Multi-instrumentalist, producer and DJ Prash Mistry is back with his project Engine-Earz after his (far too long in our opinion) hiatus. After emerging out of the dubstep movement and mastering the fusion of that sound with drum and bass sonics to create compositions unlike anything else, Engine-Earz has returned with his most addictive work yet. Perfecting the art of crafting cross-genre sounds, Engine-Earz’s track “Channeling” has marked the end of his hiatus beautifully. There’s also potential for an album that will be released this year, fingers crossed.
“Channeling” is an emotional track stemming from wanting to create more personal music and producing more honest art. After being released online, it received a staggering 100,000 listens in the first week. No small feat, but after watching the video you’ll see why so many people have listened to “Channeling.” The video for the track moves gracefully from a view of trees and a church spire down and around to a heart-wrenching sight, all in a harmonious black and white. The video is beautifully composed and wonderfully cinematic. Not surprising, seeing as Engine-Earz have reached into their hearts and utilised their emotions for the track. You just can’t draw your eyes away. We pinned Prash down for a chat where he told us, “everything started with a concept or a conversation”, we only wish we could have been there too.
How do you work together as a band and compose the music that you make?
For this album “Symbol” everything started with a concept or a conversation between us which then grew and evolved into sound. From there it’ s over to me and a lot of hours in a very dark room by myself, with band members stopping by to record elements as the piece develops. We then work together to take these compositions live. Once we’ve played them a few times I usually go back in and add new sections that we’ve developed and then its back to the dark room for me for the mix.
What makes you want to create music? Who inspires you the most?
In terms of the need to write music or play piano, that’ s just something I’ve always done. I guess in a way it’s been my coping mechanism to deal with the contradictions I was faced with growing up in the West. We all want to do something positive, to change the world for the better. Yet it always felt like by even existing in it or benefitting from this system we share equal direct responsibility for it’ s troubles. In a way, writing music is the only thing I’ve ever known that felt truly pure. I have always had great respect for artists like Akala, Aloe Blacc, Bjork, Rage against the Machine, Massive Attack and the long lineage of incredible hip hop and reggae artists who have managed to strike a balance between making a living from non-compromising art whilst at the same time using their platform to say something more.
Your new EP “Channeling” got a lot of attention, receiving over 100K listens in the first week across all platforms. It’s undeniably catchy, how would you describe your sound?
That’ s always a tough one. “Channeling” is a deeply personal record to me so not easy to categorise. If I was to describe the aesthetic, I’ d say it could sit somewhere between Burial and Jai Paul…but then I’d have to slap myself for being conceited haha.
You evolved out of the dubstep scene – can you tell us about how your sound has developed over the years?
For sure, as a band we most definitely did. However, as a producer I’ve been composing music and producing artists behind the scenes for a really long time. Dubstep gave us the perfect medium to marry our drum n bass sonic influences with something more cinematic and expansive. But playing so many headline slots at raves and festivals made us write mainly dance floor stuff. So with this album I was excited to return to the more emotional core of where the band started.
In a recent interview you said about your hiatus: “it just didn’t feel like musically it was where my heart was anymore” Returning from a hiatus, you haven’t disappointed us –do you feel that it’s important for an artist to take that time off to refresh & contemplate?
Thanks! I feel like the singular primary mission for any artist should be to create the most honest art they can, however and in whatever form that appears. Of course in today’s world that’s quite a luxury! We’ re under pressure to constantly create new content and interact on social media to stay relevant and maintain visibility by touring nonstop. But we have to take time and space to introspect or the art will never be what it deserves to be.