Interview by Gurvin Dhillon
Ryan Hemsworth is no stranger to the odd Australian tour. In fact, he has been here a suspicious amount of times in the past few years *strokes chin and looks to the side*.
But alas, we are always happy to welcome RyRy back down under, his supple but impressive sets always bring warmth to our hearts, so we caught up with him to chat all things life, music, rap music and 21 Savage.
Stoney Roads: Are you prepared for ADE coming up in Amsterdam? Because your rounding things up in London after your show.
Ryan Hemsworth: Ohhh its gonna be a busy 3 days playing back to back, but im ready for it im just trying to mentally prepare myself.
SR: And how are you mentally preparing yourself for it? First and foremost I hope the radiator is working in Amsterdam.
RH: ahahah yah hopefully it will be a little warmer out there its like freezing in London right now. That’s another plus for getting out of Canada though.
SR: Pffttt as if you should be used to the cold. In saying that though you have spent a large majority of your time in Atlanta lately.
RH: It was great down there, I spent the summer there and Im not used to their heat but I got accustomed to it over time.
SR: Why were you there for such a long time?
RH: Umm well I kinda went down initially just to make a mixtape properly, because I never really done that as a project. Normally I’ve just worked with a few rapper on each project or produced for some people, but I was like yah im finally gonna do this and I was talking to a few people at the same time and Brodinski was planning on going down there and a few other friends so we were like “why don’t we make this a proper trip and stay at the same place and split up the studio and stuff like that.” So a lot of the summer we were doing that for a week or 2 a month and coming and going for shows and we just ran back and pretty much stayed in the studio all day and night and have like at least 3 or 4 people in everyday making music.
SR: Who were some of the artists and rappers that you guys worked with because you’ve been posting a lot of pictures on instagram from your time there?
RH: Yah I mean its been a lot of people from like smaller dudes that we kinda found and yah umm I made a few tracks with Nebu Kiniza and that was kinda before the “Gassed Up” track really blew up, and yeah I put out a track with him and I got another with him that will probably be on my album. Ive been working with Yakki and Hoodrich Pablo Juan umm and a few bigger names that im excited to share with everyone soon.
SR: What about 21 21 21?
RH: Hahah we were sooo close of getting 21 in the studio, I was recording with Young Nuddy and ahh that night they were like “he’s probably gonna come through” and we were like hes gonna do the second verse to this track and we were just waiting and waiting ahah, but that’s the way it goes. I learned that quickly that shit doesn’t work out exactly as planned.
SR: Don’t worry though 21 Savage isn’t ready for your production yet. Its great to hear that you have another release coming, especially after “Alone For The First Time’, and you dropped a collaboration project with Lucas on Secret Songs how did this all come about?
RH: Ummmm I guess with him, I still have his email that I saw the other day, he hit me up like a year and half, two years ago, and he really just wanted to send some music and I really liked what I heard and I just hit him back and we just started talking about samples that we used, and like more geeky producer ahh pen pal relationship and then were just like “why don’t we start sending ideas back and forth” and the whole thing was just done through Dropbox. I felt kinda right at the time because you know in a way we were working and sorta remixing each other, like he would have an idea, and I would take that and do something different with it, and ahh slow it down and move with it and he would completely change it after that and so it was sorta back and forth morphing these songs into something where we were like “okay that ones done” and it was a pretty quick process in the end.
SR: Because Lucas’s work has been released via your Secret Songs label. What is the process for you in finding the right artist to fit the sound, what do you look for in an artist?
RH: Ahah its kinda hard to describe like I still haven’t really figured it out exactly, but I guess there’s some kinda of balance where there’s music I thought “Shit I wish I made that” or music that really grabs me and that’s why it doesn’t limit it to just what ever like dance music or any kind of genre. Like I can put out a track produced by TM88 and then like the next week something by Tennyson or ahh Happy Doghouse like that garage rock band I just put out. Its really more something that ties in all these songs together that I’m not really sure what it is but I think its like a strange balance from a bit of nostalgia and ahh I dunno the references just seem like they collide with each other, yahh I just put out what I like and I just hope people like it that’s really it.
SR: With a lot of the releases coming from Secret Songs, they almost sound like something for a movie soundtrack. Do you guys every plan on making scores for movies, and what is the end goal for SS?
RH: That would be amazing aha, I’ve been thinking more and more of what we can all join forces on and I’ve been kinda imagining stuff like that, or like releasing a full project and getting everyone contributing to it instead of doing separate releases, because a lot of them are like minded and a lot of them in the first year were I booked a lot of these guys and girls to do shows and like a SS showcases. They worked really well even though it was me putting Mitski on the bill with some rapper or something like that, because it’s a nice time were people aren’t scared in combining these genres its just more about the right timing I guess.
