Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: HENDRIX HARRIS

From trippy melodies to beat-driven love anthems, welcome to the world of Hendrix Harris

Hendrix Harris

Photography by Lauren Luxenberg

Hendrix Harris
Photography by Lauren Luxenberg

From the first second to the final fade-out, Hendrix Harris’ new single “Locked” propels you into a romantic dreamlike world. Written at a time of intense relationship crossroads with an ex, the single is trippy but sharp, positive but melancholic – a statement that echoes Harris’ visions only intensified with the psychedelic, wandering visuals of the music video. As the backdrop shifts between London tower blocks and moody dark corners, Harris successfully pulls listeners into a sense of uncertainty and complication matched with his unwavering rapping and production. The artist’s diverse influences come from across the globe, much like his heritage; his mother being British/Jamaican and his father from France. However, it is Cuban and soul music that have largely shaped his life and work.

Released as the second single to Harris’ forthcoming EP “Horus”, the artist provides a story-like glimpse into his world, where anything goes. Speaking on his latest release the artist said, “‘So Locked’ was written exactly a year ago, after a big fight with my ex-girlfriend. She left the flat and I started playing those four chords on a synth and just sang off the top of my head. I recorded everything on my voice memos, then tweaked the melody, rewrote a few lyrics, then we had the hook”

Catching up with us digitally, the artist gets candid on his influences, romantic relationships and what is yet to come.

Check out the interview below now…

Hey Hendrix! How are you? How has this past year been for you?
Hi guys ! I’m feeling special. A year and a half of work is finally coming out very soon, and it feels pretty great. Last year was super intense as I was cooped up with my previous girlfriend in a small studio/flat in Paris for most of Covid. I started going back and forth to London again early in May and since then didn’t stop moving. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

With everything that happened last year, was your creativity affected?
To be honest, it wasn’t at all. Creatively, the past two years have been the most productive of my life. I fine-tuned my sound, honed my skills as a producer and learned new ways of approaching songwriting. I basically went deep down the creative well… so deep I ended up finishing a 5 track EP from scratch and I’m also basically done with my first album! Also, as I mentioned, I was in a very strong & intense romantic relationship over the last two years which will always be a bottomless source of inspiration.

Your background is French, English and Jamaican, does your heritage influence your sound?
I would say yes, but to quite a small extent. On my mother’s side (British/Jamaican) I was always bathed in old soul music, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and so on, whilst my father (the Frenchman) showed me a different side of music: UK rock from the 60’s, American folk, funk from the 70’s. Sadly, I don’t relate to French culture, especially in the music industry. I’ve never been attracted to it, and my parents didn’t really expose me to French music. Overall, though I think my influences are very diverse.

How did you first get into music, what sparked that interest?
As mentioned earlier, my parents love music. My Dad has about 4000 vinyls at his place, pretty much most of the furniture is just records so I guess it all comes from there. I used to sing with my sister at every family event when we were kids, which is where I probably understood that I wasn’t so bad at it. The need to do music came a bit later around 14-15 as I started to develop true feelings with things I had to get off my chest, and it felt natural to do it by literally getting it out of my chest. The two songs that made me think ‘Oh shit I need to be doing this and nothing else with my life’ are “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’ by Bob Dylan, and “Gimme The Loot” by Notorious BIG.

Hendrix Harris
Hendrix Harris

Photography by Lauren Luxenberg

Hendrix Harris
Photography by Lauren Luxenberg
Hendrix Harris

Congratulations on your single “Locked”, take us through the production process!
‘So Locked’ was written exactly a year ago, after a big fight with my ex-girlfriend. She left the flat and I started playing those four chords on a synth and just sang off the top of my head. I recorded everything on my voice memos, then tweaked the melody, rewrote a few lyrics, then we had the hook. The next day, it got better with her, but the vibe was still weird and I knew it was partly my fault, so I decided to go back to the track and open up on how I fucked things up. I wanted a positive, bouncy vibe for it though cause my whole thing was trying to calm things down, to turn a bad moment and negative energies into a ‘well we love each other, we fought, but it’s a new day now, I can’t let u go’ energy. I made most of the beat for the rap part in like 4-5 hours, it came supernaturally. The X factor that glued it all together was my associate and exec co-producer Duke aka Lou Berry. He took the track, and added 15/20 hours of tweaking details, transitions, soundscapes, and eventually mixed it and turned it into the piece it is now.

It has a distinctive sound, how would you describe it?
It’s a bouncy bass-driven love anthem. It’s trippy but sharp, positive but melancholic which makes it a classic signature Hendrix song I guess.

And it is taken from your EP “Horus”, talk us through your mindset approaching this project, did you face any difficulties and what can we expect?
“Horus” is a little glimpse into my world, my feelings, thoughts and struggles. I wanted to go for an album but I realised it’s still a bit early for that, so I cooked Horus: a mosaic of emotions not tied to one topic but with a special and distinctive vibe. I didn’t bind myself to a conceptual project where everything is intertwined on this one. This will be for Mulatto – my later album.

Who inspires you?
Wow, that’s a big one! The women in my life! Existence, legacy, expectations, cultural heritage, family ties, loyalty, betrayal, sensuality and love.

Who would you love to work with?
Kendrick Lamar, Nai Palm, James Blake, D’Angelo, Pa Salieu, Maria Jose Llergo, Andre 3000, Bon Iver, Lil Wayne. Big L if he was alive.

What’s next for you?
My album Mulatto.

Words
Mary McCartan
NEW NOISE: HENDRIX HARRIS

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