How does one create a universe? And most importantly, how does one connect with other universes and with the universes of others? Thank God for art in its many forms and manifestations, not only to take a break from the misery of the 21st century world, but above all because it helps us to take perspective, to flow and to glimpse other possibilities.
MRWIZE has been creating music since he was very young. You can tell he speaks a musical language that goes beyond linguistics, and a beautiful proof of that is his new EP We Won't Be Here For Too Long. These six songs are both an emotional expression and a tale of musical innovation. It sounds like the perfect score for these apocalyptic times, where nature and the digital merge and MRWIZE offers a guided tour through their different corners.
There is colour in all the detailed elements of his superb production skills; and understandably so, as he is also a stunning visual artist. When asked about the history of the EP, he replies that "everything is ephemeral". In this way, his project investigates the poetics of memory and consciousness, both intertwined with the ephemeral reality of existence.
“The realisation that nothing lasts forever – that’s what this project touches upon”, he explains. At its conceptual core lies a new possibility of understanding and relating to new forms of art; an opportunity both to take care of our time in this world by making the most of it and to ask ourselves how best to enjoy it among others.
Somehow there is a belief that it is too easy to make music nowadays; nothing could be further from the truth. “I feel like I haven't really showcased enough of my visual capabilities in general letting the financial aspect hold me back. But I realised some of my best work was made without it”, despite all the adversities and differences in the way music is created and produced, artists making bedroom music have developed another layer of talent; working at home, without romanticising it, begs the question of what makes Generation Z music different and special.
From the first single Unsent to the standout tracks And God Bless Their Hearts Didn't Touch The Ground, All is Quiet or Heavyweight, this EP offers a deeper journey into his realm, already magnetic from his previous EP, Vertices of Deprivation. You can hear the influence of Tricky, Aphex Twin, SOPHIE and The Prodigy on the young artist.
This EP is self-produced in his bedroom with a MacBook Pro and maybe a render farm or two; as the press release rightly states: this is a true snapshot of a young man making his way in the music world. When you get to the visual scope of his art, you'll see just how insane it is.
In this interview we had the opportunity to talk to the artist himself and learn more about the meticulous method of creation, his inspiration and how "Home is heaven"; like other artists of his generation multitasking and self-production is not just an approach; it is a milestone on the map of his artistic drive.
Your new EP is out now, how do you feel about showing the public what you've been working on for the last year?
Ecstatic. Getting new stuff out is always an elating feeling. Blessed to be able to share it with the people.
The title of the EP, We won't be here for too long, is a very profound statement. It's a kind of apocalyptic Carpe Diem; maybe not in the sense of forgetting about everything and prioritising our joy, but more as a reflection on what's important today. How did you come up with the title and why was it important for you to call it that?
Just the realisation that nothing lasts forever – that’s what this project touches upon. Everything is fleeting; including us as living entities, every moment, thought and interaction.
Best of Luck! is the opening and gives the feeling that we are tuning into an old radio station to connect with your world. In it we find a musical universe, like a city we walk through, and we find different corners that generate different sounds, where you present your feelings and ideas. It seems that the more conventional structures of EP's and albums are changing and there seems to be more artistic freedom in creating a complete work in this matter. Do you remember when and why you decided to start this new project, and how free you felt about how you would do it?
I don’t think there was a definitive starting point or moment in time for the inception of this project, it was more so a continuing shift of concepts and ideas which eventually became what it is now. And because there was no definitive moment there wasn’t any pressure to work towards anything. Everything that was being made was open ended, malleable and constructed to be reconstructed, or to be left as is wherever the wind took me. It originally started as an ambient project, then those ideas were developed into more lyrical compositions. All Is Quiet is the only song on there that still holds true to its original inception. Everything you hear now was the stuff that hit the most for me. I love the idea of shorter form music projects; they remind me of short stories as a kid. EP’s are like a more condensed body of work with a more efficacious result. It feels like something you can hold closer and reimagine in a way that fits how you live.