SR: You just mentioned Mitski, and moving away from all things Secret Songs for now. Was it your idea on getting her on the Adult Swim single you dropped this year?
RH: Ive been working on that instrumental for a while and I sent it to Keaton Henson first and he kinda did the whole track but I thought it would be interesting to put, I dunno it’s a thing when you’ve been working on a rap song and you get someone super unexpected on for the second verse or something like that, that’s why I thought it would be interesting to apply those rules to “A” an emo song or whatever you wanna call it umm so it was kinda a lil guest vocalist from Mitski and yeah I hit her and I talk to her pretty regularly and she’s always down for stuff.
SR: Now days with Soundcloud becoming a lot harder in finding new artists, you should make a App for SS.
RH: I’ve actually been talking about that but I wasn’t sure you know because its hard to figure out what would work right now like lets make a streaming app specific to this but then would it be another app people would find boring and is that annoying? Or ah I’m trying to figure that out because its an interesting time as well with SC because like it definitely doesn’t have that same initial feeling of like going on and discovering your next favourite artist some morning, its super over saturated now cause it was always gonna reach that point were we have to move onto the next site whatever that is .
SR: The idea of this app would be revolutionary regardless, but imagine a virtual reality SS set. Because you had the virtual reality concept for your music video “Surounded”. Who’s idea and concept was it to go that way?
RH: That was done by Martin Pariseau and he did my previous 2 videos. I dunno initially we were talking, after doing the Snow In Newark video and all that and we wanted to continue that sort of story into the next music video and next place, which was the interesting next step for it because it started with the Tinashe track, and it sort of moved through all the different stages of like a career I think, because its an interesting time now as well. Because we can definitely see that being a possibility in the next couple of years, because the technology is pretty much there it just needs to be accessible and affordable for everyone, which will be a hard part for that but I’m sure we will see a lot of virtual festivals and shows.
SR: Moving on from everything that could happen in the future, you dug deep into your past and pressed vinyls for “Still Awake” this year. When you think about Still Awake how much does that release mean to you?
RH: That one was really special to me, its hard to pin point exactly why but it was just the right point were I could put out whatever I wanted and I always done that and never felt any kind of pressure, but with this one a few of the tracks started as like actual tracks I was making as a soundtrack for a documentary and that never came out so I kinda morphed that into this project, and in the end as I was approaching it as a soundtrack more then a album it turned out a little different then most projects when I start them. The vibe worked its like what I do with my mixes, its just like something you can play when you stare out the window during a bus or train ride because that’s my ideal scenario which is kinda cheesy I guess but I dunno.
SR: When you talk about progression from the music videos recently, it can definitely be seen with your music/releases over the years.
RH: I mean I guess it always shows up in different ways and even with the next project it will still be there in a way, but in a different form.
SR: And this is gonna be the same with the upcoming mixtape I’m taking?
RH: Yah I think so, so I guess we will properly put this out and stuff so we’re just working out on a deal right now and I should be done with it before the end of the year, and yah then just slowly start putting it out, but hopefully not to slowly haha.
SR: Because it makes sense now with your 3AM O4W mix how you combined this “staring out the window” production music such as Kazumasa Hashimoto in the mix.
RH: I don’t even know how I found that guys stuff hes kinda tough to find as well, I dunno, if you listen to his stuff his music is in a very similar realm to where that producer is making there music.
SR: Because apart of music similar to Kazumasa Hashimoto vibes in the mix you have countless rap edits as well. Can we expect a Ryan Vol 3 pack emerge alongside the mixtape?
RH: I think we will be trying everything out. Theres gonna be a whole lot of mixtapes.
SR: What can fans expect from you this time? Because this is like your 4 or 5th time here.
RH: Yeah that’s right, shit. Its just exciting to come out each time because whenever I play out in Australia its more of a real reaction then anywhere else, because people are passionate for live shows so I’m just trying to impress and surprise at the same time and hopefully, not weird out to many people but that’s always gonna happen anyway ahah.
SR: Its gonna get weird regardless, people should be ready. Wrapping this up now Ry Ry what are 5 essentials you’re gonna bring to Australia to combat the summer?
RH: Ohhh shit I guess a fly squatter, bug spray, a slinky, a pogo stick anddddddd hmmmm.
SR: What would be the book you bring along? Let that be the 5th item.
RH: Ahhhhhhh every time I’m in Montreal I always go to this store and just stock up on stuff from like weird animes and graphic novels. So something from there.
You can catch a rare set from the Canadian on his run of shows this summer at the following events:
30/12 – Beyond The Valley, Vic
31/12 – Origin NYE, WA
1/1 – Field Day, NSW
2/1 – Bay Dreams, NZ