Steve Jobs once commented, “Innovation is what distinguishes a leader from a follower…” and legendary DJ, producer, and artist Mksmth (Mike Smith) is the king of electronic dance music innovation. Hailing from Oakland, California, the musical playground of the great Tupac Shakur, Mksmth is the man behind the music in the electronic dance realm. He has created remixes for DJ Snake and G-Eazy to name a few, with his own album H&M currently available on all music streaming platforms such as Tidal, Apple Music, and Spotify.
Mksmth dove head first into the music world after creating his first single. “I’ve been on approximately twenty tours,” he says, “Currently, I’m on tour with an artist named ALLBLACK who is also from Oakland. I have toured with G-Eazy, Logic, Zion-I, Terror Jr. I have done small runs with Adventure Club. I’ve opened for DJ Carnage. I’ve done a few things.” For a man whose life is centered around music, Mksmth is also a father, a car enthusiast and more recently became interested in gaming. “I built a PC,” he tells us, “Just regular man-cave type stuff. My daughter and my family keep me grounded.”
The humble and hardworking genius, Mksmth doesn’t quit when it comes to turning unique concepts into the next masterpiece. Currently working with adult contemporary charting artist Fuller French on two remixes of his previous number 29 hit Champagne Rendezvous, Mksmth has created one remix hit after another. “..once I heard that contemporary Adult-like-jazz sound I knew that I could take it into the House/EDM spectrum…and I started working on it immediately. I literally made six or seven different versions of the song just because it was so open; I could do so much with it. I’ve never before heard somebody make a remix from an adult contemporary work. I could make hip-hop and dance records all day, but when you get into something like Contemporary Adult or jazz music, it’s much more intricate. I’m very pleased with the outcome.”
In a world heavily influenced by internet trends, Mksmth flies his own course, largely allowing the live music listener to decide for themselves in a venue where no marketing lay between the listener and sound. “In a live show I can play whatever I want because my fans know that they are going to come see me and hear my set. What you play in a live set is often different than what you put out on the internet as an EDM artist. During my sets I play hard trap or I’ll have hip-hop and I’ll also have deep house. My fans come for that open spectrum.”
For an artist/producer who goes above and beyond to create the most innovative and distinctive sounds for his listeners, Mksmth is slashing boundaries to give fans an opportunity to enjoy different types of music within their favorite EDM setting. For the future, he hopes to collaborate with artists like Pharrell and Kanye West. He sees working with these artists as an opening to use his talents that have been curated and perfected within the EDM music realm in a melting pot of creative genius. “I see these artists as being at the echelon of creative genius within their genres and I feel that with my talents on the dance side we would be able to create a sound never heard before.”
True to form, the Mksmth EDM remix of Fuller French’s Champagne Rendezvous is unlike anything you’ve heard before. “You’ve got to listen to it. This is something beyond the spectrum of Jazz and Dance music. It’s something that hasn’t happened ever before and I’m really excited about it. It’s completely out of a spectrum of what I’ve done and it’s out of the spectrum of Fuller French’s music. So, its something completely different for the both of us and we know that it’s a hit.”
Mksmth has worked on a plethora of raw and incredible material. “I put out a record in 2017 called No Sleep. I literally worked on that record for at least six months. And I think creative-wise it was probably some of our best work. I jumped into a genre that I knew nothing about it. I had an idea and came out exactly the way I wanted it to. I had the help of a group called Planet One, which was another Bay Area group and it was one of those groups that was short-lived but they are really talented and they helped me bring this vision to life. It was probably one of the most creative, more forward thinking records that I put out.”
Landing in mid-December, the latest creative vision collaboration – Champagne Rendezvous Mksmth Remix by Fuller French will be available on all streaming platforms and throughout the best radio stations in the country. For fans who want to connect with Mksmth, he remains open to the beauty of collaboration and open messaging. “I don’t really shy away from anybody that hits me up asking for advice. I don’t shy away from anybody who just want to talk. Social media is the best way to reach me – Instagram, Twitter – My handle is the same on everything (@mksmth_) and I love hearing from my fans and peers.”