Compared to the previous EP, this new one sounds more reflective. At some point I felt there was a meditative purpose to it, not just because of the quieter sounds but more because you take us to a place to stop and be led by the music and what it evokes. Unsent is such a great introduction to the new EP. As well as being a beautiful song, it comes with an amazing video directed by you. How was the filming?
[That] shit was crazy - from start to finish, with zero budget, I woke up one week and had an idea to shoot a video in my garden, three days later we are out back with a blue screen, a RED cam and the smallest crew and the lovely Sienna King thinking we were in the Garden of Eden. So then fast forward to post production, again, spearheaded by myself; in the process of trying to make the video work (because it was going terribly), I learnt a whole new programme; Blender - from scratch - just me, YouTube and Blender, locked in, for like 4 weeks in my crib, no sleep, crazy diet, building the garden scenes, shot compositing etc, the whole works - by week 3 I thought I was straight out of Limitless (the film), had a God Complex for a few days then had a comedown from burn out. It was important for me to get the video to represent within the overall sonics of the song. Tranquility was the main focus, making sure to create non chaotic scenes, keeping the aura of stillness, especially within the shot movements too – the tale of the forbidden apple is one that is often perceived as the start of the downfall of humanity; led by a woman - but I’ve decided based off history; after God fear Men. There are two more videos on the horizon too.
And God Bless Their Hearts Didn't Touch The Ground combines all the elements explored in other songs on the EP and turns it into a kind of anthem. What is the story behind this song?
Trying to gain clarity in the demise of something—hoping for a restart, but never happens—like why can’t you see what’s going on here? Why do you choose to not face the music? Because it would mean having to face the chaos, the mistakes, the grudges; the things that hold anyone back from accountability. Sonically, it's rage. Conceptually, it's passion.
Your music is quite original. We can find some references or influences, but I like the fact that most of your songs are unpredictable both in sound and structure. Have you ever felt pressured to do something more commercial?
I create what I create, and this is how it comes out. There are a couple of pop records in the vault, but I just follow my instincts – it's all an expression of self. No one to answer to, no one to make money for, no schedules to adhere to – only the goals I set for myself.
I understand that there are sounds taken from nature in these new songs, but I also interpret other sounds as an impersonation of other sounds from nature. I find it quite post-apocalyptic in the sense that at times it makes you feel as if you are watching the sets of a series like Last of Us, in which nature has taken over the cities again. I wanted to know a bit more about your relationship with nature and how it affects your work.
That game is so sick; I used to play it when it first dropped on PS4. I've heard the series was fire too. I’m actually a paid impersonator of sound. I do a lot of sound design and composition work for other visual projects—replicating and emphasising sounds that would be present in real life. In essence, nature is not just a backdrop; it's an active collaborator. My relationship with nature is not just about incorporating sounds but capturing an essence. So, in this EP, it felt natural to exercise this and bend the reality of this, both sonically and visually, letting things be, letting things take their course creatively, mentally, and psychically. From a symbolic standpoint, you’ll find that if you let ideas overgrow wildly, they can sometimes be overwhelming to deal with, thus taking over —but you can also landscape them to make them look and sound pretty, you get me? Nature will always take its course – and things will happen as they should during whatever process it may be. So, while things may feel like synthesised representations of nature - the idea is to make each piece sound as untamed and wild as possible.
All your work is self-produced, and you belong to the generation of artists who create their craft in their rooms with their laptops. It's part of a lot of things, but it's definitely a big milestone in the music industry and the creative process. Do you have other essential environments to create or feel inspired?
