Hot Since 82 is ready to unveil his third album to the world after enduring one of the most traumatic experiences life can throw at you.
In 2017 the Leeds-based producer suffered a heartbreaking tragedy losing a close friend to mental health. Fast forward to 2020 and a global pandemic has shaken up our lives in ways previously unimaginable, and in doing so wreaked havoc with our state of mind.
While the Knee Deep in Sound head honcho is known for igniting dance floors with his vibrant and dynamic showcase of house and techno, this record is something totally different. You only need to listen to the lead single 'Eye of the Storm' to realise how much of a stripped back approach there is throughout the LP.
We caught up with Hot Since 82 to discuss his tips for producers on how to look after their mental health, life in lockdown and unveiling his latest album atop a hot air balloon.
How excited are you that it's nearly time to unveil your latest project to the world?
Yes I'm super excited. It feels great to have something positive to look forward to, especially as it was written during lockdown. This year has been tough for us all and l really feel music soothes the soul. It certainly does for me anyway. I think I've written some nice records for all different kinds of moods. Music is made for moods after all. I'm also excited to reveal all the collaborations on the album. I hope you guys enjoy it.
Just tell us a bit around the background story of the album?
The title of the album Recovery was actually chosen way before this global pandemic, but it feels even more fitting now. The "recovery" for me is both from the passing of my best friend and the energy l put into my last project 8-track. Recovery seemed the obvious route in terms of direction and sound. It's a nod to a more happy place musically, with more of a dance-floor vibe.
Just talk us through the challenges you might face mentally as a DJ and producer?
I guess the main challenge is writer's block. That's a tough one for sure. But after all these years of making records, l tend to know when it's the right time to head into my studio and write. I have this feeling in my tummy. If l don't have that buzz, I simply won't go in. Having so much time at home has also been great for me personally. I just feel I've had so much more energy. Usually I'm so drained and jet lagged that going into the studio for six hours is hard. When I'm feeling like that l need to just sit and chill out while watching a film.
What advice would you give new artists in terms of helping them to look after their mental well-being in the best way?
Watch out for the partying! It will soon catch up to you. It always does. If you're partying heavy and sleeping when you return home, that means you're not in the studio making music. If you're not making music then you're not keeping things fresh. Music is so disposable now that the kids want new music constantly so it's ever more important to keep it up.
How different has it been making a record in lockdown compared with normal?
For me it's been easier. My studio is in my house so I have the joy of nipping in and out when l need a break. We have just had our first baby in lockdown so I'm now a keen multi-tasker. Making beats and changing nappies. Easy work!
How has the past year been for you?
Well, as I mentioned I've had a baby and I got married, so life has completely changed, and for the better. It's all about health and bringing up our boy now. Of course, my DJ life has changed too. I can't wait to get back on the road. You don't know how much you miss something until it's taken away.
Just reflect on the past few months for Knee Deep in Sound if you would.
The label is doing its thing. Although I think most producers are back-cataloguing their music ready for 2021. I don't blame them. Why release club focused music when clubs are empty? These records only work on the floor so I predict 2021 to be a year of great music. Happy music. I can't wait to get back at it.
I'm releasing my album on KDIS, so we've all been busy with the promo side of things. The label is always pushing for new artists and we have some great music to come in 2021. It's always been a labour of love for me and that continues now. It's a great feeling signing a record from a bedroom producer.
Have you taken up any new hobbies since the first lockdown?
I've been training a lot more and really focusing on my diet and healthy eating. I also cook at home so that's gone into overdrive.
You’ll be unveiling your new record with a live stream atop a hot air balloon. How mad does it feel you're going to be playing from such a mental location?
Oh yes. Wow, what an experience and one to tick off my ever growing bucket list.
We flew over Bristol at 7am on a misty morning. It was beautiful and it was the first time that I got the chance to play my new album from start to finish. I have to admit it was a little scary. The landing was the craziest part. I mean, we ended up randomly landing in a cow field.
Which shows were you most looking forward to playing that have been cancelled because of the pandemic?
It doesn't matter if I'm playing to two people or 2,000 people, l just want to get back to normality. I've really missed all the things that would drive me mad, the flights, delayed flights, airports! I am lucky I have a great job that I'm super passionate about. I'm going to enjoy it even more after the pandemic and really make the most of it.
This interview originally appeared on our partner platform Festicket.
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