MIHI NIHIL, Photo credit: Jenna Hipp Spencer - https://www.instagram.com/jennahipp/

Discover MIHI NIHIL: Redefining Artistry with Film

Discover MIHI NIHIL: Redefining Artistry with Film

We are extremely excited to present Gigmor Rising Artist MIHI NIHIL, a Los Angeles-based band that’s redefining the boundaries of music. Even beyond their art, they offer us some extremely potent, crucial lessons about the potential of alternative methods of monetization for all modern artists: collaborating with the film and entertainment industries. We talked with their lead singer, MIHI, to gain some insight into the group and how they work.

Who Are They?

MIHI NIHIL is composed of an incredible foursome of singer Mihi Vox, guitarist Benjamin Montoya, bassist Nick Steinberg, and drummer Adam Alt. MIHI NIHIL is an emerging band self-described as “a melodic sound redolent with nostalgia” and steeped in atmospheric post-punk and rock music. They formed as a group of music-interested friends, just hanging out: “We’ve been friends in other musical circles and we just decided to get together as a way to, you know, to be together and decided, like, let’s just try writing. We all like whiskey.” With their captivating blend of alternative rock, their free-flowing creative process, and their remarkable achievements in the movie space, they are a noteworthy bulb of creativity in the music industry.

According to other reviewers, MIHI NIHIL establishes itself as a compelling blend of musical genres. Press have described MIHI NIHIL as “street poet post-punk meets shoe gazing art rock,” “a darker cow punk/paisley underground vibe,” and “the most beautiful translation of melancholy to music.” But MIHI NIHIL doesn’t fit neatly into any box. Mihi herself discloses, “The music we create is very free-form. We write all together in one room, and it kind of just happens very naturally, almost like a jam. Someone comes up with an idea, and we create music that way together. So, I would say the end result is categorized as alternative rock music, but we dabble in a little bit of post-punk and various other influences.” 

Celebrating Milestones

MIHI NIHIL’s journey has been marked by numerous milestones, including the release of its debut album “MIHI NIHIL” in 2021. Since its release, nearly half of its tracks have been used in feature films. Through these films, their music reached #1 on the Amazon Music charts, #15 on iTunes, and #18 on the NACC most added music charts. Their album was listed in the 2021 Grammy ballot for Best Alternative Music Album. In 2023, they released their single “So Please” at Gigmor’s Showcase at the SXSW Music Festival.

Credit: Tracy Eumont (Gigmor Co-Founder)

Alternative Monetization: Film & TV Placement

MIHI NIHIL is a window into a whole new unique approach that musicians can take in attempting to monetize their work. Many musicians never look past the $0.003 – $0.005 per stream on average Spotify or $0.0013 per stream on Pandora; especially the many artists all over the world who may not have an overwhelming audience from which to financially justify the cost of producing merchandise, generating sponsorships, hosting and booking live shows, or selling physical music. One incredibly interesting way smaller artists can get their start is by writing music for films and television. 

Credit: Jenna Hipp Spencer

MIHI talked with us about her experience with film placement: “So, everyone says like, oh, try to hit up music supervisors, but that really has not proven to be very successful. It ended up that the producer (Adam Lasus) that we used for the first record knew a couple of music supervisors [on film sets, the people responsible for licensing, commissioning, and purchasing music fit for specific elements in the movie] who contacted him for recommendations for specific spots in movies.” These music supervisors often work with a limited budget and don’t have the means to book Led Zeppelin or Blink-182 for every small part of their movie. Instead, they’ll reach out to musicians in the same creative space as what they’re looking for, and ask them to provide music with specific tempos, styles, or other things that will make the music fit their vision. Artists are then paid relative to the amount of music used in the film. This is a significantly more lucrative opportunity for artists than streaming and can have some great tertiary effects due to exposure like MIHI NIHIL experienced.

However, hiccups can disrupt the process. With so many artists out there vying for work, you want to make sure of professionalism, and part of that is ensuring that paperwork is easy for the music supervisors to file. Mihi offered some advice to anyone starting a group and intending to work in this space. She offered that in her experience with MIHI NIHIL, it can be easier to execute these placements if the entire band operates under the same PRO (Performing Rights Organization). Making your work easy to license (not having to ping-pong documents to several institutions for a small clip of work) is an important task. MIHI NIHIL is a great example of the potential for success of film placement.

What’s Next?

As their music continues to captivate audiences inside and outside theaters and their cinematic placements expand their reach, MIHI NIHIL showcases the limitless possibilities of the world of entertainment. This quartet is a cool force to be reckoned with, and their work and story are a testament to the boundless opportunities that await artists who explore the intersection of music and film. Be sure to follow them on Gigmor and social media! Stay tuned for the new album to come out early next year.

