Muzzy Bearr: ‘In Unity,’ Nu-disco, & Pride Month [Interview]

It’s not every day you meet someone as down-to-earth and wholesome as Dan, more commonly known as Muzzy Bearr. The Discord hangs, Mental Health Monday chats, and being an all-around awesome human; those are just a few reasons why Muzzy Bearr has Electric Hawk’s heart in a chokehold.

We got the chance to sit down with him and talk about his track “More and More” from In Unity, the future of his project, and Pride Month!

Ashley Eggert, Electric Hawk: What was the biggest inspiration behind “More and More?”

Muzzy Bearr: I am constantly listening to old funk and soul records for inspiration. I think the playlist of songs I want to sample is like 10+ hours at this point, and that’s not including records I own on vinyl. Honestly, it was just one of those “Hear the sample, love the sample, flip the sample” moments of divine inspiration. I just couldn’t resist. I threw the song into Ableton during one of my music production Twitch streams and it came together surprisingly quickly. That moment in the “drop” where the horn chops hit and the organ chord swells are jamming and the vocal chops come in, all laced over that drum groove. I’m really stoked about that, and really happy people are enjoying the tune. 

AE: What can we expect from the Muzzy Bearr project moving forward? Did 2020 and the beginning of 2021 change the focus of your project?

Muzzy Bearr: I think 2020 forced us all to take a step back and analyze our station in life. For me, it was a much-needed moment. I realized that the future of this project is rooted in the present enjoyment that making this music provides for me – escaping into myself and surrendering to the groove. I have a couple of new records in the pipeline that I’m really excited to start shopping out to labels, and I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of playing shows as well!

AE: The music you have been releasing recently, like “More and More” and “Do For Me,” have really a strong blend of nu-disco and house music influences. Tell us more about that sound and why it is prevalent in your style.

Muzzy Bearr

Muzzy Bearr: As artists, channeling emotions into something that reflects who we are is the reason we do what we do. It took me four years after releasing my lone EP, Vintage Sutra, to really find a sound that felt genuinely mine. I spent a lot of that time making a lot of different styles of music. For a while, I thought I had to make “sadboi” or emo-sounding music for it to be emotional, but it turns out that the opposite is true.

I spent a lot of time convincing myself I was a pessimist. In reality, it turns out I’m a pretty optimistic guy. I believe disco and house music were born out of a similar realization. Escaping a world that is trying to keep us down, and venturing into a sound that lifts us up. I’ve made a lot of music in my life, but nothing has felt as good or as real as these records. 

AE: What does Pride Month mean to you? How can we work to better support LGBTQIA+ artists and make this a safer space for artists and fans?

Muzzy Bearr: I know I’m not alone when I say that a lot of my life was spent in the closet. I was 24 when I came out to my family and friends. Also, I wasn’t public about my sexuality on social media until last year. At a certain point, there comes a realization that we are who we are; we are better off embracing and celebrating our uniqueness than trying to hide it.

To me, Pride represents that sentiment. ‘We are who we are and we love who we are.’ It is a reminder that we’ve come a long way since Stonewall, but we have a long way to go. Celebrating LGBTQIA+ artists and providing equity for them, especially in a scene like electronic music that is rooted in queer culture, is something we have to manifest into a reality.

– Muzzy Bearr

I want to see more queer artists on lineups and getting major placements. By cultivating a space where the diversity of the artists on stage is more representative of the diversity seen in the culture, we will naturally see a progression towards a more welcoming and safe space for everybody. But it will take a conscious effort and a lot of hard work to get there. I’m hopeful for the future.

AE: Any advice for artists or fans struggling with their identity? 

Muzzy Bearr: Embrace who you are, and I don’t mean that in the colloquial/pedantic way. It takes a lot of work to recognize what makes each of us unique; I think starting with identifying what kinds of things make us happy is a great first step. The kinds of art we like consuming, or music we like making, or people we like spending time with. Each one of those things is a reflection of something we like about ourselves. The more time and care we take to cultivate joy in our lives, the easier it becomes to express and ultimately celebrate who we are. We gotta shine like diamonds, even if those diamonds are in the rough. As I said, it takes work but I am here to say it is so so so SO worth it.

Listen to “More and More” from Electric Hawk’s In Unity compilation here. Be on the lookout for what is coming next from the beloved Muzzy Bearr!

Catch Muzzy Bear LIVE on June 12 at the Tangent Gallery in Milwaukee! Get tickets here.

Keep up with Muzzy Bearr
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And if you’re looking for new music, keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts, or follow us on Twitch. Whether it’s the newest drops from [ARTIST(s)], all your other favorite artists, some old school, or underground—we just want you to hear it.

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