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Interview: Mitch & Millie

Mitch & Millie “White Rabbit” (Jefferson Airplane cover) (psychedelic)
https://youtu.be/KHzo7P2rXVw

 
Mitch & Millie is a product of true serendipity. After a highly successful ten-year run with three albums and numerous Grammy nominations, Mitchell Kaneff from The Young Presidents was ready to set off on his next adventure in the music industry. That’s when he discovered that his partner Amelia Leigh Gaw shared the same vision of uplifting the human spirit and finding new pathways of connection. Thus, Mitch & Millie was formed, and the two lovers spent their time during lockdown crafting and curating a sound that melds the past with the present through epic renditions and cover songs. Mitch & Millie make a dynamic team with a creative vision that is truly unique to the modern music scene as they expand into original tracks that are sure to speak to listeners of all generations.

Mitch & Millie take listeners back to the Summer of Love, 1967, with their spin on Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.” The song is a journey through the looking glass into a psychedelic world inspired by the Lewis Carrol classic. Millie takes the lead with her mesmerizing vocals that pull listeners into a hypnotic hallucination of vibrant colors while Mitch strums an addicting tune. The music video brings the distorted reality to life with extravagant costumes, makeup, and otherworldly set designs. It is a true testament to Mitch & Millie’s creative artistry and ability to produce a refreshing take on a song that defined an era in history.

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How did Mitch & Millie come to be? What makes you both a great team?

We started playing music together at the start of the Covid lockdown and, as we began performing in front of each other, we quickly discovered how much we loved this new style we were evolving into.  Amelia would sing and Mitch would say: “What a voice, let’s start making music together!”  Mitch encouraged Amelia to come out of her shell and we began exploring all genres, from jazz to country to rock.  Already a devoted couple, we grew closer through our music and it wasn’t long before we transformed into “Mitch & Millie,” a name that seemed to develop out of our entwined melodies.  We are a great team because we take our craft seriously, but with a fun, light heart – and together we share a passion for music!

What is your earliest memory of writing your own music? How has your approach changed over time?

Mitch’s earliest memory writing his own music goes back to when he was 14 years old and was composing rock songs for his first band.  A favorite was a song he called “Isle of White” and, years later, Mitch re-recorded the same song using a new arrangement with his band, The Young Presidents.  Amelia and Mitch enjoy a songwriting collaboration and – although Mitch may have begun writing music on the bass guitar as a teenager, eventually morphing into poetry and clearer melodic lines – Amelia is now his partner, joining him on their shared journey as musicians.

Tell us about your most memorable performance, why did this particular memory stick out to you?

Our most memorable performance was when we played outdoors at a socially distanced party during some of the most difficult days of Covid isolation and fear.  After our show so many people came up to us with stories of how it was their first time out of the house and how special it was to listen to music again.  We remember one woman who said this was her first gathering since her husband passed away and we felt so grateful to have been able to use music as a channel for joy – and escapism.

What was the reason behind selecting the Jefferson Airplane hit “White Rabbit”? What are some similarities and differences between the versions?

People who heard us perform it loved our rendition of “White Rabbit” and encouraged us to lay down a track.  Ours is an edgier interpretation and we appreciate the way it showcases Amelia’s range and power. As a sidenote, “White Rabbit” is one of Amelia’s favorite songs of all time – she loves that the lead was a woman with the same psychedelic sonic vision as hers and to go into a studio and professionally perform it was a dream fulfilled – our homage to a true rock classic.

How did you come up with the concept for the “White Rabbit” music video? What was it like shooting it?

During a conversation about possibly shooting a video for “White Rabbit,” we came up with the idea of a fashion retelling of “Alice in Wonderland:” A vogue, fashionista, dystopian rock music video!  Using the talents of designer Anthony Giles and a fabulous band, this is our transformative epic adventure. Oh, and it was fun!

 

 

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