Rising Canadian wunderkind Cyril Hahn blew our minds with his spaced-out remixes of everything from Destiny’s Child to Mariah Carey. He delivers a very special winter mix for Wonderland.
How did you start out making music? Were you always into DJing and producing?
In high school I started playing guitar and recorded post-rock songs on my computer as I was really into Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai and those kind of bands. Then I started writing folk songs and even picked up the banjo for a bit. About 3 years ago or so I got really bored of my own music and stopped writing completely. Early this year I decided to give electronic music a try and that’s how the Mariah Carey remix came about. I didn’t anticipate the response to my remixes and I didn’t think about playing shows until I started getting a lot of concert offers. I had never DJed before and still don’t really know how to DJ in the traditional way (aka with turntables/vinyl).
You first came to our attention with your Say My Name remix. Are you a big Destiny’s Child fan?
I never listened to Destiny’s Child too much. It’s just one of those groups you kept hearing on the radio or TV growing up, the songs stick with you whether you want it or not. The Destiny’s Child remix started out as an instrumental and I wanted some 90s R&B vocals to be in it. I spent a day trying out samples but I just wasn’t satisfied so I gave up. As I shut down my laptop, ‘Say My Name’ suddenly popped into my head out of nowhere and I knew that it was the sample that would fit perfectly.
There’s not too much info about you out there. What would you like people to know?
I’m also a full time student trying to finish my Art History degree. Although I play parties with my music I’m not a big partier myself, I prefer having laidback dinners or drinks with friends. I love Wes Anderson movies and I’m addicted to TV shows like The Wire and Seinfeld.
So what is it about R&B that fires your imagination?
It’s the vocals, hands down. They’ve got the best kind of hooks.
You’ve mentioned before in an interview that you used to only listen to punk and hardcore. Do you think those genres have had any influence on you as a producer?
I think so, especially in terms of noise or rather the artful use of noise. I always liked the lo-fi aesthetic of the records I grew up with. I think noise gives a song more character, a certain organic quality. That’s why I often include white noise or field recordings in my production. I don’t want my song to sound too sterile or mechanical.
What’s the song you can always depend on to drop to fire up a dancefloor?
I played a song called Stay by Henry Krinkle a lot this year. It’s this great mix of danceable but deep at the same time.
What’s coming up in 2013?
The remixes I did for Jessie Ware and Gabrielle Aplin should be out early next year. I mostly want to start focusing on originals over next couple of weeks and work on my live set as well. The tour dates for February and March 2013 just got confirmed. Really excited to come play in the UK!
Cyril Hahn March 2013 European Tour Dates:
1st March: Simons, Riot, Copenhagen, Denmark
2nd March: Palais Des Congres, Lige, Belgium
4th March: NQ Live, Manchester, UK
5th March: Killer Kitsch, Glasgow UK
6th March: The Button Factory, Dublin, Ireland
7th March: The Social, Paris, France
8th March: Warehouse Location TBC, London, UK
8th March: Audio, Brighton, UK
9th March: SVMK Festival, Munchenbryggeriet, Sweden
Words: Zing Tsjeng