Misogi is one of the new generation of producers raised on SoundCloud. He's 17 now, but started producing at the age of 13. Born in Dubai, he's spent the past decade moving back and forth between there and London, but is now based in the latter full-time. In the last 18 months, he's earned production credits for a clutch of FADER friendly rappers including Allan Kingdom and Bones, as well as dropped a couple of beat mixtapes that have helped him notch up a hearty following. Sometime in the next few months, he'll self-release his debut album; it's currently titled PLAYMISOGI®, although he says that could change. In the meantime, he found time to make us a trap-heavy mix featuring music exclusively by his friends, among whom he counts next-gen rap stars Lil Yachty and Pollàri. Listen below, and scroll down to get to know the young producer.
Where are you right now? Describe your surroundings.
Misogi: In my room, working on my album, making endless changes. It's 8:37 p.m., the curtains are closed and I have everything I need to make sure I don't need to leave my desk until I'm done working on this for today.
Tell us a bit about this mix—what do you imagine people doing while listening to it?
This mix consists only of songs from my friends. There's no one on this mix that I'm not cool with. I wanted to keep it like that because I feel like they deserve to have their music heard, and so I put it in here. It's pretty much all trap music. People can do whatever they like to this mix, as long as they hear at least one thing they like.
How did growing up in Dubai shape your approach to making music?
Dubai is actually trash in my opinion. It's "too good"—it's so fake, it's so manufactured, and the kids there don't need to have a passion in anything. They don't need responsibilities, they don't need to think about right or wrong, or pursue a hobby, or have a vision; they can get fucked up every week and it doesn't mean a thing, their parents will fund everything for them and they don't need to really care about anything. I don't like that—it doesn't feel real to me, it's not an environment I want to be in. It could sound pretentious but I just needed something that felt more real; London feels real. As far as the music scene goes [in Dubai], there's literally nothing there. It's so underdeveloped, it's only Billboard Top 100 pretty much. It didn't shape my approach to making music ever, I always had London or L.A. or Texas or Atlanta or Tokyo in mind—not Dubai. I didn't care to entertain the people there. I wanted a global reach, not a local one.
What was your first introduction to hip-hop, and how did it make you feel?
I haven't been a big fan of hip-hop my whole life. I always liked a couple songs that were rinsed on the radio, "Touch The Sky" and "Golddigger" were my favorites. The story of how I got here is kinda embarrassing, to be honest. It was like 2013 when I first found out about vaporwave, and I hate that that's how I started this project but I can't lie. I was making EDM until I came across a vaporwave song someone had reposted on Soundcloud. I was so intrigued. At the time it made absolutely no sense to me—it was a completely new world and, for some strange reason, I really liked it. As I looked around some more, I found out about the whole Soundcloud scene that was so quickly coming up in 2013—the whole sampled trap music thing. The music I made back then is really cringy, from the actual song to the titles to the artwork, it's horrible; I'm glad I'm not doing that any more. I changed my name and transitioned from doing all that to something a little more serious.
You have a lot of followers on SoundCloud but you're not signed to a label. How did your music start to get attention and earn a fanbase?
I opened up my account in October 2013. To be completely honest, I have no idea how people found my stuff or how I gained anything. I was making generic beats just like everyone else in my scene—I made a couple remixes that got attention down the line, but once I established something like 4000 followers I dropped my first tape, which was more of a coherent piece. [It was] something that flowed, and wasn't just random beats I would upload. This was a big boost that helped me get to where I am. The second project only helped more: PINK2 is the most popular thing I've done. The next one is really the one to pay attention to though.
What can people expect from your forthcoming debut album?
Way darker shit. I was so inspired by industrial music, I re-listened to Yeezus and I loved it, I was obsessed with it. When it had first come out, I hated it, I didn't understand it. Listening to it over was important for me because I love how gritty and dirty it sounds. All the producers on there made such leftfield sounds, and I wanted to do that too. I started looking more into Arca, Lotic, Evian Christ, Gesaffelstein etc., and got ideas from that. I also made a lot of new friends while I was making this album, and they inspired the sound for this too: Nessly, Pollàri, Aaron, Lil Yachty, listening to them a lot contributed to the direction of the album; there's a lot of just hard trap songs. This is easily my best shit yet, it's not similar to PINK2 at all so people shouldn't expect anything near to that.
What kind of gear do you use?
Audio Technica M50x, Blue Snowball, and some weird audio interface I use to record my guitar. I use a Peavey EVR Wolfgang Special and a Schecter Demon 6.
What's the last book you read that had a big impact on you and why?
The last book I read was Frankenstein, which was pretty sick, but this Where's Waldo book I read before that was way better. That man can hide.
What's your favorite dish to cook and how do you make it?
I actually can't cook at all, like not even slightly. I could fuck up toast. I could probably burn cereal without trying.
Misogi - Clairvoyant
Blvc Svnd - Leaf
Teddy - Wintershy / Summerhigh
Teddy - Kiwi Skin
Keyworld & Lil Aaron - Me
Xavier Wulf - Front Man Wulf
Drip-133 & Bones - Unless I'M Wrong
Nessly - Giddy Up
Xxxtenacion - I Am
Cavalier - Yeah
Gylzey - Madden
Pollàri & Lil Yachty - Bitches On Bitches
Eric North & Syringe - Gates
Grxgvr - Vargtimmen
Weep - I Know U Got Work
Chris Travis & Xavier Wulf - The Only Option
16 Yr Old, Aaron Cartier & Pollàri - Rita Ora
Lil West - Da Bando So Icy
Night Lovell - Forget About Me
Drew The Architect & Misogi - Blurr