OnTheRadar: Husky [Exclusive Mix + Q&A]
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There is a quite, but steady crop of young producers dipping back into Hip-Hop to find new inspiration for an emerging sub-genre of electronic music. Although Hip-Hop has been played with time and time again–most notably in deep house–this new style is over exaggerated and much, much slower.
At the forefront of this new breed of electronic infused Hip-Hop (not the other way around) is an 18 year old producer from Detroit that goes by the name Husky. Loosely termed by Husky as “Nu-RnB”, this vocal heavy combination of throwback jams and sub-woofer has found a untouched open meadow to bloom. In addition to being a great standalone sub-genre, electronic Hip-Hip–as you’ll find apparent in the mix–flows wonderfully with new Garage, Ambient, and 90’s house that is currently being made. I had a chance to ask Husky a few questions about this new emergence of electronic Hip-Hop and gain some insight to his view of the genre.
Miguel – Sure Thing (Husky’s Sleepy Remake)
Husky – SoundLogik Mix
“To me if you’re not bringing anything genuine or vaguely interesting to the table, you’re wasting a seat.”
What got you into electronic music and when did you start producing music?
As a kid I listened to a lot of R&B and Soul, which progressed to hip hop and eventually electronic music as a whole. My first experience with producing was at about age 14. I would download packs of drum samples and arrange them individually in Sony Acid without any sort of drum sequencer or plugins whatsoever (probably the worst conceivable way to make beats). From there I tried pretty much every software our modern civilization has to offer and took up DJing as a way to continue having fun with the music I would be listening to either way.
Do a lot of people your age make electronic music? It seems like the guitar and the drums are things of the past and everyone has a Soundcloud account now.
I think there are plenty of people making music in my age group but not many make it musically. I overhear plenty of kids talking about the dubstep they make or the mixes they post to youtube full of the “dirtiest drops” but to me these kinds of things dilute originality. To me if you’re not bringing anything genuine or vaguely interesting to the table, you’re wasting a seat.
With more and more people making edm music, do you do anything production and mix wise to set yourself apart? What’s the Husky signature?
I like to use layering to bring together grooves over the course of a tune, to me progression and contrast are key. Style is also very important to me. I could spend hours on a track and delete it on a whim if something about the flow doesn’t feel right. Aside from that I spend a ton of time fine tuning the mix just right so that, as I said, the groove is dominant. Above all, I strive for soulfulness in my music.
What got you into using hip-hop vocals? Have you always been into hip-hop and R&B or do you use them mainly for the samples?
For me it was naturally one of the easiest things to start with because I love the music. It was just a matter of learning the ins-and-outs of producing before I could “speak the language”. Artists like Samiyam and Dorian concept as well as producers in Drum And Bass and even House are a big inspiration for me, so while my sound might carry through from track to track, switching the styles up is HUGE for me.
Future Bass, Garage, Ambient, Trap, Hip-Hop… the list of new sounds goes on and on. What sounds and instruments have influenced your music? Where does your music fall?
I think my music for the most part falls under the category of Hip Hop in general, but I like to think of it as “Nu-RnB” in a way. The recent emergence of “trap” is kind of a joke to me, because I’ve been into the kind of music that trap emulates for years now, but I don’t see the music I make falling under that genre. It definitely influenced me, but there are much larger elements of other music (for instance R&B/Soul). My goal is to present something unique but I want it to be palatable. Aside from the Hip-Hop that I produce, Garage and 2step are other favorites.
What is the Detroit electronic music scene like? Detroit used to be known for its Detroit house. Have things changed? What are producers making out there and what are they playing in the clubs?
The sad reality of the situation is that the scene is a complete ghost of its former self. The city of Detroit has one of the richest musical histories of any in the United States, from the huge amount of Motown and Soul presence in the past, to artists such as Dwele, J Dilla, Aaliyah, etc, in the modern day. The D is birthplace of techno and the source of an underappreciated amount of music influence in general. There are very few clubs around nowadays catering to the electronic music crowd and what few are left seem to be managed by a bunch of dumbasses. One of the things that we still have is the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. It’s been going on for years now and brings in some AWESOME talent.
How did you get involved with Zip Sound Records?
I found them while browsing soundcloud aimlessly and decided to shoot the guys a private message. I gave them some dubs, chatted a bit, and before I knew it we were working on releasing my Transition One EP (http://zipsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/zips002-transition-one-ep). The artists on Zip have a knack for what I would call tasteful experimentation and they gave me a great outlet to more professionally give away my release.
What are your top 3 tracks and producers at the moment?
To be honest this is a hard question for me to answer because there’s a lot of good things going on. However a few producers stand out to me currently, those being Jamie Grind, Polkadot, and Random Movement.
1.) Rusko – Pressure http://soundcloud.com/rusko-3/03-pressure
2.) J▲W J▲M – Don’t Walk Away (JAW JAM 3 A.M. Dub) http://soundcloud.com/jaw-jam/dont-walk-away-jaw-jam-3-a-m
3.) B-Ju – Cry Wolf http://soundcloud.com/bju/cry-wolf
What can we expect in from Husky in the near future?
As always I will be very regularly putting out music, and for free unless anything gets picked up by a label. I’m always looking for collaborations and I’m currently talking to a few lyricists, so look forward to some big content in the coming weeks. I plan on continuing my “Groove Sessions” Mix series, which I know a lot of you guys would enjoy, so peep those.
You’re stuck on a desert island with one album. What is it?
Soundpieces: Da Antidote by the one and only Lootpack.