Photo Credit: Captured Existence
When it comes to being a team, Mimi and Nino have been playing together since they were kids. That’s what happens when your parents give you an as talented musical companion in the form of a sibling. They did their thing as The Old Adage for some time, even releasing “Lame” in 2018 to a very pleased audience. And while they’ll always have one another’s back, they are taking a break from one another to focus on their own projects in 2019. We caught up with them to see what’s up with the duo that made up The Old Adage and what’s next for Mimi and Nino, but first, we had to start with where they began.
Kendra: Did either of you have other plans outside of music when you were growing up?
Mimi: Yes! Music was always the dream, but when we were younger I think we thought of going to school like mom said we should. I wanted to be a doctor, originally at five-years-old. Then in high school, I decided I wanted to be a psychologist because that kinda fell into the doctor field. I would be a doctor without prescribing medicine, which I thought would be cool. After I dropped out of college, I considered opening a bakery…but music was always there creeping its way in. Once we actually started recording an album and playing more shows, I got hooked.
Nino: I wanted to do some sort of engineering as a kid. I loved solving problems and building stuff, and did a summer program one summer at UofM. I was pretty into it. One thing I did notice Mimi and I had a lot of was an entrepreneurial spirit from the jump. We always had hot dog stands, lemonade stands, and slushee stands as kids. Always trying to make money and start something up. But I think music blends into that well.
Kendra: Working with your sibling can either be a dream or a nightmare. You’ve seemed to make it work. Would you say it’s because you put being family aside when you’re in music mode, or do you guys feel like that history pushes you forward creatively?
Mimi: I think for the most part it was a dream. We have both decided to step back from The Old Adage recently though. It is definitely hard to get past the past. Family will always be family, and I do think in the past it helped us dynamically, just because we always had the same vision for things…and no one knows you like your family does. So it was comfortable to write that way, but growing older and more independently we have changed a lot.
Creatively and spiritually we are both ready for something new. We did, for the most part, put family aside because while doing anything musically we go into a daydream mode. Everything is good in that state and flows pretty smoothly. But of course, there were times we fought and disagreed. Every relationship is work. I think we only had the advantage of being family. It was convenient and Nino was my best friend through all of TOA even though he’d rather not be.
Nino: Doing music as siblings has always had a separate set of obstacles to overcome. It was really cool cause we had the same background in music and upbringing so we could relate on that. But then there was always the bickering and nagging cause we are siblings. Thankfully both of us are very forgiving and would move in a matter of minutes usually.
Kendra: Last time we heard from you guys it was late last year with “Lame.” Have you been working on any new releases for 2019?
Mimi: We were going to release a few new songs/EP but with the “break up” or hiatus…whatever it is…we haven’t got around to releasing it yet. I personally would like to ASAP. Nino and I are both actually working on our own material at the moment.
Nino: We’ve actually both decided to do our own projects in the new year. We were really excited to release our latest Old Adage material but now we’re both excited about our new projects. Keep an ear out!
Kendra: In the grand scheme of things, where do you feel your music fits in when it comes to the Detroit music scene?
Mimi: I think it fits in a little in the techno world. Although we don’t consider ourselves techno, we are electronically influenced…so I feel like we are accepted in relation to that because Detroit is the birthplace of techno. I think it’s amazing and I am so glad to have played such a role in the scene. We made so many friends.
Nino: I’ve always felt like we fit the more pop side of the Detroit scene. A blend between the DJs and bands. We didn’t really fit in any scene. We tried to ha.
Kendra: Mimi, how much pressure is felt for artists when it comes to having a social media presence?
Mimi: There is a lot of pressure that comes from being an artist in general I think. We are told you always have to be out there, and different, and displaying the latest most risque things…and I agree, but I also think artists need to remember to not forget who they are. For me, I enjoy being out there now, but in earlier old Adage days, I was very shy and the social media and every part of “presence” intimated me.
As you get older though, you begin to get to know who you are. Your presence matters, but you kind of learn to just own who you are. And I love being that. I love showing that and being that presence. Because I am honestly pretty happy with myself. I’ve learned to accept myself a lot. Of course, there’s tons of work to do/what I am doing, but I think everyone should just enjoy themselves on the way there. You’re never gonna be where you want to be IMO, because we always want more…But be proud of what you have done and what you do have. You’re amazing.
Kendra: I know it helps nowadays when it comes to booking shows. You’ve been playing a lost in the Midwest and locally for a few years. When do you think you’ll make it out west?
Mimi: I’m going to make it out west this year 100%. We’ve actually also have played a lot of the south and North East. It’s been a minute since we’ve toured, but I plan on touring summer on…
Kendra: Lastly, tell the people what you have going on right now…
Mimi: I moved to Florida. I decided it was time for something new. I really felt the need to get back to myself. There are times in life where everything becomes too foggy. You get into this autopilot mode…and a sense of you and your direction seems to be lost. I feel and realize this is completely normal, especially for people in their twenties just trying to figure their life out. I am happy to be here.
Things are clearing up and I am working on new material of my own. I plan to officially launch my new project “DiViN3ChiLd” (Divine Child) early summer. I’m already spreading awareness though. I plan to work with a few different producers and am already working with one in Baltimore. I am going there next month to record with them.
My plan is to begin releasing singles that will lead up to a very full-length album. I’m ready to share a lot! I’m gathering a lot of my thoughts on how I want this project to be performed live. I might do dancers or just a couple of musicians, but it hasn’t been decided. I will be touring with others for sure though! I’ve always dreamed of being in a “band.” Although I loved what Nino and I did, oddly I still wanted more of a sense of family.