It is a great year to be Manfred Lim, or as the world knows him: MYRNE. Just this year alone, he released a collaborative album with local singer-songwriter Gentle Bones, played at ULTRA Miami 2018 and is about to play Tomorrowland 2018 in Belgium this July.
We speak with the DJ – Producer – SMU undergrad since his return from Miami, with his thoughts on his exponential success in his music career, his musical breakthroughs and on his upcoming mainstage set at ULTRA Singapore.
Popspoken: Congratulations on performing at ULTRA Miami this year. Was the experience different from how you expected?
Thank you! It was everything that I hoped for. From watching legends play their music to thousands online to being there myself playing a small part left a huge mark on me. One thing that surprised me was that there was a lot more fireworks than advertised.
Popspoken: Last year, you told us it’ll be amazing if you could play at Tomorrowland, and this year you’re announced to be in the line up for Tomorrowland 2018 this July, making yourself the first Singaporean to play for the iconic music festival in Belgium. How are you taking it all in?
It’s surreal too! The festival did their job booking fresh acts for the festival, now it’s my responsibility to throw down and curate my music to new audiences. I’m taking it in my stride.
Popspoken: Earlier this year you and Gentle Bones launched a collab album, “B4NGER PROJECT”, could you share with us one musical breakthrough you experienced in making this album that you’re really proud of?
I’m very surgical with my mixes, owing to dance music being very methodical and formulaic. For this album, we went with something more experimental – leaving unnecessary overtones in samples untouched, letting myself make more mistakes when I record, running his vocals through guitar amps, etc. It really shifted my view on how I’ve been making music for a while.
Popspoken: Some aspiring producers in Singapore find it difficult to meet a like-minded community of producers here. How did you find your community in 2016?
I just went online – I laid out what I was searching for through uploading demos and remixes online, and like-minded producers from all over the world naturally gravitated. I also involved myself in founding and working with labels in the search of new producers (e.g. Daruma, Sola.) I made a lot of friends.
Popspoken: What’s a day in the life of MYRNE.
[rife with sarcasm] Usually I’d start the day with a few meet-the-people sessions, in order to better understand the needs and problems in our community. Thereafter, I’d take a walk in one of Singapore’s many parks to assess the health of our flora – I sometimes spend time planting several trees if I find foliage lacking. Finally, I’d buy a coffee or two from my HDB coffee-shop and return to my jumbo Yishun flat to make some music.
Popspoken: What is your biggest music pet peeve?
It’s always annoying when I see an artist with a distinctive style, sound or genre totally jump ship and put out a pop record that sounds like it could have been made in any random Scandinavian studio. There’s a lot of dance-pop records that have distinctive sound and flavor – like collaborations by Skrillex, Diplo, and Madeon, etc. with their vocalists.
Popspoken: What can we expect from your set at ULTRA Singapore 2018? Would you be playing any songs off B4NGER PROJECT?
I love that project to death, but it has a time and place – thousands of ravers equipped with waterbags aren’t looking to hear sultry tongue-in-cheek pop. But for fans of the project – there’ll be a surprise in store.
Popspoken: Lastly, how would you like MYRNE to be remembered?
I have no idea where my professional life will take me, but I appreciate having the same qualities as who I was before being into music to bleed into any ‘legacy.’ I’m just an ordinary dude with a strong work ethic that doesn’t take anything too seriously.