Name: Michael Miethig
Occupations: Producer, DJ
Nationality: German
Current Release: InnelleIea's Distorted Youth EP is out now via Afterlife. Get tickets for his 2022 live tour here.
Recommendations: Everything by Olafur Eliasson and "Love On A Real Train" by Tangerine Dream

Since its inception in 2013, Innelea has made regular appearances on Afterlife, the imprint by Italian duo Tale of Us. He has also worked with and remixed artists like Stephan Bodzin, Monolink, Edu Imbernon, and Ruede Hagelstein.

[Read our Tale of Us interview]
[Read our Stephan Bodzin interview]
[Read our Monolink interview]
[Read our Edu Imbernon interview]
[Read our Ruede Hagelstein interview]

If you enjoyed this interview with Innellea, visit his official website for further information. To stay in touch with his work, check out his profiles on Instagram, Soundcloud, bandcamp, and Facebook.

When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?

It was in March 2013. I made a track together with my friend Max (Yubik) in my basement. I was mainly influenced by all the Ed Banger artists back then.

For most artists, originality is preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you: How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice?

I had an extremely naive approach to creating music in the beginning. I taught myself everything without taking part in masterclasses or schools. This way I created my own style without forcing it and without really realizing it even if it may have taken a little longer and it was a bit more difficult this way.

How do you feel your sense of identity influences your creativity?

It influences it a lot. My whole surroundings lead to what I am writing in the studio at the end.

What were your main creative challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?

My main challenge was to accept that I have to learn to accept things as they are. i.e. There are days when the creative process is easier or days when nothing works and creativity is simply not there.

To fuel my creativity it is helpful for me to go skating. That is the only moment where I can completely switch off stuck thoughts.

As creative goals and technical abilities change, so does the need for different tools of expression, be it instruments, software tools or recording equipment. Can you describe this path for you, starting from your first studio/first instrument? What motivated some of the choices you made in terms of instruments/tools/equipment over the years?

When it comes to getting new tools I always look for something that influences my workflow in a positiv way. I also love to buy tools that let me think outside my own box and open up new ways to creating music.

Have there been technologies or instruments which have profoundly changed or even questioned the way you make music?

Sampling changed a lot. It opened a whole new world for me.

Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?

I love to collaborate with likeminded people as well as with people coming from a completely different genre.

The best and most creative way to collaborate is to jam together in my opinion. But sometimes it’s way more comfortable to send stems back and forth due to the distance – a shout out to the Internet here.

Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please. Do you have a fixed schedule? How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other - do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?

When I want to be as productive as possible I have a strict routine. I wake up, drink a coffee and grab a "breze" while walking to the studio. Then I stay there until I am hungry and grab something to eat for lunch.

After that I grab a coffee, go back and work until I am hungry again and then I go home. I often go skating. I try to go as much as I can as it is the only way to switch off completely.

Can you talk about a breakthrough work, event or performance in your career? Why does it feel special to you? When, why and how did you start working on it, what were some of the motivations and ideas behind it?

There are some milestones where I realized that I am doing something that people like. For example Cercle, BBC1 Essential Mix or playing at the massive Paintworks in London.

For all those events I prepared a lot and was putting a lot of effort into it.

There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? What supports this ideal state of mind and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?

The biggest distraction for creativity is my smartphone. That’s why I switch it off during my creative process.

As mentioned before Skateboarding and sports in general helps me a lot to gain new inspiration.

Music and sounds can heal, but they can also hurt. Do you personally have experiences with either or both of these? Where do you personally see the biggest need and potential for music as a tool for healing?

Music for me personally only can heal. It can help you while going through difficult phases in live, it can support positive moments and experiences and it connects people.

It is a language anybody on this planet understands and that’s why it is so special for me.

There is a fine line between cultural exchange and appropriation. What are your thoughts on the limits of copying, using cultural signs and symbols and the cultural/social/gender specificity of art?

You always have to be aware of what you’re doing and respect all those things, symbols etc.!

Our sense of hearing shares intriguing connections to other senses. From your experience, what are some of the most inspiring overlaps between different senses - and what do they tell us about the way our senses work?

Feeling, listening and smelling at the same time can create something very special in my mind. Our senses are infinite.

Art can be a purpose in its own right, but it can also directly feed back into everyday life, take on a social and political role and lead to more engagement. Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?

As an artist I want to create more then just music. I am following the approach of taking the listener into the holistic world of Innellea. A world where sound, vision, art and fashion melt into one.

What can music express about life and death which words alone may not?

It is telling stories while stimulating our personal feelings.