It’s rare to meet a musician who is humble enough to refer to his own work as a music collective, but that’s never the less the case with Emil Wilk, better known as M.I.L.K.

With Curtis Mayfield as one of his main heros in songwriting, and a musical sound heavily inspired by funk, it’s hard not to think of flowing and smooth summerdays where time slips away between your fingers. Especially M.I.L.K’s newest single ‘Following The Sun‘ encourages nothing but hammocks, ignorantly ignoring all responsibility like the adult you are and of course cocktails.

We met with Emil on a grey Roskilde Festival day to talk about how everyone around him is part of making his musical vision come to life and about all the milk jokes he’s enduring these days.

TORSDAG_MILK_EMILMOLLER08

BS: Hi Emil, I actually brought milkshakes. Do you want vanilla or chocolate?
M: You did?! Oh thank you that’s fun! I’ll go with vanilla.

I don’t know if that joke is getting old between you and your friends now but I thought I’d go for it anyways. Is the name something you joke about?
We haven’t actually joked a lot about milkshakes, but we’ve joked a lot about how I should have my face on milk cartons. One of my friends also suggested that I get a sponsorship from a milkshake company so we could get some free milkshakes.

Let’s get to the juice or milk (sorry). How did you find out that you wanted to make music?
A lot of my friends were doing it and it seemed fun. Basically all of the different projects I’ve been doing have involved me trying something out and then learning as I went along. From the first time I was in the studio it just caught on, and I found out that this was the only thing I wanted to do. Fuck everything else, this is the only thing I want to do.

So it came pretty naturally to you?
The first time I was in the studio I was just messing around with some friends for the fun of it. They were the ones who taught me how to structure a song and everything else you need to know about creating proper work. First I spent half a year on getting to know the ins and outs of the studio and that fase was super frustrating, because it was such a steep learning curve. In those six months I spent 10 hours a day in the studio, just messing around and getting my friends to show me how every little detail works. From then on I started to feel like I knew how to approach things and that made the process pretty natural.

TORSDAG_MILK_EMILMOLLER07

A lot of people say your taste in music comes from your parents. Is there a specific artist that comes to mind when you think of your mom or dad?
I was living in Bornholm (a small island in Denmark) so all of my musical inspiration actually comes from my parents. There were no cool kids to introduce me to the newest music so I didn’t discover anything other than what my parents were playing, and one of those artists was Curtis Mayfield. Of course I was on the internet trying to look for music on my own but it never really caught on the same way. That was the first time I fell in love with music, and the first love is just always stronger than the ones that follow.

Curtis Mayfield and Prince are big heros and great inspiration sources for me. Mayfield is especially inspiring in terms of songwriting and creating heartfelt melodies. I mean bviously I sing about my own life and not the Mississippi River, but I like to take some of the 70’s funk elements from his work and work with it through a modern production. I have some temporary heroes too like Jungle, Blood Orange or Leisure.

You refer to yourself as as music collective. What kinds of associations do you think that creates with people in comparison to just calling yourself a solo artist?
To begin with I called M.I.L.K a music collective because I felt like it was too selfish to call it a solo project. I mean, I have my manager, my friends who play in the band, there’s photographers, and even journalists that I do interviews with who are all part of creating this musical vision. In that way I wouldn’t call it a solo project.

TORSDAG_MILK_EMILMOLLER03

This is your first time as an artist performing at Roskilde Festival although you’ve been a guest for almost ten years. Has performing here always been a dream of yours?
A huge dream since forever! I’ve always just been a regular guest here and then my friends started playing and every year I got one step closer to playing myself. And then I realized that it actually is possible to get a chance to play here. I wanted to have one big collective party so I brought along all the friends who helped get the project to where it is now, and having them there made it even greater to be on stage.

Roskilde describes your music as the kind you “Lay on the grass and listen to”. Do you have any specific artist or genre that you like to put on if you’re doing that yourself?
Leisure is in that category i think. That would be good for just laying in the grass or on the beach. Or Laid-Back, the old danish duo from the 80’s. Another good danish band for hanging out is Poolside.

TORSDAG_MILK_EMILMOLLER01

For people who have been at Roskilde for many years there’s often a lot of tradition in the things you do here. Is there anything you always do when you come here?
Well I don’t drink many half-liter pints at home but when I get here I always have have them, it’s my main tradition.

One last question, if you could choose any age to back to, which one would that be?
I’ve never given my age much thought, only when I was a kid and wanted to be a grownup. I would actually like to be 16 and know everything that I know now. I was kind of a late bloomer and I only found out very late what I wanted to do with my life, so I would love to go back to being 16 but still knowing everything that I know today.

Thanks M.I.L.K!

 

Coincidentally the first remix of ‘Following The Sun‘ is premiering today, Craves is the man behind this beauty and this is what Emil had to say about him:

“I fell in love with Craves from the first time I heard his stuff. Actually I don’t think i’ve been more psyched discovering an electronic artist since I first came across SBTRKT or Jai Paul or other producers of their caliber.”