It’s one of the first things you’re confronted with when calling a business: hold music. You could say it’s the acoustic business card of your company, so it has to make a good impression.

As a design marketplace we know how important seamless branding is. So we were looking for hold music that hit the right note. We wanted the first contact with our callers to be positive, different and in tune with our brand.

The composition that fit the bill came from Berlin-based artist and musician Lvis Mejía.

Listen to Lvis Mejía’s creation for 99designs:

 

His intention was to add an element of surprise and to improve the experience callers have while waiting. He created a relaxed sound that is different to what you would expect. With a combination of jazzy bass and flute Lvis Mejía’s piece perfectly fits the 99designs style.

We talked to him about his music, his inspiration and his upcoming projects.

Lvis Mejía in his studio
Lvis Mejía in his studio

Name of the artist: Lvis Mejía
Speciality: Interdisciplinary arts
Originally from: Mexico City
Currently living in: Berlin, Germany
Name of the piece: Hold on, ninety-nine designs!

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into making music?

As an interdisciplinary artist my work unfolds in different directions. Despite the format or approach, most of the time there is a common thread. History, the human condition, philosophy, science, phenomenology and politics are recurrent topics in my work. This, in addition to my own complex character, makes me not the easiest person to handle.

I truly believe that music is the tonal interpretation of my thoughts and feelings; therefore it cannot be reduced to simple elements either.

From an early age on I was a very passionate listener and music lover. I started producing tunes and experimenting with their endless possibilities around 7-8 years ago when a former roommate showed me a music software demo she had installed and I started playing around with it like a fascinated child. It was a lot of fun and I knew that I had discovered something absolutely thrilling. I did not even realize that I was taking over my roommate’s computer, until she suggested I should get my own one ☺ So without any doubt I knew that this had to happen. I bought a laptop, got some software – both have accompanied me ever since.

How would you describe the style and feel of your music in general?

That has always been a tricky one ☺

It is difficult to think in general terms, since most of my outcome is project and concept based. There are, though, recurrent “genres” in my compositions such as: contemporary classic, ambient, jazz, religious chants, electronica, just to mention some.

The common denominator seems to be that my pieces are often loaded and multi-layered.

Lvis Mejia Album Cover
Lostoys LP album cover, released in May 2015

Hold music is notorious for being annoying or sometimes even plain bad, how did you want to change that?

In my eyes most of the time hold music is just not daring, it simply tries to bridge unwanted moments, with no real statement and being cowardly and kitschy. I sincerely think it is a very suitable opportunity to offer something with distinctive quality and to take advantage of the non-expectancy.

In my opinion what has to be avoided is this predetermined sensation of going to be bored and upset for an unknown period time, before one gets through and tries to focus on what one wanted from the person on the other line.

I was aiming to offer a semi-catchy tune that surprises with joy, using a some sort of unconventional instrument for that: a jazzy double bass.

How did you come up with this specific piece?

I had something with a smooth character and an easy groove in mind, so I thought of a “jazzy hue”. I did not pretend to be invasive with it, I rather wanted something addressing the “good old-school” elegance.

Being briefed on the company’s values I tried to offer a different approach in tonality and instrumentation, which works well with the concept of 99designs: “Design loves a good surprise”.

 

Album Cover Lvis Mejia
Antropology of AmnesiA, Vinyl design for LP album, release September 2017

What is the feeling you wanted to evoke in the people listening?

I wanted to offer an unexpected cheerful listening experience that would ideally make people forget that they were waiting on hold.

What are your current projects? What can we expect to see or hear from you next?

I am currently working on the artwork of my next release titled Anthropology of AmnesiA. It is an electro-acoustic essay addressing our utter necessity to remember in the face of existential oblivion, an innate behaviour of the human species.

Presented as a 33 minute long continuous composition, Anthropology of AmnesiA unrolls as a series of chapters, the contemplative character of the piece opening a particular frame within the listening experience, where I attempt to convey the phenomenon of the collective consciousness through the cultural traces we leave behind. It is related to the idea of “one species, one culture, one past”.

It will be released in September this year through oqko, the label & collective of which I’m an active member.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us! We are excited to see (and listen to) your next projects!

To find out more about Lvis and his work, get in touch with him here or visit his website.