English producer Jacob Bartoli, AKA Mio Flux to the music scene, has a gift for designing vivid, explosive beats to back up local rappers and bands. Specializing in house music, Mio Flux has collaborated with many talented artists within the Northampton area, creating killer rap-EDM combos. On his latest single, “Balmain,” he enlisted rapper Patchy, The Rockstar. The track begins with a fuzzy, distorted piano beat before Patchy comes in with a slick delivery and quick wordplay. Throughout “Balmain,” Mio Flux’s complex instrumental arrangement pulses with an insistent ring. Clipped twinkles of percussion take turns in the spotlight with throbs of subtle chillwave beats. On “Balmain,” Mio Flux shows off his production work with impressive timing, steady tones, and dynamic rhythms.
Listen to “Balmain” here and read on for a Q&A with Jacob Bartoli, the mastermind behind Mio Flux:
Buzz Artist: First, can you tell Buzz Artist a little about yourself and your music?
Mio Flux: My name is Jacob Bartoli, known as Mio Flux in the music world, and I started really focusing on my production about a year and a half ago and have never looked back.
BA: What is the music scene like in Northampton, England and how has it influenced your work?
MF: The music scene in Northampton is very indie-based. This really influenced my first single as it is a remix of “Across the Water,” a song by local indie band called Sarpa Salpa. I put my own twist on it, making it into a house track and getting local rapper Leo Robinson on the track as well. This resulted in it becoming the track of the week on BBC Introducing in my local area.
BA: What’s the story behind your stage name?
MF: I come from an Italian origin; ‘Mio’ meaning ‘My’ in Italian and ‘Flux’ in English being another word for movement, so it combines my two nationalities.
BA: What is your general production process like? What programs do you use, how do you create beats, etc?
MF: It usually starts with the main part of the song if it’s the lead instrument for the song or the drop. I use Logic Pro X and tend to use software instruments for the main parts and drum samples for the actual beat.
BA: What was the production process like for your upcoming single, “Balmain”?
MF: “Balmain” was not meant to be created at all. I had already sent a couple of trap beats for rapper Patchy, the Rockstar to put vocals on and one night I was just messing about with a de-tuned piano and it kind of just happened. I then sent it to him and within a week, we had a single ready to go. I believe this is the best way to make music — to not force creation in any way.
BA: You used to sing for indie-funk band Perfect Circles, but you made the switch to electronic producing instead. What made you go that route?
MF: I really wanted to collaborated with a wide range of people. In a band, it is a very different set-up, and I knew production was more my strength, so I knew it was a good decision.
BA: Who are your biggest inspirations, both musically and personally?
MF: Diplo is a massive inspiration to me, from his music to what he believes in. He’s a human being who really has explored the world musically and culturally — something I really aspire to do.
BA: Production is a hugely collaborative art form. What do you like about working with other musicians?
MF: I love the different takes other artists have on my tracks and I think it can make songs so much more interesting to have multiple people feature and collaborate together. My favourite part is sending a beat or a backing to an artist and getting their vocals sent back. I get so excited to hear what their take on the song has been and how it sounds.
BA: If you could collaborate with one vocalist and one producer, who would they be?
MF: Vocalist would be the The Weeknd as he has a versatile voice and can cover so many genres. The producer would have to be Diplo. He’s a workaholic and produces the best out of artists.
Buzz Artist: Finally, what’s next for Mio Flux?
Mio Flux: My new single “Balmain” with Patchy, the Rockstar, is out now on Spotify, iTunes, etc. If it goes down well, Patchy and I might have something else to share.