Q&A: MAGIK*MAGIK

How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you?
Minna: Hello my name is Minna and I kind of wish I was Bjork, but you can’t always get what you want, so here’s my version of what I wish I was.

What are you currently working on?
Minna: I’m currently working on music directing a live show called Pop-Up Magazine. It’s an evening of non-fiction short stories that goes up twice a year with new stories every time. It’s never recorded. As music director, I’m in charge of outfitting a handful of the stories with background music to make them more dramatic, like a film score. For this iteration of the show, we are taking it out to other cities (LA, Chicago, NY, Portland and Seattle). Our SF shows will be at the Nourse Theater on Oct 7th and Davies Symphony Hall on Oct 8th. The Nourse show is sold out but the Davies show still has tickets. I highly recommend attending if you can! It’s a feast of creativity for writers, designers and musicians.

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Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
I’m a really music-y musician. What I mean by that is that the fastest way to write music by listening to other music and having that spark your ideas. Music breeds music for me. Just like conversation breeds conversation. If you want to start swimming, you just gotta jump into the pool at some point. Thinking and prepping about doing it will not get you very far.

When I first started writing the songs for the record, my producer Nathan would send me home with little prompts. Sometimes the prompts were non-musical (like think of quality in nature, or a movie, or a poem) and sometimes the prompts were musical (a 16 bar beat he created for me at 80bpm). Without fail, the musical prompts were by far more fruitful than the non-musical ones. The musical prompts felt like someone was asking me “how was your day?” The non-musical prompts felt like someone was trying to draw me a picture of their day and trying to get me to talk back to them. It’s just harder to get the conversation started that way. The first way is a lot faster and natural.

Who has been the biggest influence on your music?
Bjork. She inherently carries so many of my musical ideals within herself, whenever I get stuck, I just look to her and she almost always has some key or answer to get me unstuck.

What is something you learned during the past year?
How to write lyrics.

If you could have an other person’s talent or skill, who and what would it be?
I like to think about other jobs that seem fun. My favorite ones so far are: expeditor at a restaurant, one of those guys that changes tires really fast on race cars, or one of those people who have to control the various camera angles on football games. I don’t know the names of these jobs, but they all have something in common in that the timing has to be perfect. And I love that. I think that’s a big part of what I love about performance, music or otherwise. Timing is everything.

What song would you make into a movie?
Weep. It’s the song I’m most proud of on the record and the most cinematic in my opinion.

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Where’s your favorite place to be in the Bay Area?
My favorite coffee shop is Saint Franks on polk and union. My favorite pizzeria is Tony’s Napoletana in North Beach. My favorite non-SF place to have a nice dinner by the water is Terrapin Crossroads in Marin.

What’s your favorite local venue?
Great American Music Hall, because it’s the last place I played :). And it’s memory is Minna: still rolling around in my body and brain.

Who would you like to see on Monday Morning?
The Dodos. I just love Meric and Logan, I’ve always felt like they’ve had my back.