Greek/Welsh producer and musician Minas has teamed up with his pals Razkid and Freddy Forbidden for a new EP that delves into the struggles of small-town life and the friction and claustrophobia that can come with it. Airing his grievances with a record that’s, in his words, “part reminiscent, part self-deprecating and part hopeful regardless”, it sees him delving into the darkest of corners to find catharsis.
Here, Minas talks us through the release, from front-to-back.
‘Grazes’ was a hard one to write; after the love I got from the album, it was a weird space to try to write from, feeling there was an expectation. I put the album out when it was old to me and didn’t feel like it was a deal, but people proper reached out and placed it in their favourite albums of the year and all this, which was sick; however, I then felt there was a bar set then. Something I’d written with no pressure felt like another world; there was a kinda pressure now. So I just decided to go back to what I knew, write a load of notes down on how I felt and see what made a song. It’s essentially me airing out frustrations with my local scene and area. I love and hate it; there’s a lot of support but a lot of unnecessary drama, jealousy and bitterness, too. I find myself kinda disillusioned at times, not just on a local scale either but also our toxic devotion to damaging convenience and brain rotting and divisive spaces on social media; the “oh dear” then carry on scrolling reactions to the unspeakable atrocities going on, it’s just off. So this EP is a kinda no-holds-barred, stuff I’d shout at the place if I stopped caring about keeping the bits of peace there is. It’s also something that helped me process it; it’s what my music’s always been for. Part reminiscent, part self-deprecating and part hopeful regardless.
Cardiff is a city so small it suffers from a small village mindset. As I approached things diplomatically, I needed somewhere to say what I felt on my darkest side; this song was born after hearing a pitched-down sample of Miss Grit’s ‘Impostor’ – it’s our favourite song to play live, always kicks off and was one of the most cathartic songs to write, allowing that side of me a few minutes to really let loose. People are so afraid of those sides of them nowadays that they suppress; it’s not healthy, write it down at least.
The Public Ain’t Spoken (Feat. Freddy Forbidden)
I wanted to create a sound that really showed my erratic side, sounded like my brain on a bad day and just pushed my sound somewhere I haven’t taken it; it’s dark but has an undeniable groove. I knew I wanted a feature and had hit it off with Freddy during my time in London; I respect him so much as an artist who also does what he thinks is cool first and foremost, so having him on this tune is a match made in heaven. We played it live together with the band at this event I put on, and it remains a highlight of my career.
‘Chatty Patty’ came from a day I decided I was annoyed with everything. There’s a spot I was walking past that does banging coffee and food, but it’s in the middle of this area in Cardiff, proper out of place and expensive. It’s pretty much gentrification to a T. I was faced again with confusion about where to put myself. I looked at the people in there and was like, well, they’re just out for food, but I’m fuming at them. Proper disillusioned. Once again, I was like – what the hell can I do about any of this? Why doesn’t anyone do anything? Why are we just letting this all happen? Why ain’t there riots in the streets while the government are screwing us red raw? I just wrote ‘Chatty Patty’ and got it out, in the probably naive hope that it’ll connect with people and maybe we’ll put up with less from the higher-ups.
I Wish I Could Be 23 Again
After getting so deep into my local scene, it was like my friend group quadrupled or something. Which in some senses was ace but in others kinda claustrophobic – it was like the music scene in Cardiff became a little village with everyone knowing everything about everyone. I found myself reminiscing one day about times before it, when I had a smaller but tighter group of friends – in particular, this one year, we all hit Green Man festival and another in Glastonbury. This song is literally that, me reminiscing about a simpler time, one of the few times I remember being truly content without any downs that I can remember impacting it. It was the time we lived in the present, something we should all aim to live in more.
Stress (Feat. Razkid)
My good friend and fellow artist Razkid (who I’ve produced for years) loved the original song from our album, so one day, I just said, write a 16 then and let’s do a remix. Performing it live with one of my best mates is such an ace feeling; the song brought a whole new side to him and his performance that I’d not seen before, and now we try to get him to jump up for it at every show we do. When we recorded it and did a new mixdown on the song, I added a final section and really tried to push the sound into an almost unsettling and hard to listen to place. I wanted to fully create the sound that conveyed the true feeling of dread and panic you get when you check your financial situation and find it worse off than you expected. It can really shake your foundations, and you just feel completely cornered, panicking about how you’ll get through the next week, let alone the next month or year.
Minas’ EP ‘Grazes’ is out now.