a couple of new EPs. I’ve always wanted to work on a traveling project, and since I will be touring Europe in January I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. Basically, I would be sticking to the same format as the “Kiss This” series, but the samples will be pulled from old European folk songs on top of modern beats as well as field recordings of my time spent in the respective countries somehow blending old and new. The other EP involves a lot more original recordings with my Miro Belle vocal debut.
BTR: What’s been your biggest inspiration in pursuing music?
JT: Hands down the blog and online radio culture. I love how Internet connection can connect people who make music with people who share and write about music, with people who love to listen to new music. All of which is done with virtually no borders. I hope it remains this way. Not to mention the whole pay what you want/Kickstarter routes these days.
BTR: If you could set your music to any director’s film, who would it be and why?
JT: I’d have to say Michel Gondry, who has a similar playful sensibility. A fundamental inspiration for me for sure. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched his Director’s Label DVDs. I’m curious as to see how The We and the I turns out, and the production stills from Mood Indigo look like Gondry classics.
BTR: There’s almost an animated sense to your work – what’s your imagination like? Are you a daydream believer?
JT: Honestly, I’m not as imaginative as I’d like to be, but I do daydream a lot. My mind has a tendency to go off on tangents and I can get distracted pretty easily. Perhaps it’s one of the downfalls of the whole Internet generation thing. Sometimes it’s frustrating, but other times it’s fun to just jump all over the place in thought.
BTR: What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning, and the last thing you do at the end of the day?
JT: I often wake up confused. Either from a disorienting dream or being hit with the thought, “Whoa, I’m alive and life is weird.” As for the last thing I do, I put on some dream time tunes. Sometimes I’ll put on some Blue Jam from Chris Morris. I’d like to think it influences my dreams, in a very bizarre way.
BTR: How can we best enjoy your music?
JT: I always say with friends, enemies, and frenemies on a dance floor.
BTR: You have a track called “Penny’s for Lame Thoughts” – what are some things in life you find to be lame?
JT: I’d like to preface this answer with a list of things I enjoy: idioms, word play, and taking things literally. This comes into play when naming songs. So when I named the song as such, I thought of the Lincoln head on a penny going by the name of Penny, and campaigning for thoughts that had lost their legs. I also enjoy interpreting things systolically.
BTR: If you could have one skill you don’t have now, what would it be?
BTR: What’s your biggest goal in life?
JT: To be confident. Not only in myself, but in everyone and everything.