Exploring the healing power of sound with Sarkis Mikael

Exploring the healing power of sound with Sarkis Mikael

Sarkis Mikael is a Los Angeles-based skilled music producer, DJ, and audio engineer known for his talent in blending traditional instruments with modern production techniques.

Photo credit: Sarkis Mikael- Official

With an ability to create soul-stirring experiences, Sarkis takes listeners on a journey through his diverse electronic soundscapes. Drawing inspiration from a wide range of global influences, he seamlessly combines the organic and synthetic, resulting in music that is both physical and emotional.

As the founder of Sound of Symmetry and co-founder of NCTRNL Records, Sarkis has dedicated years to building an electronic music community centered around the healing power of sound. From his state-of-the-art studio, Finaltone, he collaborates with renowned artists, utilizing a combination of analog and digital equipment to expertly mix and master their tracks.

In this interview with EG, Sarkis Mikael shared insights into his latest projects and upcoming endeavors.

EG: Hi, Sarkis! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? How did you kickstart your year?

Sarkis Mikael: Hello! It’s great to be back on your mix series. I received amazing feedback on my last mix on EG, and I’m excited to share the new one. 2024 is looking good so far with lots of new projects, collaborations, and mixing/mastering in the pipeline.

EG: So, we know you’ve been quite busy with your Sound of Symmetry project. Can you explain to us what the project entails and what your future plans for it are?

Sarkis Mikael: I am excited to have rebranded my Deep House LA project to Sound of Symmetry. Since 2017, we’ve hosted numerous artists we love for mixes, premieres, free downloads, and events. This year, I am happy to launch the record label aspect and some unique collaboration events, which will be announced soon.

EG: And what can we expect from Sound of Symmetry as a label? What are some of your expectations for it? What would “success” mean for you regarding it?

Sarkis Mikael: The label will focus on releasing my unreleased tracks, collaborations, and remixes while gradually adding more artists to the roster. Success for me would mean a consistent release of quality music and curating international showcases.

EG: And in the studio? What have you been up to yourself? Is there anything you can anticipate on that front?

Sarkis Mikael: I am always working on improving my sound and experimenting with different genres, even if some may never get released. Additionally, I’m incorporating more live instruments to prepare for live/hybrid sets in the coming year, including guitar, keys, percussion, and vocals.

“Success for me would mean a consistent release of quality music and curating international showcases”

EG: Are there any upcoming collaborations as well? How do you decide who you want to collaborate with? What makes for a good team-up?

Sarkis Mikael: I love collaborations because they allow me to connect with fellow musicians and producers on a deeper level, and we learn from each other in the process. I collaborate with artists I personally connect with or whose work inspires me. Good teamwork, in my opinion, involves proper communication and flexibility.

I have many collaborations in the pipeline, including with Nick Warren, Sabo, Sebu (of Capital Cities), Hrag Mikkel, Nhii, Double Touch, Ali Farahani, Rasi Z, Galestian, WEND, St. Terrible, Arash Avin, KOAST, and others. You can listen to the Nick Warren and Hrag Mikkel collaborations on the EG Mix.

EG: Now, as a DJ, where would you say you are at the moment? What is the unique spice to your sets?

Sarkis Mikael: The most fulfilling part for me is playing my original unreleased tracks and edits, although I also enjoy playing other tracks. There is a unique connection when the crowd resonates with my own music. Additionally, I am incorporating hybrid sets with my guitar and with other musicians when possible.

EG: Also, you have been DJing sober, right? When did you first decide to do so? What are some of the most notable changes that you have noticed?

Sarkis Mikael: Yes, I have been DJing sober for over a decade now. It allows me to fully focus on my set and the experience. A few tracks in, and the music gives me a natural high. It is truly incredible.

EG: Onto a broader subject… the use of AI in music has become quite common after its initial introduction, which raised many eyebrows. What’s your stance on this? Have you contemplated its possibilities? Do you find any potential uses enticing? Would you apply it to the work done at Finaltone?

Sarkis Mikael: AI is a force we can’t ignore, despite its potential negative impacts on society. Currently, I choose to embrace its positive aspects and am curious about its potential. At Finaltone studio, where I mix and master, I’ve recently started experimenting with AI plugins. While they sometimes yield terrible results, they also provide useful insight. However, I haven’t found anything close to replacing the years of experience from an engineer.

“I have been DJing sober for over a decade now. It allows me to fully focus on my set and the experience”

EG: Finally, can you provide some insights into what’s next for Sarkis Mikael:? What’s in store for 2024? Where can your fans catch you next? Can we expect to see you on tour?

Sarkis Mikael: I kicked off the year with a collaboration release with Double Touch on The Soundgarden, and I am looking forward to more releases and collaborations, including with Sabo on Sol Selectas, Nhii on The Sounds of Khemit, Rasi Z and Zababa on Frooogs Records, WEND and St. Terrible on Treavor Moontribe’s Dreaming Awake Records.

As for touring, I’ve started working with the Berlin-based agency ‘Pishi.’ We’re planning numerous dates, including my Los Angeles residencies at Members and La Mesa, Panama, Vancouver, San Diego, a European tour, Burning Man, and more.

EG: Thank you so much for your time, Sarkis! We wish you all the best for the future. Take care!

Sarkis Mikael: Thank you so much for having me and for supporting my music!

EG.975 Sarkis is out now. Listen here.

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