Hailing from New York City, Mindchatter is the pseudonym of producer and ICON graduate Bryce Connolly. Check out his latest tracks and our exclusive interview.
At ICON, our creative philosophies are as essential to the curriculum as the production knowledge we teach. When a student adopts these philosophies before they even start their first quarter; it’s pretty much a guarantee that student will thrive throughout ICON and into their career as a working artist.
Bryce Connelly, a.k.a. Mindchatter is one of those students, and now one of those working artists.
ICON’s core philosophical class is Art of Flow. This class draws from the teachings of various thinkers like Lao Tzu and Eckhart Toley. Bryce was already familiar with these teachings. But once he applied them to his creativity, an inimitable musical identity was born in Mindchatter.
His Mindchatter project is the direct expression of Bryce’s psyche. With this level of connection imbued into his music, heads naturally turned towards him. He quickly gained recognition for his genre-defying sound, earning praise from industry heavyweights like Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1.
Since graduating ICON, Bryce has also landed releases on Mind of a Genius (MOAG). The record label is home to a diverse collective, including ZHU, Gallant, they., and other niche-carving artists from across the electronic spectrum.
We were happy to speak with Mindchatter about his forthcoming debut album on MOAG and his time at ICON. Bryce also talks about his defined visual aesthetic and the early intentions behind his music.
What was your favorite class while at ICON?
The first thing that comes to mind is Art of Flow. That class has stuck with me ever since. Plus, I was already all about much of what they taught in the curriculum.
I had read Eckhart Tolle, Tao, etc. Everything they were teaching, my mom had already indoctrinated in me. That class put it over the edge. It got me free writing more and opened a whole world of creativity, and that’s super unique. It’s also not something you’d find at other schools, I assume. So that’s number one for me.
How did the Art of Flow class help you in your other classes at ICON? How did it affect you as a person?
Well, the Art of Flow affected my creativity a lot. The whole spiritual path they teach you at ICON was pretty much reaffirmed in that class. It was also a nice counterbalance to the technical side of it all.
My second favorite class was songwriting. Songwriting took me a really long way. I probably wouldn’t be singing if it wasn’t for that class. It’s pretty crazy to think about. I don’t know if Mindchatter would exist if it weren’t for those different songwriting classes where you handed in music with your voice. So, I’m forever indebted to that.
Something we see a lot at ICON is students wanting to make mainstage bangers. But, when they take classes like Art of Flow and songwriting, they gravitate towards more sophisticated music. Is that how you felt after taking those classes?
I came from a place of not so much wanting to make bangers. I was coming from a chill, downtempo space. Also, I wasn’t writing music before. But I was producing within that lane, and I didn’t know what my audience would be. I also didn’t have a concrete sound. I don’t know if I still do, but I didn’t go into it wanting to make EDM bangers.
All of your releases, including self-releases and now your Mind of a Genius tracks, have a specific visual aesthetic. I would call it “milky” using light pale shades. What role does this aesthetic play in your artistic profile?
The visuals have always been super important to me. I like “milky,” I’ve never heard that one before. I think it works.
A friend Simon does all the artwork, so I don’t do it myself. I give him direction, and he’s a genius. He has a feel for the brand’s vision and everything, so I got lucky there. I also recognize it’s not something everyone has.
This partnership with him just fell into my lap. I think it’s super important to find someone who is your visuals person. Many people are out there making it themselves, and I don’t know how to do that. I draw. Also, I’m not good enough to be where I want to be with it. So, if you can find someone who is by your side, that will go such a long way.
Are you going to integrate this style into your live visuals? Is Simon going to design those as well?
There are a couple of different people involved. I’ve done like five shows so far and had live visuals the whole time. It was great to have a projector. They’re pretty insane.
The visuals are all based on the album artwork essentially. It’s that roman bust doing trippy shit the entire time. Simon’s role was like the art director if you will. He also connected me to an animator. There are now two or three animators and then Simon, who’s the head guy.
It sounds like Gorillaz with Damon Albarn writing all the music and Jamie Hewlett creating all the visuals: characters, worlds, etc.
That was definitely something I had in mind. That specific example, Gorillaz. Because I’m such a fan.
I didn’t want to take it to that level, where he literally has a band animated. It’s not him; it’s an animated band. I didn’t want to take it to that level, but I do want to create a visual world behind it. Like Gorillaz has a universe that he’s created. If you can do that it’s really special.
What’s next for Mindchatter?
Everything’s kind of up in the air with COVID, but the plan is to put out an album and tour. Those are the two things on the horizon. Pretty much have an album finished, so we’re just getting into rolling it out now.