RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW CANADIAN ARTIST MILES AWAY
Hiya Miles thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
Miles Away (Devin Belanger): Thanks, looking forward to getting started.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Belanger: I grew up in a musical household. My father is a professional jazz drummer for a living, so for as long as I can remember, I was going to his concerts and playing music around his friends while learning different instruments.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
Belanger: I started off playing drums and guitar in a couple of rock bands, but quickly discovered electronic production and fell in love as I didn’t have to rely on other people. I started teaching myself quite a while back, around 2009, before the EDM craze in North America took off. So, I ended up being self-taught, and took a fair amount of time before really figuring out the kind of sound I wanted to go for. I then founded Miles Away with another member (who is no longer a part of it) in 2016, and our first original release came shortly after in 2017.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
Nothing so far, I’m always happy to chat music.
We set up RGM USA and many other countries (including RGM CANADA ) in the world to share music with America and the UK, good idea?
Sure thing, music is a global language and it shouldn’t be limited by borders.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Sometimes it’s tempting to believe that all the insane division between everyone right now is manufactured or at least exacerbated by those in power to distract us.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
So many new synthesizers.
What useless party trick do you have?
I can recite the number Pi from memory up to 11 digits.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
I did a sold-out New Year’s eve show at Levels Nightclub in Vancouver right before the pandemic. Great crowd and experience.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Actually, at that same show, one of my flash drives died mid-set, causing the DJ equipment to go into a safety loop. I made it out with a transition unscathed, but it was stressful.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
I barely listen to any EDM, despite that being the genre that I’ve made for the last 5 years.
If you had to describe your music to an alien how would you describe it?
My music is like if you bottled up nostalgia for the past and put it in the form of electronic dance music.
What makes you stand out as an artist?
I like to write my own lyrics, sing, and play all the instruments you hear on my tracks, which isn’t too common for many EDM acts.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
Inflation and high-interest rates.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
I always really enjoy playing mine and Nurko’s remix of Halsey’s “Without Me”. Everyone seems to react great when it gets played.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it?
Happy Tears is the second single off my sophomore EP coming this winter. It’s a collaboration with well-known vocalist RUNN and producer AYMEN. It’s an upbeat, late-summer dance album all about learning to find happiness again.
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
Once the instrumental was done, I sent the vocal to RUNN and she immediately was inspired by it. Usually, vocals go through a lot of changes, but this is actually the first and only song I’ve done where the very first voice note of an idea RUNN sent me back we ended up keeping everything.
What was the recording process like?
This song went through a ton of variations. It started as the main melody on my guitar with the chord progression, and I actually wrote out an entirely different vocal with my own voice and lyrics. After a while though I realized that wasn’t what the song needed, and I sent it to my peer AYMEN to see if he wanted to collaborate. From there the song developed into a fun back and forth of us adding more and more complex electronic parts to the song which is why the final version is quite detailed and impressive to listen to I think from a production standpoint.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
Learning to let go and do what’s best for the song was hard but something I had to learn for this record. The early version I made holds a soft spot for me, and I was initially reluctant at some of the changes, but I realize it’s for the best now.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
At this point, it went through so many versions that I can honestly say, no!
What are your plans for the year ahead?
As mentioned, I’m releasing my 2nd EP this winter, and I’m so excited to share more details of that soon!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
To anyone who reads this who is an aspiring producer, make sure to follow the music you actually are inspired by, as people can always feel the sincerity in art.