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Featured photo and black & white posed photo credit:

Jenna Hipp Spencer

Sadie Miller: Your Musical Therapist

We’re excited to present singer-songwriter, producer, and Gigmor Pro Artist Sadie Miller as our September Gigmor Rising Artist. Hailing from Santa Monica, California, Sadie is a student at Syracuse University. She is a talented singer and producer, who also plays piano and guitar. She recently released her Archives EP on streaming platforms, and released her new song “Liar” today, August 11th, 2023! Garnering 20,000 monthly Spotify listeners on average, her music has received attention in Spotify editorial playlists and amassed over 60,000 streams for her single “Friends.”

Early Work

Sadie has been producing her own music since middle school. Even early on, she always dedicated a ton of time to her music, at times writing 5-6 finished songs every day. She’d put them on SoundCloud, livestream them, or post them anywhere she could find listeners. 

Sadie also looked for other opportunities to help others with her music. In high school, she was a founding member of Cords2Cure, an organization that raises money to support Pediatric Cancer research and clinical trials at the UCLA Sarcoma Program. C2C was created in 2015 by students at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences and their families when Crossroads student Jaxon Blumenthal was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma (liver cancer). They’ve raised $1 million since inception, and $200,000 this year alone. In a conversation with us, she told us, “I just knew, and I still know, that this is what I want to do. It runs a lot deeper than music to me. It’s therapeutic and part of who I am.”

The Power of Relatability

In our conversation with Sadie, she explained her process. This approach allows Sadie to create a sense of universality in her music, as listeners likely find comfort and resonance in knowing that someone else has gone through similar experiences or emotions. Many successful songwriters use this technique to build a strong emotional connection with their audience. By sharing personal stories, she can tap into the common threads of human experiences and make her songs more relatable and memorable. “I just want to make authentic music that has emotion in it, so that you can really hear what I’m saying, not just in the lyrics but the way I’m singing it.” Sadie loves it most when she receives messages from fans who relate to her music. “I write it to help myself, so it means a lot to me.”

Curating a Sound

Many people can identify their favorite artists’ songs within the first 3 or so seconds, because many of today’s biggest artists understand the importance of having a unique and identifiable sound: motifs and stylistic choices that define their music. Sadie spent considerable effort and the better part of 6 years figuring out what she likes and doesn’t like in the music she listens to and produces—resulting in an interesting and complex bedroom pop sound. Sadie describes her own music as “spacey, ambient, slower pop.”

The Songwriting Process

The process of writing music is different for every artist. Sadie told us that to her, inspiration often appears in a flash. “I have a bunch of voice memos on my phone, so I’ll take something from there sometimes. Sometimes, I’ll just be walking on the street and find myself humming something, and I have to record it to remember for later.” Other times, Sadie said she finds that a more bottom-up approach is better, with a dedicated songwriting session at the piano and computer. “I’ll go in with the keyboard, and then I love to layer a bunch of sounds on top of each other. I’ll play around with keyboard sounds, settings, add reverb, pads, synthesizers, and then once I have the track I’ll start writing on top of it.” But even with a strong base, writing lyrics is a difficult thing to do. Sadie said she’ll freestyle the first few times, then choose things she liked about different takes, and mix and match them until she’s happy with what she has. She emphasized that she likes to record everything. “I keep every take in case there’s something I want to do again, or I liked, or hated.”

Getting Out There

Sadie told us that one reason that her music has reached so many people is because she took advantage of the promotional power of editorial playlists. On Spotify and other music platforms, some playlists curated by the platform are pushed out to users who match the listening profile of the music in the playlist. Getting music in the mix of these big playlists can be a huge boost for an artist’s  music career. For example, Paul Johnson’s “Firework” in the Folk-Pop genre blew up in 2016 when it was added to a popular Spotify playlist at the time. Now going by the name Canyon City, he now has 500,000 monthly listeners and 285 million streams on Spotify alone. Similarly, when Sadie’s single “Friends” was selected, her listeners jumped by nearly 30,000. Sometimes, it can be as simple as writing an email or text with a sample to the right person at the right time.

Sadie reaches out to and talks to Spotify curators, posts on social media using key words and hashtags, and acts as her own manager, reaching out to venues to book live performances.

What’s Next?

Sadie’s career is only getting started. Her accessible sound and charismatic, genuine approach to songwriting makes her someone to look out for. Sadie’s music is a great listen for anyone. Check out her single “Liar” today August 11th on all streaming platforms. For more information, follow her on Gigmor and her social media.

