Midnight Ambassador is the musical alter-ego of André Graça a Portuguese singer-songwriter and producer based in London. Coming from an intense educational background on music (piano, percussion, saxophone and composition) and following education on production and film-making, Midnight Andre is an impressive case of one-man-does-it-all. And he does it all so right.
Following 2018 debut EP, Midnight Ambassador released two highly rotated tracks, with Pleasure being highlighted by DJ Marco Collins and together with All My Love a lot of national radio time in Portugal. Now is back with the game-changer Mirror.
Mirror is for us, first of all, a big surprise. Not in the sense of quality, all of Andre’s musical capacity and flexibility is there once again. But it surprises us in the way the song shifts from Midnight Ambassador more typical tracks. Ranging naturally from Hip Hop to RnB with bits of electronics, this is a very strong song, that can both stick into our heads because of its melodies, but also because it supports the listen with bags and bags of tension and strength. The rap is beyond contagious, and there is a sense of strangeness that turns into something very relatable every time we listen to it.
What was the process behind Mirror in terms of sonority?
For Mirror I started with the bass, I remember having this idea for the longest time but every time I sat down to write it, it just didn’t make sense. One day all of the sudden I was looking at the mirror and poof, there it was, from the bass came the beat. It’s quite a simple one, but it grooves the right way for me. I think the hi hats are definitely something that made this beat feel right.
Instrumentally wise this song doesn’t have a lot of synths going around, it just felt right to have less in this case and built it a lot more vocally, I think we ended up having over 100 vocal tracks.
I had a talk with my band, Dan (Keys), Matt (Bass) and Aiden (Guitar) and they recorded their instruments beautifully. The Piano and the guitars which were split between Aiden and Matt are definitely a highlight, they’re amazing musicians.
So, you looked at the mirror and the lyrics came out?
No joke, it was literally that. The last time a lyric came out this fluently was around Quarantine. These lyrics made so much sense to me, it’s like they had a purpose, they had been stored in my head for a while in a way. I wanted to talk to the man in the mirror which I barely recognized at that time, I wanted there to be a conversation and would try to imagine what he would say back to me, which is essentially the chorus. I’m genuinely happy they came out the way they did.
The track sort of tricks the listener in a good way. The clip is calm but the song is pushy and aggressive in a way. That contrast was intentional?
When I was recording the video I wanted to convey that mirror image, but in this scenario they’re objectively two different people so they’re not mirroring each other.
I wanted there to be tension without it coming off aggressively, because as you said that song already does that on its own. Plus it follows the theme of me sitting on something, just like all my lyric videos. A lyric video with a twist I would say.
Is there a war that the author is living? A false calm in an introspective wart?
I mentioned before that the theme of my upcoming EP, Fragile Igloo, is about being a house that doesn’t feel like a home.
The room where I lived in for the longest time was a really small room with a lot of mirrors, for days a time, aside from work the only person I keep seeing was myself. I guess the theme came from there. I looked at the mirror but I didn’t see much of myself.
I’m much better now and thankfully things are slowly getting better, but it took a lot of time, I guess this song was a way for me to vent, a way for me to convey that things are good between me and that man in the mirror.
Is this your most felt and “internal” song yet?
When I was in the booth recording this song I genuinely felt every single word I was saying. Learning how to convey that energy at a specific moment is something that took me a long time to understand, and I think I’m getting there.
I think it helped that I could see a bit of my reflection of myself in the window of the booth. I had a great time recording this single and I’m so happy to finally release it.
Mirror will be part of Fragile Igloo, Midnight’s next E.P.. We can’t wait for it. Every track that Midnight Ambassador releases has an hit stamp on it.