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For several weeks we’re now talking about Hemingway. I’ve been lucky enough to meet him few weeks ago and he agreed to give us an interview. Just before reporting what we talked about let me quickly depict what I’ve seen from this rising Canadian producer and remixer.
Across the Toronto Queen St universe this young but well experienced guy showed his ability to ignite the dance floor getting everyone up on their feet dancing for some unforgettable sets. I firstly discovered his performance enjoying the Lipstick Cherry Party, which I covered in a previous post. The day after I met him in a bar/restaurant to talk with and I saw all the span of his musical talent during a funky-oriented set.
SNR : Hemingway can you introduce yourself, how old are you, what do you do except good music?
Hemingway : Hello. My name is James, I’m twenty-three years old, I’ve just graduated from university and now I’m living in my parents basement. Other than making music, I like to play chess, draw weird things, and listen to records.
SNR : When did you discover music?
Hemingway : I grew up in a very musical environment, thanks to my dad. He has a lot of old gizmos, like a rack modular synthesizer he built back in the seventies, some drum machines, and random percussion instruments. As for my first musical discovery, that’s pretty hard to pin down, but it was probably at a very early age. Maybe playing with a rattle when I was one year old?
SNR : You said your father is still helping you in your work, what kind of advice do you receive from him?
Hemingway : My dad? He’s very down to earth, so he’ll give me feedback from time to time. He’s more on the technical/engineering side of things, and I’m more on the musical creative side. We are actually planning a father-son art project to create visual music.
SNR : You really try to develop the visual side of your work, the Lipstick Cherry visual effects were very impressive.
Hemingway : Yes! Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed them. Yesterday (Lipstick Cherry Night) my friend Marshall VJ’d for the first time, and he did a great job. It’s difficult to put on an interesting visual performance when you’re just a dude on stage with a laptop and a controller, twiddling knobs. We wanted the show to be more engaging than that. So Marshall really pulled his weight and found the perfect visuals for each song in the set – not just moving wallpaper for the club – but footage that was actually captivating, and I think the reception was good.
SNR : How do you create your songs?
Hemingway : It’s a weird process. I usually like to start with a good chord progression and then build off of it. I think chords are probably the most important part for me. Once that musical framework is laid out, and I’m feeling inspired, then I will focus on rhythmic elements, like the bass and the drums. The bass is the second most important part. Sometimes I will spend an entire day just getting the bassline right. But when I do, it’s very satisfying. After that, it’s just a matter of finding sounds that work well with one another and creating complimentary layers. I usually save the arrangement work for last. As for programs, I’m using Ableton Live 8, Reason 4, and a bunch of plug-ins. I’m trying to teach myself proper audio-engineering, but it’s very complicated. The computer is like any instrument; you have to train with it for a long time before you can master it.
SNR : What are you wishing for future ?
Hemingway : I’m working on an EP that I intend to finish by next summer, if all goes smoothly. I’m pretty excited about it so far. I’m going for a laid-back tropical holiday vibe – there may also be some special guest vocalists on board! Realistically, once I finish this EP I would like to release it with a label that I see fit. I think it’s a step in the right direction and people will start to take my work a little more seriously. I really want to collaborate more with other artists too – I’m tired of being a hermit in the studio. And I would love if I could play some shows in maybe Europe or Australia soon. But right now I would like to find my USB cable so I can do this set tonight.
Hemingway agreed to record a smooth and funky mix for Diese05.com
Credit : Hemingway’s Slow Cruise Mix for Diese05.com
1. Sanibel Island – Calliope
2. Swimmin’ – Tornado Wallace
3. Dalston – Duff Disco
4. Alone – TWLM
5. Baby You’re Still The Same (Social Disco Club Mix) – Trujillo
6. Down To Love – Hot Toddy
7. Love On The Line (Hot Toddy Mix) – Crazy P
8. Jam Hot (Yo Thrill) – Jonny Oykor
9. The Hit – Crazy P/Syndromes
10. Get On Down – Mr. Scruff
11. Love In Cambodgia – Tiger & Woods
12. Sweet Cow (Cyclist Remix) – Chicken Lips
And he decided to broadcast his latest track on the web:
Credit : Oh Yeah (Hemingway’s Pacific Boogie Remix)