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Milky Day

2nd October 2023

Interview: Flora Grafton

Korean-New Zealander, Milky Day, is taking the music industry by storm yet again with his newly released single “Losing My Grip”.

Having amassed over 600,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, the Australian-based artist and producer is the gift that keeps on giving. He takes the listener on a lucid journey through relaxed synths and soulful R&B, while still translating his own passion and sentiment through his music.

The song was swiftly followed by his latest EP, Impulses, which, too, has success written all over it.

Hi, Milky Day! How are you?

Hi there! I’m great, thanks for asking. 

So, we’re here today to discuss your newest single “Losing My Grip” which was released ahead of your EP. I’ve listened to the song myself and it almost feels like a tangible lucid dream – it’s amazing! Can you talk me through the journey of the song? What did it look like in its infancy and how has that transformed into the final product?

Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the track! I started off by producing the beat first, where I experimented with various retro-sounding synths and blending them with a more R&B-style rhythm and bassline. I then started playing around with different hook ideas when I came up with the “I’m losing my grip, losing my grip’ melody, which sounded quite unique and compelling to me.

The rest of the lyrics came quite naturally to me after that, since the theme had been established from the hook - during the writing process, I was reflecting back to some of the darker, sort of gloomy times I had experienced the previous years and channeling those feelings into this song. After writing the lyrics/melody, I made some final touches (such as brushing up the transitions, adding subtle textures and supporting instrumentation, etc.) and that’s how the final product came about! 

Can I ask what made you choose to release “Losing My Grip” as a single over the other songs on the EP?

I had worked on a music video for “Losing My Grip” earlier this year with a creative collective based in New York called Soulace. They’re good friends of mine, and we had worked really hard on this project for months leading up to the shoot. I was really happy with how the music video turned out and wanted to give it a chance to be in the spotlight before releasing it alongside the rest of the songs in my EP, so we decided to release it a few weeks in advance as a single. Please check it out if you haven’t already, you won’t regret it - it’s available to view on Youtube.

I understand the song is a reflection of your own battles with mental health – would you say writing this song acted as a form of therapy/catharsis for you?

Yeah, I’ve always found that music is a great way to vent some of my frustrations, anxieties, heartbreak, etc. I guess instead of bottling up these negative feelings, it helps to make it into a tangible song and be able to view it as a passing chapter in my life. And by revisiting these feelings in the song-writing process, it forces me to reflect deeply about my emotions and confront them more directly.

And now that it is complete, do you feel the journey from beginning the song and finalising the whole EP has been a transformative one for you?

Yes, for sure. I’m more used to writing about themes related to love and heartbreak in the past, but this time, I wrote about topics that are a lot darker and more personal. Moreover, I experimented with sounds and techniques that I hadn’t really tried using in the past, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and expanding my musical toolkit. 

I think the song is amazing and the poignancy and sentiment is felt with every word. 

So, as mentioned, “Losing My Grip” was released ahead of your new EP 'Impulses', which is also out now! Can you walk me through the EP – did you want to share something different with each song or would you say they run coherently?

I tried to tell a cohesive and compelling story with my EP “Impulses”. The EP opens with the first track “Temptations,” an introspection of oneself and the pondering of life’s questions. It leads to “Aura,” which is an attempt to escape from one’s inner demons through self-medication. “Losing My Grip” is pretty self explanatory - the self-medication is only a temporary solution, so everything comes crashing down with one ultimately ‘losing grip’ on reality. “Rest in Peace” is the metaphorical death that ensues, followed by the last track, “So Good”, where one finally comes to terms with everything and discovers inner peace. To get a better understanding of this narrative, I think the EP is best listened from beginning to end without any breaks! 

What were the inspirations for Impulses?

Last year, I went through a pretty low period in my life. I had been laid off from my job, gone through a break up, and adjusting to life in a new city. It was also when I decided to pursue music full-time, opening up a lot of uncertainty and doubt in my life. I thought that perhaps these feelings were something a lot of people could relate to, so I wanted to write an EP to represent the process of confronting and overcoming life’s challenges.

What three words would you use to describe the EP?

Vulnerable, moody, and atmospheric.

Do you have a favourite song on "Impulses" and if so, which one?

It’s difficult to pick a favorite, but I enjoyed collaborating on ‘Aura’ with my close friend and fellow artist Sway Bleu. It’s been a long time since we worked on a track together, so it was good to blend our sounds together again. I also like “So Good” because of the transition the track goes through (from gloomy/angsty to brighter colors) and the groove of the final drop. 

I understand Impulses differs in tone from your usual music. What prompted you to alter your style this time?

Well, the theme or messages in the EP were clearly darker, so I had to be intentional with my sound selection to match that energy. But I also just wanted to try things I hadn’t done before so that I could push myself as an artist and expand my palette of sounds. For example, some new things I tried out during the creation of this EP were focusing on transitions (including a lot of beat-switches), playing around more with using more synths, and experimenting with the House genre.

Now, you obviously reside in Australia but are a big hit globally – right here in the UK too, of course. Can your fans expect anything else from you…maybe a tour?!

I would love to go on tour! I’ve been performing a lot more this year actually - I just came back from a couple of shows in Thailand and Vietnam recently. I believe a US tour is on the roadmap for early next year, but the details are yet to be confirmed. It would be so awesome to visit the UK sometime as well, I’ve never been there and I love traveling so I hope to perform there soon!!

I like to end all my interviews with the same question: what would your Mastermind specialist subject be? (To put it into context, it’s essentially a topic that I could quiz you on now without any revision – it can be super niche). 

My Mastermind specialist subject would have to be ‘music production’. It’s how my musical journey began and what I love doing! 

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