You have a little bit of a background in fashion, which probably had a bit to do with you eventually launching your own fashion line, Made By Mija. How did you decide to create a line?
I was going to school for fashion before I dropped out. When you start touring a lot, all of a sudden you go from being a broke starving artist to having a bunch of money. I was like, “What do I do with this?” Some people buy cars, some people houses but I decided to buy a clothing line and make shit.
I never had great schooling on clothes or making clothes - I went to community college to do something to make my parents happy. However, when I was young, I always had sewing machines and was always cutting clothes, ripping things apart and sewing patches on things. My mom always brought me to consignment stores because we didn’t have a lot of money, so we had to be creative. It’s just fun to me, so I wanted to keep doing it throughout my life.
What are your future plans for the line?
We’re in the process of - not rebranding, per say - but bringing it to the next level. My goal is to release different capsules that coincide with music I’ll be releasing as well as releasing individual and exclusive handmade pieces, like by me or me and my team, in really small quantities. Really intricate. I’ll do a really high end version and also an accessible version.
You also had your FK A GENRE tour, which is pretty self-explanatory in the name. Can you explain how it came about?
Initially, the FK A GENRE tour came from a mixtape I made when I first moved to LA a few years ago. It really inspired me to reach outside of what I’d normally do, which at that time was just house and techno. I wanted to throw myself into a different world, and it was extremely inspiring for me, so I wanted to do a tour behind it. I wanted to make shows where it wasn’t a Mija headline tour, it wasn’t about me - it was about the party and bringing people together from all different worlds that listen to different types of music and put them all in the same room.
We made it so they knew they had to show up early and stay late because we never announced time slots. We’d go through the night and have all these different styles of music. In Chicago, for example, we had Teklife come out, and they’re legends from there, you know? So having their fans come out mingling with Mija fans… there was a dance off in the middle of the floor, and it was a really cool experience. For the fans and for the artists as well, to meet other people that they wouldn’t normally get to meet and just share insight and ideas.
Nobody listens to one type of music. Everybody has different favorites or things they don’t even know about, so you can expose people to things they didn’t know about before, then you’re just expanding their musical taste. It’s easier to innovate when you have an open mind, listening to other things and getting inspired by things you wouldn’t normally get inspired by.