Since making his debut in 2011, Hackney’s Mikill Pane has remained an intrinsic part of the UK scene.
Having collaborated with everyone from Giggs to Ed Sheeran, Example to Paloma Faith, he’s released a vast discography of music that might not shoot to the top of the charts accompanied by the latest dance fad, but remains ever-relevant and worthy of replay even years beyond the drop date.
He’s built a career as an artist that juggles everything from recording tracks to managing upcoming acts, and is a great example of how a successful – even if he doesn’t use the word himself – sustainable career in music doesn’t rely on waiting for a lucky break or the approval of those who occupy major label boardrooms.
With his double A-side ‘Comfortably Poor’ and ‘Dirty Food’ out now, we caught up with Mr. Pane to discuss his latest release, his perception of success and his new adventures in artist management with Allana Verde…
What made you decide to release these two singles – ‘Comfortably Poor’ and ‘Dirty Food’ – right now?
I’ve wanted to put them out for a little while actually. I’ve got quite a bit of music that I’ve been recording – I can’t even remember when I started recording this particular batch of music – but it’s been quite a long time coming. I needed to wait until a sufficient time after putting out Let MC It elapsed before I put this out and I always wanted to put this out. I would’ve put it out earlier if I could, but this just seemed like the most appropriate time.
Where did the concept for ‘Comfortably Poor’ come from?
If I go into another producer’s studio and I’m working with him, I get the feeling pretty much straight away from the vibe what we’re going to do, but with DaVinChe you can’t predict what’s going on or what type of concept I’m going to be looking to write about. I really just don’t know. He made the beat from scratch, so that informed the tempo of the tune obviously, how lively I am when I’m spitting and that. But the concept, man, some of them just get plucked out of thin air. There’s no profound reason as to why you wrote about certain things, as of why it just felt right at the time and ‘Comfortably Poor’ was just one of them things.
I think that in many cases our perception of financial wealth is relative. It’s kind of like when we watched the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when we were kids and see this mansion we don’t think, “Oh, we’re really poor because we should have that.” We’ve never had that or seen it in real life, so we don’t really even consider it…
Yeah, absolutely. That’s a good way to look at it. I suppose it’s down to entitlement, isn’t it? Even if it’s quite subconscious and they don’t really mean it, some people will see others as a sort of financial standing, and then they’ll think that person automatically wants to be in their position. Some people are just happy where they are because they don’t expect to be anywhere else. It’s another one that’s kind of hard to describe because I’m not in that position. I wouldn’t say that I had an especially really impoverished upbringing. We were working class. We didn’t have money growing up but yeah, I can’t ever expect to be in another position.