by Silke Hartung

NewTracks New Artist: Mish & Greeen

by Silke Hartung

NewTracks New Artist: Mish & Greeen

Ain’t So Bad is the latest single by Ōtautahi DnB producer duo Mish & Greeen, real names Alex Wilton and Nigel Greene. Featuring local singer Ciara Comber the song’s self-reflective but positive vibe convinced NZ On Air Music to include it on their NewTracks compilation this March.

What are your names, where are you from and what instruments do you each play?

Alexander James Wilton (Mish) – from Christchurch, reppin’ the Redwood/Papanui suburb. Jammed the recorder as a little sprout, then played the clarinet through intermediate and the beginning of high school. It wasn’t until I stumbled across a Playstation game called Music 2000 by Codemasters that I started the electronic musical journey.

Nigel Anthony Greene (Greeen) – grew up in Lincoln on the outskirts of Christchurch. From a young age he was into music and started playing the violin following his grandfather who was in the CSO. Fell in love with electronic music in his early teens and later started DJing and producing.

Any other previous projects that we might we know you from?

Mish – (formerly known as Misshin). DJ/Producing career kicked off in 2009 with help from one of his very first dubstep tunes Wabbit on Youtube which ended up getting 1.8 million views. Like Greeen, also played a massive part in influencing the bass music culture over the past decade. Ran and performed at the infamous The Fridge at Rhythm and Vines and Rhythm and Alps for several years.

Greeen – an absolute badman on the decks. Discovered electronic music in his later teenage years quickly taking up DJing and went on to start producing in his early 20s. Having worked on many projects and dedicating his time to his passion he’s a massive influence on the drum and bass scene and culture over the past decade. From early days he started a label called 3e Recordings releasing tracks from local producers and worked with vocalist Luice as L&G performing and recording for many years. Featuring on 2 Lost Sonics productions where they combine music with a full outdoor visual spectacle of NZ scenery. Also the sound guy for one of the most heavy-hitting sound systems, Boom Candy.

What’s the background story of how Mish & Greeen came to be? 

An opportunity came up where the two would connect to run and perform at The Fridge at Rhythm & Vines in Gisborne. As the friendship grew, the two would try to collaborate on a track called Misheeen (Machine) but that would get lost on the hard drive with loads of other projects. The Fridge adventures lasted for a few years until the pair decided to join forces in 2019. Both played a bass house set at an event called Bass Daze in April 2019. Lichfield Courtyard was lit up purple that evening and that’s how Mish adopted the colour that identifies himself on stage, whereas Greeen had been rocking the colour for years, hence his last name is Greene with 3 e’s most importantly! (Purple & green – Mish & Greeen). The first event together was Boom Candy’s regular outdoor event, Bush Doof in 2020, playing after dubstep heavyweights Truth and before the OG, Optimus Gryme.

How has your writing evolved from your beginnings in songwriting to now?

Mish – From Music 2000 on the Playstation, to using Pro Tools and Cool Edit Pro to chop and arrange audio, to Fruity Loops (FL Studio) which I still use to this day.

Greeen – Started to dabble with a little Fruity Loops and went on to get a few lessons from a friend who was deep in the production scene (Yuhei Kubo) on Cubase, which he still uses today along with exploring a bunch of different bits of hardware and a stack of modern VSTs.
Now progressing as a duo they have ignited their knowledge by linking up with a tutor and mentor from Germany who has helped harness that self-taught knowledge and take their sound to the next level.

How and when did you come up with the name for the new project?

Mish – Got the name from a friend who said I was always on a mission to go somewhere. Could never stay in the same place for too long. Was always off on an adventure.

Greeen – It’s all in the last name! When it came time to choose a musical alias to represent his sound and style ‘Greeen’ just felt right. We decided after many conversations to stick to our names and the duo Mish & Greeen was born.

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date? 

This release! Getting signed to DnB Allstars was a big milestone for us. Already we’re feeling the love from people all over. And – getting the news, Salmonella Dub was playing one of our tunes we made featuring a sample from one of their iconic tracks in their Sal Dub Soundsystem DJ sets with live vocals and horns!

What makes Ain’t So Bad stand out for you as a single?

Firstly, our approach to this track compared to others was very different. We knew we had something special in our early production before Ciara Comber came on board. Once Ciara sprinkled her magic on the track everything came together perfectly. A lot of emotion was felt throughout the production process.

What’s the story behind Ain’t So Bad?

Like many good things, putting together this song and finding a home for it has taken us on a beautiful journey of its own. Several years ago the melody and bones of the track were written but sat lost on the hard drive in a pile of unfinished songs and terribly labelled project files. When the song was eventually pitched to Ciara at the beginning of 2023, she connected with the track instantly. The captivating lyrics written by Ciara pulled at every heart string and fitted perfectly with the vibe of the song.

Once the track was complete, we were excited to finally find a home for it with DnB Allstars, one of the biggest drum and bass labels in the game right now! We’re all so happy and grateful for how this track turned out! When we have this song on repeat, we sometimes reflect on our own life’s journey and the challenges we’ve endured to get to where we are today. 

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

The pure connection between vocal and musical textures that draw you in from the start with the stunning NZ birdsong filling the atmosphere. Adding that bit of Kiwiana into the track just topped it off.

Who did you record/produce the song with and where? 

We worked with vocal artist Ciara Comber and recorded in Mish’s studio. We met Ciara for the first time at a party at Forest Lodge near Mt Cheeseman. Ciara says she was singing to her friends but never managed to have us in the same room at the same time. Eventually, she found Mish and belted out a song in front of him. He was convinced she’d work well on a track! It still took another year before they’d connect again to record on the track.

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

We want listeners to pick up this track and let it connect with them, reflecting on harder times and empowering their future as an individual in this sometimes turbulent world. Like every human on this planet we all experience rollercoasters of events, challenges, and emotions throughout our lives, so we hope this song connects and fills you with as much inspiration as it has with us!

How do you generally work out what song would make a good single?

The music speaks to us, so we know what to do when it comes to releases. We align the style with the right label and vibe we are trying to release as the next sound for the M&G catalog.

Who else is in your team?

Current release label – DnB Allstars; artist management – This Way Up.

Can you please name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song.

  • Shapeshifter: Monarch
  • State of Mind: Sunking
  • The Upbeats feat. Mara TK: Say Go

Have any previous NZOA applications not gained funding or been included on NewTracks? 

Yes, we have submitted a song to NewTracks but it wasn’t the perfect fit for NZ radio so we pulled back and waited for the right masterpiece to submit with success. Keep pushing your sound! Never give up!

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

There was a Youtube Channel by ARTFX which always has lots of really good content. Well explained and in detail. That would be a good go to, but we always pull info from everywhere depending on what we’re trying to achieve.

Who did you make the video with?

Collaborative ideas from us to the artist at DnB Allstars. The video idea uses our single artwork of a gateway that leads to a beautiful place. That place we decided would feature the lupins from the MacKenzie Country near Lake Tekapo. We often use a purple and green theme.

Any last words?

Keep pushing at what you love. Visualise the goal. Work hard and never give up! Be kind! (Be kind to yourself!) Keep learning! If you could find out what your favourite producers sounded like when they first started, it’d give you plenty of hope and optimism for the future! Much love M&G