When Tigran Mkhitaryan, or MiM0SA, first began performing at age 17, he was not even old enough to legally enter the venue at which he played.
“They would sneak me in,” Mkhitaryan said. “It was a bar, so it was 21-and-up, and I snuck in my first few times, and I started becoming a resident there before I was 21.”
Now 23 years old, Mkhitaryan’s career has taken off. In the past few years he has gone from playing clubs and bars in California to performing at music festivals such as Coachella, Burning Man and Summer Camp as well as headlining his own tour.
Mkhitaryan is scheduled to perform at the Newport Music Hall Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. The M Machine and Sleepyhead will be opening.
Mkhitaryan is touring to promote the release of his new album, “Sanctuary,” which came out on Oct. 25, under his new record label, False Idol Musik.
Mkhitaryan blends elements of R&B and hip-hop with dubstep to create the melodious down-tempo music on his albums.
Katie Bain of The Huffington Post described MiM0SA’s sound as, “deep bass dub step constructed with expertly arranged synth-crunch layers that build to explosive moments of sonic boom.”
He explained that his sound is heavily influenced by the West Coast music with which he grew up.
“I always just make music based on what I’m feeling at the moment,” Mkhitaryan said. “If I ever need to resolve anything or get anything out, I just do it through music. I don’t really have a formula. It’s just whatever inspires me when I’m in the flow.”
“Sanctuary” has more of an experimental sound than Mkhitaryan’s previous releases.
“I wasn’t even trying to go for anything,” Mkhitaryan said. “I feel like I’m always gonna sound like me, but I was just trying to explore more with doing something to break outside of the mold that everybody would kind of expect. I went a more melodic route I guess. Not so bass-centric necessarily. It’s more rhythm and melody.”
Mkhitaryan said the driving force behind his desire to create inventive music is insecurity.
“I think to have an element of insecurity is key because it’s what drives you to explore new territories and new sounds, and that’s where all sorts of creativity comes from,” he said. “I feel like it’s important to be vulnerable and to sometimes not be sure.”
Mkhitaryan said he tries to make a connection with both himself and his audience through his music.
“I feel like there’s a certain tone you can hit and it’s kind of what I go for. Something that everyone can resonate with,” Mkhitaryan said. “It’s always different. Sometimes it’s a release and sometimes it’s just reflecting where I am at the moment. But it’s usually a way for me to kind of connect with myself.”
Though he has previously only headlined one tour, Mkhitaryan has already performed at Colorado’s famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
“Being able to play in front of 10,000 people, I felt like it was definitely a milestone in my career,” Mkhitaryan said.
He said his musical talent, as well as his overall show, is constantly evolving.
“We have an amazing production this time around,” he said. “There’s lights and visuals and contents that help translate the experience of the music as well.”
In a review of “Sanctuary,” Jake Krzeczowski of TheUntz.com brought the evolution of MiM0SA’s sound to attention.
“MiM0SA recognized a chance to expand the realm of his music, and does so by exhibiting his signature distinct sounds, while not being afraid to experiment with new styles,” Krzeczowski wrote.
Mkhitaryan has been working on his side project, Sexytime. “Naked Poetry,” a collaboration album with Sleepyhead is in the works and will be release in the near future.
Tickets to the concert are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show.