A quick Q&A with Henry Saiz
Spanish producer Henry Saiz is one of the most inspiring electronic musical artists in today’s scene. His music tells stories like none other, always balancing dark and light elements with digital and analog sounds, keeping his fans on their toes at home and on the dance floor. Recently making headlines with his new project, a 10-track audio visual album that will be recorded and filmed in all corners of the globe, mixing his love for nature with the wonders of music and art, this new project is bound to shake the electronic music world and we are very excited to be talking to him before his gig at Jenja on November 25!
Hola Henry! Where in the world are you right now and what can you see in your immediate vicinity?
Right now we´re in Australia, our fourth location in the album making process. We’re having shows here and in NZ with a short Indonesian stopover in between as well, so it’s pretty crazy and hectic as you can imagine. But, well, not for the first time, we’re enjoying it and looking forward to the rest of the tour!
The next album you are working on has been receiving a lot of hype, can you please explain what it’s all about?
Yeah there are hundreds of fans all over the world that believed in it and invested in it. I’ve already tried a bit of collective work with my first album, and it ended up great, so I thought why not to involve people even more this time. Union is strength, after all. Secondly, the album comes along with a film that will complement it. And it’s important to mention that this movie won’t be just a making-of. It will be an album’s visual interpretation, something that will help to understand the music on deeper level, so that anyone can also get the same feelings we had visiting that particular place and to live through the experience we did. So, production, concept and, well, ambition wise this is far from a traditional album. Besides, no electronic artist has done something like this before, so this album is one big challenge and risk. I mean, materializing the essence of each place into a song sometimes sounds a little crazy even for me, but that wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do it. So let’s see how it goes.
What are some of the locations you have chosen for these magical soundscapes to be recorded and filmed at?
We´ve already been in Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands, Dubai and Joshua Tree in California. And now add Australia and New Zealand next week to that too. There are really so many magnificent places in the world this could be done at and that we´d like to visit for this project in particular, but unfortunately we´re limited to the budget we´ve set for this. On the other hand, when you travel the world as much as I do, it makes it somewhat easier to choose, because you already have some places in your mind you have more connection with, that you’re more attracted to, and you know that you just have to get them in the list. I mean, Lanzarote and Joshua Tree were in mind without even thinking. And so was Tokyo. I love everything about these places, their culture, vibes, aesthetics, so they were an obvious choice. Mexico, Argentina and some unique European corners are still yet to be visited too. Bummer I can only have 10 places, but then it also means you can count on some super varied selections of moods, scenes and their sonic interpretations.
You succeeded with your kickstarter campaign for this album, can you give us a little run-down on how people can keep up with the project moving forward? How does Kickstarter work exactly for those who might not know?
Everyone who got involved in the campaign gets the updates we are posting through kickstarter: little teasers, sneak peaks etc. Plus regular posts on all the social media channels. We try to keep the audience as updated as possible, which is a bit hard due to this tight schedule, crazy ideas and millions of things we have to do, but we’re trying our best as it’d be unfair not to feed those little beasts once in a while. One thing I can assure each and everyone, the final result will be well worth the wait! And how does Kickstarter work? Well, basically, all of my fans, friends and associates, who were interested and believed in me, were able to make a pledge in exchange for the variety of exciting rewards. From the finished album, film and book, to VIP tickets to one of my gigs, one on one Skype masterclasses with me or even have me DJ at their private party (a few of which, by the way, we’ve done already and that was super fun). And so there was no better place than Kickstarter to carry out a project like this. Due to all the complexity and explanations I’d have to make, this was a perfect platform to showcase everything in detail. Plus, as I already said, it’s great to feel all the support of the ‘investors‘ and have them all by our side in an exciting journey like this. It encourages you to be a better version of yourself and work harder not to let anyone who helped us to fund the project down.
You’ve talked about formulas in terms of production, what is your formula for this album? What is different about this one than the rest of your music?
First of all it will sound way more like a band since I’m doing this with my best friends and love band members, it’s something I wanted to do for a while. I’ve been playing in bands since I was 14 so I missed that and also my sound is always evolving but still keeping my essence. So far the tracks we’ve done sound like progressive rock meets electronic pop with a lot of contemporary RnB and hiphop influences on the beats, and lots of vocals too.It’s hard to put a label on it but to make it easier I’d say it is electronic avant-garde pop music similar to bands like Royksopp or M83.
Will you be recording anything for your new album here in the spiritual island of Bali?
I’m only staying two days which makes it hard but I will definitely add some experience of that beautiful island to my music.
When you play at clubs and festivals do you normally play live or spin on a mixer? What kind of set up do you like to use when you play live?
It’s safe to say that before I was DJing I was playing more live. Although lately, slowly but surely, we’re getting more live requests, which is great. Our Boiler Room live show helped a lot to make the live show more popular. People are not used to this kind of performances in terms of electronic music, so we had to work twice as hard to offer something interesting and exciting and that would attract people´s attention. And even then it´s still not that easy due to all that aforementioned variety of choice. But they say hard work pays off and that´s what we´ve been doing all this time and are going to keep on doing. I mean, Australia already loves us and always welcomes us very warmly, so do the US, and the rest – well, we´ll get there eventually. This is something you can’t really force, the crowd´s anticipation and demand should grow naturally if you´re going to play in the long run. Set up wise it changes all the time but basically we have drums, synths, guitars, vocals and visuals on board.
Talk to us a bit about your label Natura Soris, what’s the concept?
The concept is short and simple: you, and most importantly, your music have to be unique and honest. This was an approach I started this label with and that’s the approach this label follows until now. It´s important for us to treat our artists not as ´music delivering employees´, but as friends, who share the same passion and similar interests, who have something to say through their music, who constantly evolve and do not limit their creativity, and who aim to make this world a better place through their art. Things were a little slow with the label this year will all the album madness, but next year it turns 10, so we´re preparing all sorts of special things to celebrate. Plus regular releases we have in the oven (which are crazy good,BTW). Can’t stress enough how excited I am!
What are your thoughts on the electronic music scene today; going somewhere or stuck in an EDM groove?
The EDM hype is definitely going down and evolving to something better I think, nobody can predict where all this is going but the fact is lots of people are starting to listening to electronic music because of the hype and then they are moving to let’s say more authentic styles within dance music and discovering artists like me, so that’s good. I don’t really follow any trend and I always do what comes from my heart and feels honest so I actually enjoy what I do instead of focusing on being “cool” and “trendy” and I think my audience appreciate that so why change?
What can we expect at your gig at Jenja? Do you have any tracks in mind that you know you will be playing?
I’ve been lucky enough to play at Jenja already, so I’m kind of familiar with the audience and I love the club and the team behind it. Tracks I have in mind would be a way too long list to share, and, you know, gotta keep the mystery alive a little. But definitely expect some unreleased Natura Sonoris material and obviously some new goodies out of my own bag. Getting really pumped up for the show, will be much fun, so come on down everyone!