Darius Ivey is drawing on his own experiences for his album Midnight Lumineon. Combining a range of influences, he plays every instrument and inundates you with his soundscape. We sat down with Darius Ivey to talk about the album, musical influences, working with producers and much more!
OSR: What first drew you to making your own music?
Ivey: I don’t know, I was always sort of a creative person growing up and I got a guitar for Christmas one year, and although I wasn’t immediately drawn to it. It kept calling me and eventually stole my heart. I really just wanted to be like Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix, although I wouldn’t have admitted that in high school.
OSR: Is there a backstory or theme to your album Midnight Lumineon?
Ivey: I wouldn’t say there’s a backstory, but the theme is (at least for me) about healing, and acceptance of where you are, where you’ve been and who you are. You know, I’m 26 now and I was sort of just letting go of that teenage angst that was residing in me on these records.
OSR: This album is less abstract than your previous releases, what prompted this change?
Ivey: Similar thing you know? I just like, wanted to grow up a little bit and conform to non-conformity. Also, adjust the frequency a bit, something the typical ear could get down with.
OSR: Did you find it easier or harder to create the album because it was different to what you have done before?
Ivey: Honestly it was no different, the songs just sort flowed out of me like a river. I definitely would say I put more effort into the sound and production of the album, but I can’t say it was harder, no.
OSR: Many of the tracks have a very personal basis, how easy do you find it to translate these personal moments into music?
Ivey: Uhm, yeah, I just was finding a lot of the music I’ve been hearing from other artists difficult to relate to, so I thought I’d be somewhat more personal for myself and for whoever else feels the same way. That was the goal for sure. I mean I’m not too into specifics with my art like it can be personal but still sort of open for others to feel, its not like a journal entry you know? It’s sort of just like okay, I’ll admit I have felt this way before since nobody else wants to. I just think we need to do that type of thing in order to grow as a people, we need to acknowledge certain things.
OSR: What do you feel is the biggest influence on your sound?
Ivey: On my sound? Uhm (laughs) it’s honestly not what you think if we’re talking about just purely the sound and like the all-around vibe, I’d have to say like Sade or Jhene Aiko, honestly, at least for this album. If we’re talking content and lyrics. Probably like the world honestly just my experiences, I’m sorry if that’s sounds cliche or whatever, but yeah.
OSR: The track ‘Midnight Violet’ is the first where you have worked with another producer. How did you find this process?
Ivey: Yeah well it was cool jamming with Wino, he used to produce records for my pops back in the day, so I thought it’d be cool to work with him. I learned a lot in that session, it was a 10-hour session, all just on the instrumental, all on the same day. It honestly came out better than I expected and it really just feels like a dream when I listen to it. Big shout out to Wino for that.
OSR: If people could feel only one emotion while listening to the album, what would you like that to be?
Ivey: I would like for them to feel euphoria or ecstasy. Like they’re on drugs, but they can stop the trip whenever they want.
OSR: Is there a track on the album that holds a special place in your heart?
Ivey: Yes! ‘Sunset Static’, I wrote that intro when I was like 17, and I was like to myself: “I’m gonna finish this one day, but I want to wait until the time is right and I truly understand what it is this song is saying”. I finally got around to it and everything just came together so beautifully and I’m just glad I waited. It really speaks to the world of my teenage years, the world before I was born, and the world today. Makes me proud ya know and the music is just, I feel like an astronaut listening to it.
OSR: What else can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
Ivey: I actually just plan on collaborating with other artists more all 2021. Whether that be through music, scoring films, making music videos, etc. I just really want to help people and to get some help with my art. I don’t know, I’m really into the community of art and if I learned anything from watching interviews and docs on artists, it’s that we really are better off working together, and painting the world with the colours we all want to see collectively. A happy medium.