Words: Dylan Murphy
Ahead of his debut LP Third Culture, the Indian-born, UK-raised artist is exploring fractured cultural identity through jazz-infused electronica.
Cutting his teeth under a mentorship with Butterz Sound’s Elijah, Michael Diamond is developing a fresh approach to combining elements of Jazz and traditional electronic sounds. The result is his forthcoming debut LP Third Culture, which explores his fractured sense of identity. Not feeling accepted in the UK whilst also being othered when returning to India pushed the Oxford student to search for understanding through introspective 2-step and atmospheric approaches to world building.
Landing last night, ‘Lamentation’ is the latest exploration in Michael’s journey, which sees the producer share accompanying spectral visuals that tell the story of his challenging internal struggles.
Speaking on his forthcoming record, Michael says, “I checked how much time I’ve spent on it in total project time and it’s something ridiculous like >4000 hours (and that’s not even including all the time I spent re-listening to the tracks offline and making notes)… That’s not even an exaggeration. I was pulling 14-hour days….”
“My parents immigrated to the UK when I was young and although I’ve loved and soaked up the culture of the UK growing up, I am still viewed by many as a foreigner”, he says. “On the other hand, when I return to India I am seen and treated as a Westerner. Over time, this has left me feeling that whilst I possess aspects of both cultures, I don’t truly belong to either one, leaving me with a fractured sense of cultural identity.”
The album is accompanied by a short story by writer and close friend of Michael’s, Áine Kim Kennedy. As a person of Irish and Korean heritage, Áine shares the same sentiments as Michael and has channeled her thoughts into the resulting video about sleep paralysis demons, anxiety and insecurity.
Third Culture drops on June 24.
Watch the video, created by Oscar McNab for ‘Lamentations’ below:
Elsewhere on District: Khakikid, The Creator.