Discover Sebastian Blue: The Rising Renaissance Man

Today we unveil the extraordinary talent of Gigmor Pro Artist Sebastian Blue (Sebastian Hochman), freshman at Stanford University, who has an unrivaled passion for innovation and tireless creativity. With an impressive array of musical ensembles and artistic goals, mastery of an incredible number of instruments, and a desire to make a lasting impact, Sebastian is a rising star who deserves your attention. He has diverse talents, ambitious projects, and an unwavering dedication to improvisation and art. Sebastian’s latest EP will be released at the end of the summer.

He’s Multifaceted

Sebastian Blue’s musical journey is a testament to his commitment to his craft. Participating in no less than eight different ensembles during his freshman year at Stanford, Sebastian immerses himself in a spread of genres. Whether performing with his band General Consumption, his jazz combo Imposter Syndrome, a salsa group, or the Stanford Klezmer ensemble, Sebastian’s love for music knows no bounds.


Not limited to just conventional instruments, Sebastian’s talent extends to piano, bass, drums, guitar, ukulele, and banjo. In our conversation with him, Sebastian posited that he finds inspiration in exploring other instruments in his compositions. “I find that I’m able to write more interesting things on instruments I’m less familiar with because then I’ll come up with things I’d never come up with on piano.” Sebastian’s range shines through his compositions, which gracefully blend folk, classical, jazz, and Latin influences.

He’s not limited to music. As a high school student, he showcased his artistic ingenuity by rewriting and composing music for a production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” This early experience allowed him to explore the intersection of music and theater, fueling his passion for both improvisation and musical theater. His project’s music was released as the album “Full Fathom Five.”

Sebastian also contributes his insightful perspectives on music as a staff writer for the Stanford Daily. Through his writings on the experiences of being a music major at Stanford and the impacts of AI on the classroom experience, he explores the present and future of music, delving into its evolving landscape and championing the needs and aspirations of fellow musicians and Stanford students. “It’s important to have as many resources for careers in arts as they do in STEM. If you’re an artist, you’re kinda in the deep end.”

Sebastian continues to nurture his love for improv as an active member of the Stanford Improvisers. Collaborating with fellow performers, he pushes the boundaries of creativity by participating in the creation of fully improvised, full-length musicals. He talked with us about how it’s a very interesting, yet super different experience from traditional theater: “We’re not just focusing on trying to make the audience laugh, we’re trying to keep them amazed.” He is part of the group’s band, which composes and arranges a full musical’s worth of songs, compositional stories, and reprises, all at the drop of a hat.

Tenets to Live By

Sebastian’s involvement in theater, particularly improvisation and musical theater, holds great importance to him. He is guided by improv group founder and author Patricia Ryan Madson, who offers thirteen insightful principles in her book “Improv Wisdom.”

  1. Say yes
  2. Don’t prepare
  3. Just show up
  4. Start anywhere
  5. Be average
  6. Pay attention
  7. Face the facts
  8. Stay on course
  9. Wake up to the gifts
  10. Make mistakes, please
  11. Act now
  12. Take care of each other
  13. Enjoy the ride

Upcoming Projects and Ambitions

As Sebastian Blue, he is set to release an EP of experimental music by the end of summer 2023. SWADE, his Los Angeles band, rocked the stage last summer at the famous Moroccan Lounge, a show which sold out. Sebastian also currently has They recently performed at the UCLA Spring Fling, which had more than seven thousand audience members.

Sebastian envisions a future where musicians are encouraged to prioritize creativity in addition to financial gain. Sebastian aspires to establish a musician-run record label that supports artists and fosters an environment where their creative visions can flourish. In his quest to strengthen musical connections, Sebastian actively collaborates with fellow musicians everywhere, both on and off campus, and with people all over the world. His ability to connect with artists not only enhances his creativity but also creates a supportive community of like-minded individuals. “I want to create a label run by musicians, to build them up. I want it to be creativity-forward, not finance-forward.”

Building on his collaborative spirit, Sebastian values connections forged through jam sessions and live performances. “Whoever wants to work with me, I’m all ears.” Whether it’s securing gigs through cold emails or reaching out to fellow musicians, he embraces the power of networking to bring his music to new audiences. Sebastian’s dedication to his craft is further bolstered by his ability to supplement his musicianship through web and graphic design, showcasing his resourcefulness and commitment to nurturing his talent.

What’s Next?

Sebastian Blue’s boundless passion, versatility, and dedication to music define his journey as a rising artist. With years of professional experience in nearly every facet of art, a resumé filled with incredible feats, a mastery of so many instruments, and an unparalleled drive to create, he is poised to make a lasting impact on the landscape of music. For more information, check out his interview in the Argonaut, and be sure to follow him on Gigmor and his social media for updates.