With the sea of sound-alike music on the internet, pop and future music producer MNYS aka Nick Cozine, has his sights set on creating a fresh new style of production. Separating himself from the rest of the pack is no easy task, but the emotional and soothing vocals that Nick himself provides for his tracks, put him in a league of his own. Having complete control of the creative process has allowed Nick to tell a vivid and imaginative story through his melody-driven productions which are sure to captivate any audience. After taking a two year hiatus from releasing music to find his true sound, Nick is back and we are glad we caught up with him at this critical turning point in his career.
Interview Date: 8-6-17
SoundShock: What drew you into making music? Were there any specific musicians or non musicians that influenced you in the beginning?
I grew up listening to my dad play the piano and knew exactly what I wanted to do since.
The mastering in your tracks is very clean, upfront, and powerful. Are there any tips for getting this type of modern dance music mastered sound, assuming that your mix down is already well balanced.
Honestly, it’s a collaborative effort with different ears. I’m all about working as a team. A huge part of making great tracks is knowing and accepting that everything you do isn’t going to be great. It’s all just gut feeling to me. Take a listen with fresh ears and A/B the track to some of your favorite songs.
Producers struggle to get a full and clean sounding mix. The song might be great, but there seems to be a lack of power, energy, and clarity. What are a couple of ways you get the elements of your track to really feel stand out?
It’s tricky sometimes. I think sound selection over anything else. Crafting sounds that you don’t normally hear and working with people who are on the same page. I think a well crafted stock sound could absolutely come out better than some plug-in banks. Clean up the mix by being subtractive. It’s important to realize when certain elements needed to be taken away rather than added.
Where do you find inspiration? Also if you are working in the studio and get stuck. How do you get past that point?
I’m inspired by any true story. I like to write about actual events that are happening or have happened. Being in a room with other people definitely helps – bouncing ideas back and forth. At the end of the day, it’s still about having fun doing it.
What are your go-to effects and processing chains at the moment?
My only go-to really is auto filtering. I end up randomizing a bunch of chains a lot of the time. Again, it really is just about gut feeling.
“I think a well crafted stock sound could absolutely come out better than some plug-in banks.”
When starting a new track, at what part of the arrangement do you start at? Also, how much of each section in the arrangement do you complete before you move onto the next section? (Until you the main theme across, until you are inspired enough? Do you bounce from section to section just building small parts of it?)
I always start with the melody. I usually have a general topline idea I like to sing and build around that. I usually want an arrangement and drums down immediately so I can general idea of song length. I actually don’t layer anything until the structure is complete.
Having an electronic artist that writes, produces, and sings on all his tracks is not that common in todays industry. Do you have any tips for producers who want to start singing on their own tracks?
I think, again, it’s the team effort mentality. I’ll send something around to some of my friends and they end up adding something super inspiring and I continue to build off that. As for tips for producer-singers, just find your voice before you start putting anything out. Even if it takes a hundred demos. I took a two year hiatus from an early EP I released until “Break” came out because I was still trying to see what direction I sounded best in. Take your time and develop, there isn’t any rush.
At what stage of the song writing process do you start creating the vocals and how do you come up with your lyrics?
Immediately. It’s my favorite part of a song. I like to take concepts from life experiences and apply them to relationships with people around me. For example, “Break” is actually about a hometown friend who got into things with a girl who already had a boyfriend. I like channeling other people’s stories.
“I took a two year hiatus from an early EP I released until “Break” came out because I was still trying to see what direction I sounded best in. Take your time and develop, there isn’t any rush.”
The mix of your vocal is clean and impactful. What does your vocal processing chain look like?
I cut all of my vocals in Reaper and use iZotope Nectar for tuning and processing. If I don’t like what’s coming out of it, I’ll send it out.
Writing melodies can be very tricky. Do you have any specific tips that help you create emotional melodies?
Don’t force anything. I’ve learned the most cliche lines can sound stunning with comfortable voicing. I absolutely love Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.” I think that song is a perfect example of that.
Where do you seek out information to learn, and improve your skills?
Literally anyone I meet. I’m a strong believer that you can learn something from everyone. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If there’s a song I love, I will find the producer’s email and ask them directly how or what they did to get it to that point. There is never any shame in that.
With the massive amount of music that is out there right now it can be difficult to get your music heard. Any tips for producers looking to get their music out there and stand out from the crowd?
Accept rejection. It’s going to happen. And it’s going to happen a lot more than you’d like. Don’t take anything personal and keep getting better.
What can we expect from MNYS in the future?
I’m in L.A. right now and have been in sessions nonstop. A bunch of features coming out soon and more originals after that. Looking to get a few more tracks out and start doing some live show spot-dates.