Multi-instrumentalist and producer, Alfa Mist, is rapidly making a name for himself in the music industry. His music journey began at the young age of 15 where he taught himself how to play the piano, inspired by German composer Hans Zimmer. This classical influence can be recognised in his music, which combines classical elements with traditional grime and hip-hop beats, making for an unusual but refreshing listen.
Nocturne, Alfa Mist’s debut EP is a dream-like, enchanting collection of songs, which dabble in genres such as jazz, neo-soul and hip-hop. Soulful and low-tempo, the EP features guest appearances from some of Alfa Mist’s closest friends who offer some stunning vocals on the tracks including ‘Sunrise’ featuring Emmavie and ‘No Peace’ featuring young producer Tom Misch.
Wanting to discover more about the up-and-coming artist, we asked him to put together a playlist of songs that were fundamental to forging his sound. From Jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Emily Spalding to electronic producer Flying Lotus, Alfa Mist’s influences are far reaching and varied, but ultimately all are smooth, chill out tracks that offer the same relaxed vibe. A perfect playlist to listen to this weekend when you’re inside watching the rain fall outside.
Madlib – ‘Distant Land’
Alfa: “Had to listen to this a lot and see what it was I liked about the bass so much. It wasn’t complicated or fast; it was more about the placement. Taught me a lot.”
Avishai Cohen – ‘Pinzin Kinzin’
Alfa: “I’m still mastering how to play the piano, but I find learning a song you physically can’t play at first makes you better when you come out on the other side. This song made me better.”
Radiohead – ‘Bloom’
Alfa: “I’ve always been a less is more kind of person, but this song got me thinking about filling the empty spaces in a song, Now I enjoy having a lot of minimal phrases going on in the background.”
Robert Glasper Feat. Bilal & Black Milk – Letter to Hermione (Jewels Remix)
Alfa: “Robert Glasper’s obviously a huge influence, the voicings on this song are incredible. Black Milk is the one who kills this, though, crazy flow. My favourite producer/rapper by far!”
Esperanza Spalding – ‘I Know You Know’
Alfa: “This is one of the few songs I can still listen to after killing myself trying to learn it. It’s that good. Esperanza’s a huge inspiration.”
Miles Davis – ‘Little Church’
Alfa: “This song took me outside of the harmony I was used to, it opened my eyes; you can experiment and still come out with great progressions, probably even better than what you were doing before.”
Flying Lotus Feat. Gonjasufi – ‘Testament’
Alfa: “The double bass is my favourite instrument in the world. This song is very dark & the vocals are eerie. Amazing stuff.”
Fink – ‘Honesty’
Alfa: “Fink is the best. I don’t know what else to say about this really except this is one of those songs that sound exactly like the title.”
Terence Blanchard – ‘Winding Roads’
Alfa: “This is one of my favourite songs ever. There’s a lot of emotion in it, music charged with emotion is the most potent for me. I love the bar phrasing as well, makes it even more interesting!”
Ambrose Akinmusire – ‘Asiam (Joan)’
Alfa: “I’m one of those weird guys that enjoy film music & musicals. This track has a musical (theatre) kind of vibe to it, but the progression underneath is something else.”