Megan Hamilton has been busy on tour promoting the recent release of her four-track electro funk EP, Feed the Animals. Turntable Talks got a chance to catch up with the glitch hop goddess of groove to talk about her EP, new music in the works and more in our featured interview with the local legend of the Midwest music scene.
View our featured interview with Megan Hamilton below to find out what the electro funk master, producer and vocalist has been up to as she continues to breakdown beats and barriers as an up and coming artist in the EDM industry. As an iconic DJ reppin’ her undefinable yet distinctive sound cross country, Megan Hamilton is heading homebound with Wick-it the Instigator for her show in Minneapolis at The Cabooze, this Saturday, June 29th!
Click here to listen to the four-track EP, Feed the Animals, now available on all major streaming services!
What was the overall creative process like while working on your latest project, Feed the Animals? Do you have a favorite track off the EP?
Feed The Animals was a really refreshing project. I spent a long time considering the direction I wanted to go in. After a bit of an internal struggle between my love for midtempo/funk and house music, I figured I'd try and combine the two. FTA is mostly four-on-the-floor with sound design reminiscent of house/tech house. Bringing everything down 15-20 BPM really incited some of the funkiness and groove in all of these tracks. "Forbidden" was the first track I produced for this EP, and still remains my favorite.
What other projects do you have up your sleeve that you can elaborate on?
I'm working on several collaborations right now; Jason Hann (of SCI & Eoto), K+Lab, Sparkee, Balkan Bump, Maddy O'Neal, and more. Each track is so different and unique, really hyped on releasing these.
What upcoming events do you have lined up for this summer that you can tell us about?
I'm pumped to be performing at Evolve Festival in New Brunswick, it's the first time I'll have been to eastern Canada and I hear it's beautiful. Aside from that, we've got some really exciting tour announcements coming soon.
You stated in an interview with SIMshows back in 2014 that you'd like to be touring by 2015. Here you are, five years later, touring around the world. Besides your apparent talent, what else do you believe has contributed to the success of your career as a musician?
I think the most important part of being a performer, besides putting in the practice of course, is dedication and long term commitment. As the joke goes: Remember that dope producer that gave up a few years ago? Neither do I.
How has your success as an up and coming artist motivated you while establishing yourself in the music industry?
Touring has been a big part of the constant validation every producer needs to keep creating. Meeting new people and growing from new experiences consistently changes my style and really helps with my development and motivation.
How has the music industry influenced the direction of your creative career?
When I began producing I was making hip hop. Probably because it was such a prominent presence and influence, being that I live in Minneapolis. However, funk is obviously engrained in this city as well so it was a natural progression for me. I wanted to make people move, and electronic music was a much easier access point than hip hop.
Who are your influencers and how have they influenced you while successfully establishing yourself in the music industry?
My influences are changing constantly but I'd say the consistent ones are Tribe Called Quest, Amy Winehouse, Chuck Brown, CloZee, & The Funk Hunters.
In what ways has the music scene in Minneapolis influenced your creative career as a musician?
Minneapolis is a hip hop hub (Rhymesayers, Doomtree, etc). So as I mentioned before, my initial dive into music production was solely for the sake of not paying for beats. As I moved away from being an MC, I found a love for dance music and the MPLS electronic scene has been very supportive and done a great job at fostering my development as an artist.
What are some strengths and weaknesses you have personally experienced while establishing your creative career in the music industry that you have found valuable?
Resilience has been a key part of this journey, even more so as a woman in a male dominated industry. Jealousy can always be something that we as artists can get lost in, but learning to be happy for the people around you and being patient with yourself can really subside those ugly feelings.
You stated in a previous interview that you first got your start in the Minneapolis hip hop community before getting involved with the EDM community in Minneapolis. Do you plan on sticking to your reputable style of electro funk style or would you ever consider getting involved in the production of hip hop again?
I would consider producing for an MC, but it's not a primary goal right now. That being said, the cool thing about hip hop is it doesn't have a "sound" necessarily, it draws from all genres.
What artists have you especially enjoyed collaborating with and why? Are there any artists you'd want to collaborate with in the future?
I just wrapped up a track with Sparkee that took hardly any time at all because the mutual flow was really evident. I've never really had a bad experience collaborating but the Sparkee track sticks out because of how easy it felt.
What inspired the vision behind your featured tracks including "Out of Commission", "Denial" and "We Are All Gods" while collaborating with Ghost Channels on his album, Haunted House back in 2015?
Future house was really big when Mike and I were making these tracks but we sensed it was a fad starting to fade so we turned to some of the more classic sounds of house. "OOC" was really inspired by the Umek podcasts I'd been listening to at the time and other tech artists like Shadowchild and Redline. "Denial" and "WAAG" were more deep house/progressive oriented. Definitely a reflection of the times.
What was your most memorable experience as a performer?
This is a really tough question. I'd have to narrow it down to maybe the last year or so, and say Fozzy Fest. It's a small festival on Lake Koocanusa in British Columbia. The crowd was chock full of the best energy, the hospo was incredible, and most importantly I got to stay on a house boat haha.
What concert venues in Minneapolis, Minnesota have you especially enjoyed performing at and why?
Honey will always have a special place in my heart as it's the first place I ever performed in Minneapolis. I think The Fine Line is my favorite space in Minneapolis, but nothing compares to the sound/hospo/vibe of the iconic main room of First Avenue.
What is one thing you can share about yourself with Turntable Talks that you believe your fans don't know but would like to know more about?
I was a competitive javelin thrower all through high school, even set a couple state records at the time. And I'm an idiot savant at Mario Kart 64.
What obstacles have you encountered while working in the music industry that you believe are both common yet often left unnoticed while establishing a career in music?
How many days you'll wake up truly believing that you have nothing to offer. Getting past that feeling is a competitive sport in and of itself.
What three tips of advice do you have for local artists looking to pursue a successful creative career in the music industry?
Keep practicing. Don't quit. Repeat.
When you're not busy working on music, what do you like to do in what free time you have left?
I'm a graphic designer by trade, so I spend much of my free time doing graphics/illustration/fine arts. Or whooping ass at Mario Kart 64.
Where do you see yourself in the music industry five years from now?
Probably laughing at how naive I was 5 years ago. :P Thanks guys!
Click here to visit Pivotal Agency's website and learn more about the artist agency respectfully representing Megan Hamilton as she continues to cultivate her creative career as the leading light of electro funk.