Saturday, September 28, 2013
Interview :: DECKast #46 x HNNY
HNNY is from Stockholm, Sweden. He's had releases on Studio Barnhus, Local Talk, Puss and white labels. I first heard HNNY in one of XXXY's boiler room mix a year or so ago. The song was 'Trummor' which was released by Local Talk, along side huge hits such as 'For The Very First Time' and 'Apricots'. I think I literally would listen to EP every day for months. HNNY's music is diverse, fun, exciting and sometimes it can be quite emotional, especially on his Mariah Carey edit 'I Want To Know What Love Is' released on Studio Barnhus in 2011. Another fabulous song that really takes you back, is the rework of 'Brandy and Monica - That Boy is Mine' released on Puss, with KOKO which has a real kiss mark on the vinyl. I began to grew curious of his influences and how he started making music. We were fortunate enough to have HNNY do a 30 minute DECKast for us, it's full of some gems, including his remix of 'Spin Me' and some other rare songs.
Make sure you check it out, it's superb.
1. Theo Parrish "Roger N Me"
2. Mos Def "Umi Says (Instrumental)"
3. Catamaran "Old Moods"
4. Moodymann "Mahogany Brown"
5. Schoolbell "Spin Me (HNNY Mix)"
6. Matmos "Steam And Sequins For Larry Levan (Edit)"
7. Daft Punk "Fresh"
8. Junior Jack "See You Dancin'"
9. Yesterday's New Quintet "Sunrays"
I was also lucky enough to catch up with him over Skype, here's what he had to say.
Huge thanks to HNNY.
Click 'Read More' for the interview...
What’s currently been on your mind?
Um, right now there’s a lot of music stuff. I am trying to make an album, which is a super big project. I’ve made 100 songs, a little more actually. I am trying to piece everything together as they won’t fit all together. I have written every song title on a post-it-note and they are stuck on my wall. I am trying to organise the order and which ones are going to be on the record and what are not. Hopefully everything is going to flow together. It’s really complicated; it’s like a weird math’s project. It’s very fun.
How long has it taken you to make 100 songs?
I started early summer – Most of them are not songs songs, they are really short. Every single song is not like Bohemian Rhapsody, they are more like small little parts.
So with, your That’s Deck mix, any significance for the track selection? OR any mood you were going for?
I just thought it would be nice to put together some songs to create a nice mood. You can enjoy while walking around town or at a dinner party or something.
Tell me a bit more about your name HNNY and when did you start making music?
Um well I started making music long before I started making music as HNNY. I started when I was around 12, I first made hip-hop beats, by using samples then I changed styles a bit and developed. I now have come back to what I used to do, like piecing samples together. I was doing music for along time, playing in bands and producing other artists. I then had a song, I did, Mariah Carey edit. I saw the video on MTV and I just heard that phrase ‘ I can’t stop now’ then I thought ‘I have to loop this’. I don’t know why, it just felt good. I did the whole thing in an hour. I played it to one of my best friends. I make music a lot with him also. Then he said ‘We have to do something with this, we have to release this.’ We thought we would give it away. But then I didn’t have a name, just me making music like that. So we were just talking and he always calls me Johnny, so he was like remove the ‘J-o-h’, and then just have it ‘h-n-n-y’. Then I felt like it was so difficult to say ‘h n n y’. So then it just became HNNY, it was easier to say. I felt like it fit the music, because it was just letters. Everything I do, it feels like honey or something.
What inspires you to make the music that you do?
Um, a lot of things…. I’m really inspired by other producers who make sample based music. There is so much more to explore. I feel like if I sit by a keyboard or guitar, I already have heard C Minor a million times. But with sample-based music it’s different, I’m really inspired. You’ve taken this soul record, it’s backward, it’s much slower, its not super cool and then you chopped it up and something happens. I think for inspiration its mostly more hip-hop producers, a lot of Madvillain and J Dilla. There’s this old hip-hop record label called Anticon. Not sure if you have heard of them but they are pretty big in a small circle, in early 2000’s. I listened to them a lot when I was 16. They kind of hung around; I still listen to those records. They are super sample based music, and they are really experimental. I don’t think my music is very experimental but I found for my inspiration I really like to listen to stuff that is somewhat unheard of. That really inspires me.
