60 Seconds with… Him_Self_Her
iHouseu.com caught up with Leicester’s hot new duo, Him_Self_Her who have just notched up over a million Youtube views for their incredible debut single ‘Gone Too Long’, which spent an amazing 11 months on the Beatport chart and is coming out with new mixes on Crosstown Rebels this month. Here they talk about Pete Tong selecting ‘Gone Too Long’ as an Essential New tune and tweeting them, their career highlights so far, new tunes, the scene in Leicester and playing at the Familia party at Egg London this Saturday September 7th.
Congratulations on One Million Youtube views on your massive ‘Gone Too Long’ track! How has life changed for you since its release?
Thanks so much. We are so proud and grateful for the response we have had to this track, and we are pretty sure it still has a long way to go yet! Although life has changed a lot since its release, we have both been working really hard at our music for over a decade individually, so it is not an overnight thing at all. However the exposure this track has given us has meant we can both cut down our day jobs to spend more time in the studio and really start focusing more on the production side of things. And of course it has opened doors to huge labels like Crosstown Rebels, which is an absolute dream for us.
Everyone from Pete Tong (one of his ‘Essential New Tune’ hit picks), Hot Since 82, Solomun, Sandy Rivera, Lee Foss to Jamie Jones, who played it in his Hot Creations closing set at DC10, was on it, so tell us how Crosstown Rebel’s Damian Lazarus signed you up in the face of so much competition?
Well the track was originally released on an EP, by a small label called Cream Couture, and those guys did a such a great job of promoting it, as we were just unknown artists at the time but they managed to get it into the hands of the biggest DJs such as Lee Foss and Solomun, which created an instant buzz. The track went to Number 1 in the Nu-Disco chart onBeatport and spent 11 weeks there, which was incredible as this was actually our first release as a duo! Then we opened up our Facebook fanpage one morning to a message from Damian Lazarus, saying he had heard the track in Mexico and loved it. We sent it over, never really expecting more than Damian to play it in his sets, but just a few months later it is being re-released by Crosstown Rebels, on Vinyl, with remixes from 2 incredible artists. Crazy!
What are your plans on Crosstown Rebels and when is your next release due?
At the moment we are working on a semi-exclusive basis for Crosstown with our new material and there are lots of exciting things in the pipeline… unfortunately we can’t say too much about this just yet, other than that we have been working hard with our vocalist Kieran Fowkes, to produce some follow up material that will hopefully rival ‘Gone Too Long’! So watch this space…
Are the hotly anticipated Remixes of Gone Too Long’ ready and can you tell us what’s in store from the new package?
Yes the tracks are ready and the vinyl release goes out in the next few weeks but we can’t say who has remixed even though we are absolutely dying to… aaargh! The 2 remixers are huge artists though and to have them rework one of our tracks is a massive honour. We are really excited for the release and can’t wait to see how the track is received now that it is going out on such a huge label to a worldwide audience.
As major new players on the Deep House scene, what have been your personal highlights so far?
Our personal highlight so far has to be when we were named Pete Tong’s Essential New Tune with ‘Gone Too Long’. We had no idea it was coming until we noticed Pete Tong had tweeted us at the start of the show and then we sat with butterflies listening and waiting to hear what happened. The second he announced it we were on the phone to each other shouting and screaming, it was just incredible. To be in that position after listening to theshow for so many years as fans – it was a real goose bump moment!
This is your first time at the Familia party at Egg London, but not your first time at Egg Ldn, as I hear you are about to become quarterly residents at their hush hush new monthly party, which has evolved out of the Heroes events for Jim Warboy. What do you like about playing at Egg London and what can party people expect from your set at Familia ?
Egg is easily one of our favourite venues in the UK. The vibe in there is always amazing and it is full of friendly people who areproper clubbers. We would say the crowd there have the Ibiza mentality – people are there for the music and to have a good time. So we are super excited and honoured to be quarterly residents there, for a really forward thinking brand.
We try to keep our sets as dynamic and original as possible, so you will hear a lot of unreleased material, edits, bootlegs & a few surprises thrown in. People that watch us play usually comment on our energy behind the decks too, so expect a lot of entertainment and some rather questionable dance moves!
Do you have any secret weapons you can share with us ?
Well firstly a bit of shameless self-promotion! We have an EP coming out soon on Resonance Records featuring 2 tracks that have been working really well in our sets just lately. They are called ‘Home’ and ‘Heaven’ and although they are deeper than our usual style they were both made for peak-time dance floor sets and the response so far has been really good. The EP should be out in November time.
And a couple of other favourites at the minute are Cristoph’s ‘Guffaz’, which is dropping soon on Defected and also Green Velvet’s ‘Bigger than Prince’ Martinez Brothers Remix, which is forthcoming on Circus. We were lucky enough to get promo copies of these and they are both absolute bombs!