Home is heaven, and over the years, I have built everything I need within it to ensure it fits my creative needs. One of the primary goals was to make it a place I can come back to, to consolidate every single experience freely without limitations. The whole idea of being able to do it all out of a bedroom has really eliminated the notion that you need this big machine behind you to create anything. Some of the greatest ideas started from a bedroom, and being born in a time where I've been able to see that has given me the ultimate freedom—anything is possible. While home is the epicentre of solace, comfort and inspiration for me, the outside plays just as important a role. It's the dystopian terrain, as aforementioned; it can be scary and uncomfortable sometimes. We are not in control of anything that happens and entering that void for me is exhilarating in that regard. In search of the unexplored, for higher and newer things, is the ambient bed for the life that I try to construct my existence on. That’s enough to fuel creation visually and sonically. Whether I’m at home or away, the two represent a symbiotic relationship, with my room being the nucleus and various external environments providing the fuel for artistic growth.
All is Quiet is another superb moment on the EP. You can hear a music box; it takes us to a basic image of what the imagination can feel like when you are just born into the world and the abstract plays an important role in our understanding of the world. It's an amazing piece, which again projects another possibility into the world in our imagination. What is the main idea of this song?
To be still and listen. To listen to the sentiment of loss and erosion - For me, such emotions come in waves; that's what the motion in the track emphasises. If you pay attention to the ordering of this track, it comes after And God Bless; the quiet after the storm. In this context, the music box is an item of sentiment and nostalgia. To know that something has passed (fleeting) and is in a better place now, coming to peace with that understanding. But it can also be bliss; take from it what you will.
On the last track you sing “I feel a heavyweight”, and it sounds like a warning, a cry for help, reinforcing this idea of apocalypse throughout the EP. Do you think the fact that the world is becoming this dystopian energy that permeates our culture as we speak can make people relate better to your music?
I wouldn’t say it’s a cry for help, but more-so an ode to the everyday pressures as living beings. We are bound to the stems and structures of society. But I believe they’re starting to become weaker, and I’m not sure anyone cares to hold them up anymore. It’s sucking the energy out of life. It’s a toxic existence born into a world, forced to work for a paper with an arbitrary value of zero, is crazy - I wish for us to be free of these shackles. But my music isn’t solely about any of these concepts it’s all up for interpretation – I mean, the core concept was based on a relationship which puts pressure on both parties to be a certain way but breaking free of old patterns and behaviours. But whatever it does mean to you, I’m honoured to create an experience which someone can use to escape from the world.
All your videos are self-directed, and your visual work is as excellent as your musical work. Which came first? And during the process of making music, does the music evoke the visual side or is it the other way around?
What comes first, the chicken or the egg? None in particular; art comes naturally to me—it's a vice versa relationship, a hand in marriage. They feed each other. Whatever process comes first, the other is also dancing alongside it. It's a dynamic interplay where one inspires the other, creating a unified artistic expression. This project was more visually inspiring for me; it came first a lot of the time—so I wanted to capitalise on that this time. I feel like I haven't really showcased enough of my visual capabilities in general letting the financial aspect hold me back. But I realised some of my best work was made without it; just look at Unsent.
I've read that WizeTv was one of the first steps in directing music videos for other artists a few years ago, do you remember any specific collaborations that were important to you creatively from those years?
My first-ever job took me to North Cyprus to film these house artists—I was probably around 16. Do you know how that experience shaped my mentality for the future? After that, nothing could stop me. I was just a young, excited kid with a camera, and I feel like I'm still that kid today. The only thing that has changed is the medium, but the passion still remains. That's important because children don't dream of being insignificant—why must that change as we get older? My only regret is deleting the YouTube channel. I checked, and it's been highjacked now. Maybe some old files will resurface one day.
I've also heard that you come from a very musical family. When did you decide you wanted to become an artist?
Shout out to my dad, bro taught me nothing but rhythm. When something’s in the blood, you will innately gravitate towards that thing no matter how much you try to reject it. Not that I ever rejected the idea of being an artist, but I just wanted to be like my dad. Now here I am today, the natural evolution of things has led me to this place.
Any songs that have positively influenced your 2023?
Yeah, Sexyy Red - Pound Town.
Having released new music and approaching a new year, what are your plans and wishes for 2024?
Another short story, some more visuals, more production, more shows, more life, more everything.