Interview with Music.Art.Ppl

Music.Art.Ppl (MAP) is a music and art collective based in Ottawa. Organizing inclusive events that incorporate live painting, visual projections, interactive decorations, and electronic music, MAP continues to strive to create inspirational spaces.  Before their appearance at Electric Circuits this weekend, we caught up with member JFUN to ask them about how they came together and why they think EC is in ‘a league of its own’.

Is this your first Electric Circuits? Have you visited Kingston before? 

This is our first time performing as a collective (Music.Art.Ppl) at Electronic Circuits but Peter (Pithra) and myself (JFUN) came to the festival last year to support our friends Rise Ashen and Ziibiwan Rivers. We were really impressed with how unique the festival was and wanted to get involved!

With established music scenes in Toronto and Montreal, why do you think smaller festivals like EC are important in places like Kingston? What role do you think they play?

Festivals such as EC are important because it gives artists who don’t have huge profiles a chance to share their gifts and meet with other artists who they may have never crossed paths with. On the other hand, it also gives artists who have bigger profiles a chance to play outside of the confines of a club setting or huge festival. There are a lot of great artist communities that exist outside of the bigger music hubs such as Toronto and Montreal and Kingston is a great middle ground. Because of the nature of EC being – in our opinion – a boutique festival, which you see less and less of these days. Its great for folks who live in the area or who want to break away from the fast pace scene that is often associated with Montreal and Toronto, and a chance to take in some of the best underground or underrated artists in the country.


How would you describe your sound/art? 

Because we’re a collective made up of artists with varying backgrounds and medians of expression it’s hard to sum it up. However, we all have a common love for creating unique, safe spaces where people feel welcomed. We all like to push the boundaries of our art while complimenting each others styles. For our appearance at EC, people can expect to hear a wide range of electronic music: house, techno, deep, progressive, melodic, and minimal.


How did you get into the electronic music scene, and being a creator? 

As a collective we got together in the fall of 2015. We wanted to do something different in our city (Ottawa) that was an expression of who we were as artists. We knew that we wanted to combine more of an artistic perspective to our events and we also wanted our events to be a place of discovery for some of the hidden talent that we crossed paths with. As an artist, it can sometimes be challenging to push yourself if you’re not surrounded by people who you trust to give you honest feedback. It also gave us a chance to bring something new to the table for every event.


Who would you list amongst the biggest influences on your work, and why?

The people who attend our events have been the biggest influence on our work. It’s created friendships that will last a lifetime and has opened many doors. It’s a great feeling because a lot has happened for our collective in this short amount of time and it’s only the beginning. It’s also been amazing seeing the growth of the artists who are in the collective. Working with new spaces, and coming together as a unit has a big influence on our work and acts as a fuel for us to do more as a collective. Everyone in the group brings so much to the table and I don’t know if that is something that can be achieved as a solo artist.


Is playing a festival like EC different to say, playing a small club or a larger festival? Does it effect what and how you play? 

EC is really in a league of it’s own. The overall production of the festival is something that could be offered in both a club setting or big festival. The biggest element to any party is the people who attend it. As event curators, we’re always aware of the vibe of the room and that has the biggest impact on how we play. With that being said, we’re coming to Kingston to showcase what we do best and that’s creating a wonderful party vibe. We’re coming with a lot of visuals, decor and music to take you mind, body and spirit to a higher level.


Can you tell us a little about your set-up? What hardware and software will you be using for your performance? 

Musically, we’ll be using a pretty standard DJ set up with a few additions (Roland SP-404).


Does this differ much from what you’d use at home, when writing and producing? 

When writing at home, some of us tend to use a lot of hardware pieces (drum machines, synths, samplers). For this event we wanted the focus to be on playing music that we really want to showcase for the special occasion.


How much preparation goes into putting together your set or performance before hand?

It’s an on going thing that doesn’t ever really stop. You hear music or sounds that inspire you and you write them down or add them to a playlist. The week prior to an event is when the big picture starts to come to life.


Which other artists playing at EC this year are you excited to see? 

The lineup is pretty outstanding this year so we’re looking to catch as much of as possible. Some of our highlights are Silla+Rise, Pelada, Paraphonique, Pursuit Grooves, and Orphx.

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