HIGH FREQUENCY Vol. 1: "I'm My Own Enemy" by DEEGAN and Mija

When DEEGAN and Mija combine forces, it’s hot to the touch. Their new song “I’m My Own Enemy” is a one-listen bottle rocket that begs to be played on repeat. It’s punk meets hyperpop, like present day Wednesday Adams in a 90s rom com. Aggressive, manic, and totally fun, it clocks in at a short, yet thrilling two minutes. The track hits like a carnival ride that yearns to be revisited dozens of times, without ever becoming dizzying.

Artist, vocalist, and producer DEEGAN kicks off the first verse with introspective, anguished vocals. He sounds underwater, as if his feelings are banging on the surface pleading to be heard. DEEGAN sings, “I feel the pressure yet I know it feels so heavenly.”

“I've been making a lot of soul and r&b but started hitting a wall,” he says. “I was like, ‘I'm angry. I can't do this. I'm too distracted. I'm too in my own head,’ so I wanted to make something aggressive and get my energy out. Every artist has that feeling of the cloud hanging over them like, ‘You have to do this. You have to do that.’ “I’m My Own Enemy” is a reflection that I can't wait until everything's perfect to jump in and do something… or I become my own enemy.” Indicative of this internal war zone, a siren announces the chorus where DEEGAN and Mija (who co-wrote the track and is one half of punk duo So Tuff So Cute) scream-sing “I’m My Own Enemy” in unison before Mija takes the mic for the second verse. Mija’s vocal–intentionally drenched in autotune accompanied by a quirky, cult horror score sample–demands attention. Confident, playful, and brilliantly clever, the verse screams Mija’s signature brand. The final lines are nothing short of iconic: “Has anybody seen my juul, Cuz I’m about to lose my cool; I'm about to waaaah FUCK!”

“The song is a very fun fusion, because So Tuff So Cute is very punk and I stray into weird, happy hardcore hyperpop shit. To do both of those things with DEEGAN was so much fun,” says Mija. “I love contrast in songs,” DEEGAN adds. “The first verse was angry and very on the nose, so I wanted Mija to bring a more “fuck it” confident attitude.” After starting the song in his bedroom as cathartic combat to conquer procrastination, DEEGAN shared the initial idea with Mija, who immediately fell in love with the song. “I'm a huge fan of So Tuff So Cute and this is in that vein, so I was like, ‘Do you like this?’ She responded immediately saying it was the best thing she’d ever heard,” DEEGAN laughs as if embarrassed by the compliment. “I was hyped because I don't have a lot of pals to make punk stuff with, so to get someone who's a true expert in this craft and has been living in it for so long was so gratifying.”

The pair met up at Mija’s at-home studio to record her verse, where they harnessed the song’s magic cherry-on-top. As if their individual verses and the production wasn’t enough, the bridge takes “I’m My Own Enemy” to lick-the-bowl delicious. The production drops out leaving only the driving kick drum and room for DEEGAN and Mija’s vocal duet to take center-stage. The sticky, sing-songy melodic anthem feels like school’s out for summer adding stadium-filling pop superpower to the otherwise alt-aggro punk track. A swirling, wobbly sample builds as the ear candy abruptly ends, only making the listener’s mouth water for more, inevitably prompting replay.

The secret sauce to “I’m My Own Enemy” is the creative release it captures. It was made as artistic survival. Nourishment for DEEGAN, made all the sweeter by Mija’s unmistakable grandeur. “Sometimes a plan doesn't feed your inner artist. All the aggression was exactly how I felt that day and what I wanted to express. It was a really good practice in freedom of expression,” says DEEGAN. “I mostly only write good songs when I'm either really fucking mad or really fucking sad,” Mija chimes in with encouraging affirmation.

Fresh off the road from a recent So Tuff So Cute tour run, Mija is happy to be back in the studio. “The road is so intense. I always forget how intense it is,” she sighs with a laugh. “A lot of really big highs, some lows, and then big highs again. Bringing the energy before the show is the hardest part. Once you're there, you're like, ‘Okay, we got this.’ And then by the end, you can't sleep.”

Reflecting, Mija is taken by the dedicated fandom the project has started attracting and the culture they’ve been able to cultivate. “It’s very body positive, sex positive, queer positive–so many awesome queer fans. It's been really, really, really fucking cool to see all the different types of fans–people who stand for something, people who care, people who aren't afraid to be wild, or even if people are more shy naturally, they get to have this really open experience where they can actually be themselves. That's the space that we're trying to cultivate. It has felt really, really special.” With fans singing all the songs by heart, including unreleased material, it’s hard to ignore the palpable buzz.

