Nov 4, 2020
MkX is exciting fans with his his new releases grounded in R&B and high-tech sound design building a signature sound around those as a way to create his own pop signature style. Ahead of his latest releases ‘Down’ and ‘Fall’, MkX talked to Popular TV about the inspiration behind the video and his collaboration with primetime rap artist, CupcakKe.
1. Tell us about “Fall” and the inspiration behind the new music video!
I shot and edited this video myself in my basement during quarantine. The song is an homage to late 90s/early 00s pop music, so I wanted the video to have that same vibe. There was this phase of pop music videos where visual effects were somewhat of a new thing, so everyone really overused them. I wanted this video to have that over-the-top larger-than-life feel to it. As for the actual scenes, I wanted to bring to life what I saw in my head when I originally wrote the song. I had a lot of fun filming it, some of my filming setups were a little ridiculous. I think the craziest setups were either falling onto an air mattress covered in blue fabric or balancing on top of a piano bench. I’m planning to post some behind the scenes clips soon!
2. What is the biggest challenge when it comes to songwriting?
A lot of times I come up with a melody first, which sometimes leads to some difficulties fitting lyrics into the melody. Sometimes I’ll have a really cool lyric concept, but it’ll be too many syllables or the emphasis on certain syllables sound awkward. Then it almost becomes a puzzle of rewording the phrase to fit while retaining the same meaning. Once you make it work it’s a really rewarding feeling, but sometimes you have to toss an idea and start again.
3. Can you tell us about your songwriting creative process? Do you have any special tricks?
Every song I write usually has a different creative process. Sometimes I’ll create a beat and topline over it, other times I’ll write the lyrics/melody first and build the beat around it. Something I like to do is keep a folder in my Notes app with little phrases, titles, or ideas that I randomly hear or see throughout the day. If you’re having a conversation with someone and one of you says something that catches your ear, write it down!
4. Tell us about “Down” and how the partnership with cupcakKe happened!
I wrote “Down” about a year before I released it. I finished the record and tested it out by performing it in a few nightclubs across the states (including the Whisky a Go Go which was a blast!). I’ve been a huge fan of cupcakKe for a few years now, I saw her live a couple times and knew she was someone I wanted to have on my record one day. I sent her the song and when she told me she was down to drop a verse on it, I was SO pumped! She sent over her verse and it was super surreal hearing her rap over a beat that I produced. She brought such a dope energy to the song!
5. You are an incredible artist and have worked with many other talented artists! Is there someone you haven’t worked with yet who you would love to?
Wow – thank you so much! I would absolutely love to work with Lady Gaga. I saw her do a promo set back in 2008 and she blew my socks off. I’ve been a die-hard fan ever since. What I love about Gaga is that all of her records have a 360 artistic vision. Each record goes hand in hand with carefully crafted visuals, fashion, and technology that bring the entire vision to life.
6. How has your music process and writing changed from when you started, and what things do you focus on most concerning your brand or image and music that make up you as a music artist?
When I started making music, I was a lot more self-conscious about what other people thought of my music/brand/image. It took a while for me to step out of my comfort zone, but now I’m able to be myself to the fullest. My goal as an artist is to use my music and imagery to encourage people to embrace what makes them unique and use that as their superpower.
7. How has living in and around where you are pushed you and your career/life?
Growing up, my school was in a really rural area. There would literally be signs to share the road with the horses. It was a pretty small community and everyone knew everyone. There was a lot of pressure to fit in, but that all changed once I moved to the city. I moved to Back Bay (Boston, MA) in 2016 and it totally changed my entire perception of how to live life. It was when I just started studying at Berklee College of Music. It was such an incredible community filled with unapologetic artists. Individuality was embraced. The entire vibe of the city was so energetic. I would walk down the street and pass people that all looked different from each other. I just graduated this Spring, and I’m planning to move to Los Angeles once COVID risks aren’t as high. I’m excited to see what the different environment is like and how it will affect my art, career, and life in general.
8. What are your future projects? Are you working on something now?
I have a handful of songs I worked on over the past couple of months. Quarantining has definitely allowed me to be creative and get a lot of work done. I can’t wait to put these tracks out into the world!
- Photographer Anthony Grasetti