Door 18: Mica Levi

Photography by © Angelo Pennetta

If artists are successful within their practice, there is a tendency to stick to this formula. It involves less risk and the audience knows what they will get. So it is always interesting, if an artist does completely the opposite. Sonically one tends to think about David Bowie but also in recent years the British singer, songwriter, producer and composer Mica Levi.

Levi was born in 1987 into a musical household and started from the age of nine to study at the Purcell School for Young Musicians. In their teens they moved to London, where they explored the musical scene and djed. Levi started to produce mixtapes like Filthy Friends. At the same time they formed the band Micachu and the Shapes, where in 2009 Matthew Herbert produced the debut album to critical acclaim

During their studies at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, they were commissioned a piece for the London Philharmonic Orchestra premiering at Royal Festival Hall in April 2008 , which marked their official step into composing. Famously they composed the soundtrack for Jonathan Glazer's film Under the Skin, which was widely praised. This score led the director Pablo Larraín to hire Levi for his biopic Jackie. For this score they received an Oscar nomination in 2017.

Next to composing, Mica Levi also made a name for themselves producing music for initially their own band, but step by step also for others. They gained some attention for producing Tirzah's initial EP I'm Not Dancing, and also her debut and sophomore album.

Next to composing and producing they like to collaborate with artists like Dean Blunt, for whom they wrote the music for his opera. Last, but not least, they also release solo music, like the two self-released albums Ruff Dog and Blue Alibi in 2021.