Yet, Mija is no stranger to tour life having toured the world over the past decade since her DJ career popped off in 2014. She was first introduced to rave culture at 15, and started working as a club promoter at 18 before getting her DJ start in Phoenix at a local Sheraton Hotel when she was 20. “I did that for a couple of years and got a break when I got invited to DJ on an art car at Bonnaroo in 2014. Because I was a promoter, I already knew Skrillex. He came up on stage, and asked me how I was doing. I was supposed to be DJing but the other DJ wouldn't let me on. Skrillex was like, ‘Let's go back to back–I'll play one, you play one.’ So we did that. The set got recorded, popped off, and I moved to LA two months later. I started hustling and DJing as much as I could until I got an agent and a manager, and then I've been on tour for years.”

Two weeks before her set with Skrillex went viral, she bought a MacBook, speakers and “some shitty” MIDI keyboard off Craigslist. I was like, “Okay, this is the next step, I'm going to learn how to make music. Then two weeks later, my fucking DJ career pops off. I was like, ‘Fuck, fuck, fuck, I gotta learn how to make music really fast.’ It was a lot,” says Mija. “It's really hard learning how to make music when you’re an open format DJ who's touring 150 shows a year and trying to figure out who you are. So it was difficult, but I'm happy now that after years of experience and working with really, really talented and creative people I've gotten to be comfortable and excited to make music and let it be my career.”

Almost ten years later, she’s right at home in herself and her music. Mija’s presence in both the DJ world and the web3 ecosystem is marked by her self-assurance, authenticity, and totally no bs cool factor. She could be intimidating if she wasn’t so genuinely kind. After arriving on the web3 scene in 2021, she quickly became one of the best selling artists on Sound and a central part of the growing artist community.

Mija discovered DEEGAN’s music through web3 and sought him out to topline a beat she planned to drop on LNRZ. “Mija had this really cool, funky beat that was very off putting. It's got these weird samples in it, and I love weird music. When I heard that I was like, ‘This is sick.’ She’s got the little clave sound like that episode of SpongeBob where Gary's eyes are clacking together,” DEEGAN laughs. Inspired by Mija’s experimental approach, DEEGAN enthusiastically agreed to sing on the track taking a heady, club-friendly approach resulting in their first collaboration “Ghost.”“I sang with a British accent and whispered on it,” says DEEGAN, adding he was inspired by a recent binge of Breaking Bad for the drug-related lyrical content.

In early 2020 DEEGAN met Daniel Allan who introduced him to web3. Featured on Daniel’s Overstimulated EP and the Glass House EP, DEEGAN quickly found his footing in the space. For his next web3 release, DEEGAN is currently working on an experimental rap and r&b EP, with a punk project in the queue. He recently dropped “Promo”–the genesis of the forthcoming EP–subsequently remixed by Mija. Experimenting with different genres, DEEGAN says he’s embracing the musical Smörgåsbord in pursuit of following his creative intuition. “I don't want to be the same on every track, because I don't feel the same every day. I want to express that in my music,” says DEEGAN. “I finally sunk my teeth into that concept this year, and it's really freeing. Collaborating helped with that.”

Mija shares the affinity for collaboration and keeping the creative juices flowing, and leans into web3’s runway to do so. “Web3 is like the Wild West. It's really exciting to be able to do whatever you want, work with whoever you want, make something, drop it literally a week later without having all the pressures of the industry on your back, and then let it live. If people really fucking like it, and it blows up, then you figure that out later. You can just make art with cool people. That's the goal.”

Mija and DEEGAN’s shared ethos and unrestrained creative playgrounds make a match made in music heaven. Giving each other room to shine while finding the magic in their artistic chemistry, Mija and DEEGAN are totally on fire with “I’m My Own Enemy.” And the best part is, they made it for the sake of making it. And now, we get to lap it up.

“I had so many songs, so many projects in general that just never saw the light of day, because they didn't fulfill like the industry standard of a marketing rollout. I love web3 for the sake of being able to put it out, let it exist. If someone resonates with it, awesome. If someone doesn't resonate with it, whatever, I don't have all these expectations,” says Mija. “I just want to make art. Other people have different ambitions. Mine is just to be happy,” Mija laughs.


Collect Music NFTs from HIGH FREQUENCY Volume 1. “I’m My Own Enemy” is the fourth track to be released from NOISE, for HIGH FREQUENCY Volume 1. “I’m My Own Enemy” is dropping via Sound Swap on March 30 at 2pm PST.

HIGH FREQUENCY Volume 1 is a compilation album curated by NOISE, with 16 tracks released on Sound. The album features new songs from artists we believe represent the values of web3 and whose work will be essential to every music NFT collector’s set in the future.

Collect and add HIGH FREQUENCY writing NFTs to your digital library. There are 10 editions of this article available for 0.01 ETH on Mirror.

Article by Wallace Morgan for HIGH FREQUENCY, NOISE’s weekly newsletter. Subscribe for more.

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