Are there any artists that we should look out for coming out of Stockholm?
Defiantly, there’s a lot of good music coming out of Stockholm I think no. There’s this label Studio Barnhus who have released some of my things. They are releasing a guy called Baba Stiltz. He is a wonder child. He is amazing. He makes a lot of house, techno, and hip-hop beats, he’s all over the place, but he still has his style. He is really great DJ and producer. He is now releasing a 12” on Studio Barnhus. It’s the same song but in three different tempos. So there’s a house version, then a slow version and then a super slow version. It’s really cool. Then the rest of the Studio Barnhus guys, they release some amazing stuff. There’s also one with a summery house vibe, this guy called Claes Rosén, he has a release on Local Talk. He sent me those songs, as I know him a little bit. I thought 'this would be perfect for Local Talk’ and he was like ‘Yeah I just need to finish these songs and then maybe you can hook me up. Then like 5 seconds later I sent his tracks to Local Talk and was like ‘You have to release this, this is amazing.’ Then three days later, they were like, ‘We are going to release it’. It’s always nice to find some good Swedish music. Everything Studio Barnhus releases I think it’s the best I have ever heard. Every time it’s like wow. They put out an EP by Lukas Nystrand That one is just crazy, you have to check out. There’s this record label called Aniara and artists called Genuis of Time. They are a little deeper, kind of house almost techno, it’s very good. They played a live show on Boiler Room, you should check it out. They use all these machines, really cool stuff.
Do you have any international tours planned?
I play a lot in Stockholm, but in Sweden you play in Stockholm. In Sweden there are three big major cities, Stockholm, Malmo and Gothenburg. Stockholm has a lot of places, it’s really nice and that’s where I live. But in Gothenburg and Malmo, there’s only like two places. There are only like a few good clubs. I don’t have much international things. I am playing in Berlin, in a month or something at Watergate, the weekend after that it’s in Amsterdam; it’s called ‘Amsterdam Dance Event’. It’s pretty much like what they have in Miami, it’s a super big dance event it’s like Swedish House Mafia and those type artists. It’s also a conference, to do with business things. Anyway I am playing there. That’s pretty much it.
Other than your next release next month, what else do you have planned for the rest of 2013?
Well there’s a lot actually…. I have a release now then I have a new 12” on Local Talk which will be out in November, then I have a two white labels which will be out this fall in Europe. We released a ‘Boy’ and we are continuing with that. The label is called Puss (pronounced ‘pous’), which is kiss in Swedish. The new release will have a different lipstick. I think we have two more releases lined up for that. The first one should be released October/November… then there’s another track that will be released on a new label. At the moment they are re-pressing Steve Reich – Nagoya Marimba (HNNY Edit), the previous release we got about 500 copies pressed, and it sold out in 3 days. People were paying about $50-$60 Euro on Discogs. Which was silly. It became really expensive because no one could find it. I felt after a while we should do a re-press. So I did a new version, HNNY edit the HNNY edit. That’s the B-side. It has a new cover and a new sticker. It looks really nice. It’s something that if you have the first release you can still buy the second release, if you are really nerdy. It’s really pretty. I got heaps of emails about it, especially because you couldn’t buy it digitally.
Do you prefer to release your tracks on vinyl?
Yeah, I feel like it’s so easy to release something digitally. It’s a quality thing. Even though I buy most of my tracks digitally, like new music, I buy it on Beatport, if it’s released on vinyl, I know its worth checking out, because someone paid the cost of pressing the record and doing everything, instead of like uploading on Soundcloud. You don’t really have to think about it. There is just so much music out there; you need something to narrow it down. For me it’s important, to have my own stuff released. Maybe with remixes and stuff like that they are released digitally. But when it comes to my own releases, I want it to be on vinyl, and digital because I prefer to buy it digitally as well, at least for new music
Do you DJ vinyl or mp3, or both?
It depends on the place. I have a lot of records, but they are usually used for sampling. I don’t really buy any new music on vinyl. When I play at a house party, most of the time I play 90% digital files. I like to play more bars, and then I just bring records. I play all different stuff. Then I play almost no house music. I play soul, disco, a lot of weird funky nice stuff.