Midwxst 2023 Press Conference
On September 14th 2023, Music Mondays had the chance to sit in an exclusive invite-only press conference for underground rising star Midwxst. Hosted by Universal Music Group in collaboration with 1824 we discussed E3, early years and much more in this exclusive Music Mondays article.
The Music Mondays staff had the opportunity to partner with UMG’s 1824 program to interview Midwxst during a press release for his new album E3. E3 is a narrative concept album which circles around the titular character E3. He’s part Edgar, and part fiction. Contained within the tracks, there’s stories of family, romance, and angst; all of which paint a picture of a modern early 20 something pop star. In our limited time with the artist, we had a candid discussion about traversing school as a growing musician and the alternative rock influences that have been incorporated throughout much of his discography, including E3.
Music Mondays: You were super young when you started making music and gaining popularity. What was your high school experience like before you became a successful musician, and how did that change after you found that success?
Midwxst: Ooh, this is gonna be a good one. Not gonna lie, I was very, very– I was like a social butterfly in high school, in the sense that I didn’t have a friend group. I had like four friends that I still consider [my friends] and hang out with, and call my friends to this day. And those were like, the only four people I would be around and would hang out with. Then I’d be cool with everybody else, but that only started to happen in senior year of high school, like senior or junior year. All of the other years of high school in some way shape or form– not even [just] high school but middle school too, from 7th grade all the way until 10th grade, I got bullied, straight up. It was what it was, like I was the shortest kid in the grade, bro, I had a fauxhawk. I understand the fauxhawk hate, but everything else wasn’t valid. Everything else was like… I was just here. I was the only person in school wearing GOLF, the only person in school wearing all of this flashy, like, very me clothing. I had an identity and understanding of who I was mad early, and I got judged for that, like OD. I got shoved in lockers, like, really on some high school shit, I got shoved into lockers. After that, bro, I got sent to the principal’s office because me and this kid got mad at each other– and this sounds crazy, but I bit his ear! It was a whole lot of stuff.
It wasn’t a great time for me, but at the same time, I’d say that senior year of high school was the best time in my life even though it was in the pandemic. I was in school and we had restrictions, because we had to have that social distancing and mandates and all that stuff, but all of those things were things that were very, very, very, very important. But at the same time, I might dislike the high school experience that I had to some extent [...] but the parts that were good were good. Like, my friends– with my friends, I had a great time. The schools also just didn’t help with the [situation], like it was very divided, and like racially-wise there were a handful of black kids, the rest of the school was big PWI vibes. It definitely was a little hard for people to be themselves because they all [felt like] they had to act like someone from any other surrounding or friend group.
Nowadays, bro, everybody be trying to hit me but I don’t talk to any of them, so it’s like… [laughs] you feel me? It makes me feel happy because at the end of the day, there were so many people who were just doubtful of the fact that what I was doing– like, I remember vividly talking with my friend like, “Yo, I’m about to go down to Arizona and shoot this video for ‘Trying’.” Like I’m kind of scared, it’s the first time I’m ever about to do this shit, like really spend money on and invest in myself and into my music. And there was a kid that [was like], “Man, you don’t even need to shoot that shit, that shit ass.” Just for no reason, but then it’s like the exact same kid and– there’s like two stories of this happening, where people would doubt me or be very rude to me upfront about my music or some sort of thing about me, and then like a year and a half later I get some sort of accolade or something happens and they send me the text like, “Hey man, I hope you’ve been well” and all of those things, like… be so for real right now. I’m not that type of person, I’m not a petty person, but at the end of the day bro, you treat people how you treat people [and] you don’t have to respect people. Especially if they feel like they can try to step back into your life after causing you that harm, you’ve gotta protect yourself. That’s what my mom told me, it’s what my family told me, and it’s what high school taught me too [...].
That’s the reason why I feel so happy now, because that was such a big portion of me and my life, like overthinking so many things and being critical and surrounding myself [with bad people], picking up bad habits for no reason, simply because I was just in high school around the wrong people. And it’s like, being able to sit here and be like, “That’s not me”, and I can hate that stuff and dislike that stuff– it’s cool to me, because it just shows that it’s growth and understanding, not just sitting with the exact same emotions I felt in algebra class, you feel me?
Music Mondays: It’s great that you’ve been through your tough times in high school and you’ve still managed to keep your self-expression through your style, your music, and your fashion intact, and it definitely paid off.
Midwxst: Thank you, man.
Music Mondays: Of course. For our next question, pivoting back to your music, there’s a lot of rock influence on E3 and throughout your music in general. What are some of your favorite rock or rock-adjacent bands that inspired you to integrate those influences into your music?
Midwxst: I’m not gonna lie, I’d say early Green Day and… I’m trying to think of an accurate one. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of this band called Movements that I really fuck with. There’s this one band called A Beacon School that’s really, really good, like I really love them. And all of those– like, those are my top three I’d say for rock influences. That and [XXXTentacion], X is like, completely a different league in a sense.
I’ve always liked alternative music, and I’m a big fan of guitars, if my instrumental past has not revealed that enough. I just love acoustic guitars, like, ugh, just something about it. And especially, like– I have a lot of friends who make a lot of acoustic music like Jane Remover and quannnic, both of them. And quannnic damn near makes shoegaze! That’s the type of stuff I like listening to as well. I like listening to and indulging in that, [so] them too, in a sense. But a lot of times, it’s really just Green Day and– uh, I’ll throw All-American Rejects in there too just for ‘Gives You Hell’, that’s one of those songs that I can relate to. That’s one of those ones.
Music Mondays: That’s a classic.
Midwxst: Nah, for real. But, as far as I can think right now, that’s like most of the biggest influences on there. And for like, intertwining it with everything, Dominic Fike and, um– gosh, golly, I remember we pulled up an inspiration playlist [...]. But just in the sense of reflection and being able to talk about like, very very sensitive things to the heart, and in a way that everybody can understand it.
After our inquiries about his growing stardom throughout high school as well as his longtime incorporation of rock influences into his own personal style of music, Music Mondays traded our goodbyes and thanks with Midwxst as *1824 pivoted to Files For Later and the rest of the publications in attendance to further pick the artists’ brain and discuss E3. The album was executive produced by Sophie Gray, and he explained how her contributions pushed him as an artist outside of his comfort zone. Whether trying a different melody run, or retooling lyrics, her fingers are all over this project. Midwxst also went on a tangential rant about the Cars 2 multi-layer plotline. Despite all of the angst and romance fueled resentment present on the album, it was evident that he remains in good spirits following the release of his album.
Follow Midwxst: twitter.com/midwxst
Follow 1824: twitter.com/1824Official
Follow Maria Kate: twitter.com/gayidiot49
Written By Rei Low & xoarctic
Transcribed By xoarctic
Follow Rei Low: twitter.com/_rocktimist
Follow xoarctic: twitter.com/xoxoarctic