INTERVIEW: Muo Duo
Made up of brother and sister Miles From Space and Winter, Muo Duo are two rising talents of note. Having collaborated with the likes of legendary Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins, Guapdad 4000 and Casshan for their latest single 'Subatomic', the pair will be releasing an exciting six-track EP this June, adding yet another sure-fire project to their growing discography.
We caught up with the multi-faceted duo to hear about their single 'Music Machine', the production process behind it, iconic collaborations, and much more.
Hi Muo Duo, thanks for joining us here at Flex. Let’s start by talking about how this legendary duo came into place - what made you decide to form this alias?
It’s interesting because we both picked up music separately. The pandemic actually brought the 2 of us together. We were living as mountain hermits in Vermont when it was really bad and decided to start making music as Muo Duo as an escape. Our first recordings were done in a make-shift mattress tent acting as a sound booth. Now we are just trying to keep spreading the good vibes! You’ve recently dropped your latest track ‘Music Machine’ alongside iconic Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins. How did this collaboration come into place?
I️ felt like my production style matched with Mick Jenkins really well, having jazz and soul influences. He was a musician that I️ always looked up to as I️ was playing music out in Chicago while I️ was going to college there. So I️ reached out to him with the beat and concept for Music Machine and the rest is history.
Can you walk us through the production processes behind ‘Music Machine’ - how did you create it?
The foundation for that track is the piano and percussion, which are made from samples. Over that, I️ played all of the brass - trumpets and French horns, as well as some extra synth parts here and there. I️ wanted an epic, orchestral sound to it and that instrumentation always feels good to listen to. It also reflects the message of never giving up on a dream! After making the beat I️ knew immediately that Mick’s sound and style would fit.
We’re really enjoying the indie-pop meets hip-hop vibe that you both bring to your releases. What would you both say are your strongest influences in the scene right now? and can you name three of your favourite records of all time?
In terms of strongest influences I️ would say the Beatles for their songwriting talent. Tyler the Creator is a big inspiration because of what he is doing breaking the boundaries of the hip hop genre. Miles Davis is a big influence on my trumpet playing, being so melodic and out of the box. And of corse, Chicago artists like Saba and Mick Jenkins. Saba is definitely the number one artist I️ would like to collab with next! Three favorite records of all time: Let It Be by The Beatles, Igor by Tyler the Creator, and Kind of Blue by Miles Davis
Winter, we are aware that you have performed on Broadway and played young Elsa in Disney’s production of Frozen, and you currently sing in the children’s chorus at the Met Opera. We’d love to hear about your acting and singing career - how did this all come into place?
I️ started performing when I️ was 7 years old doing community theater productions. When I️ was 10 years old I️ was picked as one of the young Elsa’s in Disney’s Frozen on Broadway. I have been singing in the children's chorus at the Metropolitan Opera since I️ was 7 years old and this year I️ am performing in Turandot and La Boheme at Lincoln center. I have also done some TV work, I have appeared on Manifest and Sesame Street. I’ve always loved acting and singing and I️ just went ahead and followed my dreams and never gave up! Miles, let’s chat about your career as a songwriter, poet and vocalist - how did you get into the music scene?
I️ started out getting classically trained and attended the Juilliard precollege in high school where I️ studied French Horn and composition. It was not easy work and I️ actually struggled a lot with really bad performance anxiety. I️ wasn’t sure if I️ would be able to continue but I️ really loved music and my teacher always told me “you have to learn the rules in order to know how to break them.” Working through that performance anxiety was a difficult task but I slowly built my skills up by putting myself out there. I️ had an amazing time playing around Chicago in a college indie rock band called Purple Corporation. We dropped an EP but were unable to continue playing together because of the pandemic. I️ also am working on a documentary film project with the STAGE Lab at the Molecular Engineering Institute at the University of Chicago. I️ have been composing and producing the music on their first two episodes. Using the knowledge and practice from all of my musical adventures I️ started writing music for Muo Duo. Other than being an artist, what other passions or hobbies do you both have in life?
I️ was actually a biology major in college. If I️ wasn’t doing music I️ would probably be trying to become a doctor right now. I️ was also an astrophysics minor and so you can hear a lot of space references in our music. Listening to Muo Duo is taking a ride on our sonic spaceship. We really care about the environment as well as social justice and you can hear those themes come through in our songs as well. Winter creates cabaret fundraisers to help raise awareness and funds to save ocean life. We has also appeared in cabarets to to raise money for the food insecure here in NYC as well as fundraising for St Jude’s cancer hospital. What can we expect to see next from Muo Duo? Are there any upcoming releases or collaborations you’d like to mention? Our next drop is on April 12; a new single called Subatomic featuring professional Muay Thai fighter and rapper Casshan and big-time California rapper Guapdad 4000. We’re really excited about this next one because it brings some great energy! After that we are dropping a full 6 song EP with these songs included. So some big things coming up from Muo Duo in the next couple months!
Check out Muo Duo's single 'Music Machine' alongside legendary rapper Mick Jenkins here:
Check out our personal favourite track from Muo Duo entitled 'Subatomic', featuring Guapdad4000 and Casshan here: