We catch up with London’s newest crossover quartet, Hugh, to talk about their lustful love-songs and incredible new track ‘One Of These Days’.
Give us an insight into your journey? Where did it all start for you?
Josh: We all came together via friends of friends and a love of music, really. Andy and I met at a concert and he is friends with Tino from previous bands. I worked in the spoken word scene with Izzy and when Andy and I wrote the first song, ‘I Can Be Your Light’ we roped the others in.
Were there any previous projects before Hugh – we know Joshua Idehen from his work with Benin City.
Izzy: I’d been working for a few years in the studio with different dance producers. I was sampling vocals for Rinse and doing collaborations with people like Russ Chimes and Pushaman when I met the boys via Hugh.
How do you think London has shaped you as a collective? How has the city inspired you as creatives?
Josh: I am highly inspired taking the long trip from North London to Andy’s in Lewisham. It should take about an hour, but I never pass a chance to ride the DLR – if you sit at the extreme front or back its like a government sponsored rollercoaster; London opens up to you on those rides. Also, it’s hell of a place to experience love and/or self doubt; everything is magnified.
Give us an insight into the creative process. How do you begin making a track? What’s the initial starting block?
Andy: It usually starts for me in the middle of the night, thats when I make most of my music, i just can’t seem to make anything decent before about 10pm. With Hugh we have a few different ways we start tracks, sometimes it starts with some music I’ve made, or some guitars Tino’s recorded, and other times it starts with a lyric or song that Josh or Izzy has. Every track is different. Lately we have been doing more writing from scratch together in the studio, which has been great!
Is it a compromise to come to the final conclusion of how a particular track will sound?
Josh: We all have our sticking points: Andy is usually bullish when it comes to production and my lyrics shalt Never Be Touched By A Hand Not Mine, but we’re pretty much all for one, one for all: if it’s a choice between two outcomes we put it to a vote/try both ideas and see which one doesn’t suck, and if one person does not like a song then we either drop it or try and make it better.
Izzy: Joshua’s favourite phrase I believe is ‘i told you so’. Yeah there is often always a conflict somewhere in the mix but give the track a few more listens to and we tend to all agree on the same thing in the end.
Are there ever any creative differences?
Josh: No. Everyone agrees I am right.
Tell us more about One Of These Days – you must be thrilled with the reaction its been getting?
Andy: Yeah really thrilled, it has always been one of my favourites!
Josh : Can I just say: Andy called it on this one. He’s been its biggest supporter since we wrote it. I’m glad people like our music at all.
What else can we expect from you guys in the not so distant future?
Izzy : More music! We’ve been working with Charlie Huggal on a few tracks that are sounding really fresh, we’re excited to have them heard.
And your live shows? What can we expect from them?
Josh: Dance moves and dope songs with deep lyrics, as well as a good show. If I’m feeling generous I might break out a twerk, as is my right.
Izzy: We’re not afraid to bust out the gun fingers.
Your music is a myriad of sounds. What inspires you to write and make the sounds that you do?
Andy: I think the main thing that inspires me is other music.
Josh: We have similar central tastes but we break off into different tangents: Izzy loves bass/garage, House and folk, Andy likes a lot of modern R&B, I’ll listen to practically anything and Tino on an Elliot Smith/Tom Waits vibe. It all filters in.
Izzy: I always want to tell stories. I’m always inspired by artists whose lyrics take me on a journey so when I’m writing a hook I always question where its going because it has to feel believable.
If you could add another member to the group who is already a recording artist, who would be your ideal choice?
Andy – Brian Eno
Josh – Fantastic Mr Fox
Izzy – Neneh Cherry, she’s looking and sounding so good right now.
Words: Shane Hawkins.