How does playing in London compare to other cities or countries as you’ve have such an amazingly busy schedule since ‘Gone Too Long’ blew up, and what have been your DJ-ing highlights so far?
Just before ‘Gone Too Long’ was released we signed up to The Underground Artist Management Agency based in Manchester. Kal from The Underground really took a chance on us at the time as unknown artists, but it has paid off and he now manages us full time, which is one of the reasons we get so many great gigs.
So far we have played at some amazing places, and every where we go we seem to have a story to tell… a few of the most interesting ones include drinking champagne and sleeping on a canal boat in Belgium; cottage cheese pie for breakfast and crazy cab drivers in Russia; flat tyres and ambulances in Denmark (don’t ask!); touring the Amsterdam Red Light district with the Fur Coat guys; a stage rush in Dublin; a whole club sit down in Sankeys Manchester before it closed, and then the honour of playing the closing set at Sankeys Ibiza.
But really nothing compares to playing in the capital of your home country… so we cant wait to get back there and get on the decks for Familia @ Egg!
How does the Him_self_Her sound evolve and have you got set roles when you’re creating music or DJ-ing together? Is there one track that you’re particularly proud of and why?
We always say we make “house music with feeling”. We don’t really want to be pigeon holed into a particular genre, so as long as it has feeling and emotion, we just go with it.
We do have separate roles in the studio, but we work together on every track from start to finish and we make sure its fun and just enjoy the process. We always seem to work better with vocal tracks so we often work backwards… We will write a vocal over a rough loop or a simple chord progression… record, edit and produce it and then use that acapella to write a whole new track around it.
Of all our releases, we are actually most proud of a remix we did on Alex Flatner’s label Circle Music called “Freedom of The Heart”. It was played a few times by Pete Tong on his show and is actually the label’s biggest seller on Beatport, which is quite an achievement considering some huge artists have released on there, including Daniel Bortz and Subb-an.
You are based in Leicester and how much of an influence did the neighbourhood and music scene around you have on your path towards music? Were there any other major influences such as moving to a different place, key people, DJ’s, producers or clubs etc that inspired you to make your career in music?
10 – 15 years ago Leicester had a really strong underground scene. There were loads of different nights, enough clubbers to fill them all and the vibe was just amazing. We had clubs like Die Hard and The Emporium hosting the biggest events and DJs in the country, and people would travel all over the UK to rave with us. This was really how we got into house music andDJing and we have both played at all the major Midlands venues as solo artists over the last decade and seen all kinds ofdifferent brands and genres come and go. We both started out playing trance and hard house on vinyl all those years ago… how things have changed since then!
In the last few years though the Leicester scene has really died off and it’s quite a tough place now to try and promote underground music. We run our own night in Leicester called Anoché and have brought acts such as DJ Sneak, Hot Since 82, Dale Howard and Waifs & Strays to the City to try and help build the scene again. It’s been hard work but we love it, and the networking side of running your own night definitely helps build your career as an artist too.
With so much going on, how do you manage to keep a fresh approach? Is it a case of pressure as DJ/Producers to always be one step ahead in the electronic music scene?
We have actually felt quite a bit of pressure to follow on from ‘Gone Too Long’ – when you have had a track as big as that people want more of the same, which is difficult, as obviously we want our sound to evolve and grow. It’s a bit of a balancing act between developing as artists and giving the fans what they want, but we feel we have done this with the new material we have made and are really excited for everyone to hear it.
So what does the future hold for you?
Well, we predict a large mansion with a swimming pool, a private jet and servants bringing us champagne and strawberries on a silver platter…
Just kidding (obviously)! We are so grateful for everything that has happened so far. We will just keep doing what we do and hopefully the future will continue to get even brighter for us.
And before you leave us, can you tell us something you think we should all be listening to before we head out the door to the Familiaparty at Egg London on Saturday September 7th?
Our buddy Hot Since 82’s latest Essential Mix is awesome. It’s our favourite travel music at the minute and it’s also the perfect soundtrack for getting ready to go out and party, so if you didn’t hear it then we recommend you check it out…http://soundcloud.com/hotsince-82/hot-since-82-essential-mix
Or… you could always have a listen to our latest podcast for DJ mag.. if you want to that is (wink wink).. check it out here soundcloud.com/djmag/dj-weekly-podcast-him_self_her J
Him_Self_Her join Victor Calderone, Sasha Carassi, Manic Brothers, Christian Burkhardt, Nick Tcherniak, Soft Porn vs Minimood, Volt.mar and many more at Familia on Saturday September 7th at Egg London. More info at www.egglondon.net or www.facebook.com/events/532921433443876/ or www.twitter.com/familialondon