HOLLT

Introduction 119

We're more than happy to welcome the Amsterdam-based Hollt to our Introduction series. His unique feel for electronic music and creative soundscapes combined with his tech-savvyness make him one of the hottest talents to keep and eye out for. We hope you enjoy his mix and super inspiring interview!

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What do you do to get into a creative state?

"Once I enter the studio I start with an idea I have in mind or just lay down some chords to set a mood. I like to write on a pad sound or on something that's driven by tension. It will give a certain direction and emotion, which makes it a bit easier to write a melody.
Additionally, I like to scroll through sounds and samples that are not typically meant for melodic techno, or electronic music altogether. Finding something unexpected will always provide a new angle, which helps trigger a creative state. Last but not least I like to play with randomness. Random notes, random sounds, random drum patterns. These help me get to listen to sounds differently."

What is your opinion on failure?

"One of the opportunities you get out of trying new things, like producing or playing live, is failure. Failure is one of the most underrated aspects of one's learning process. Once I tried to perform live in front of an audience, which failed miserably due to power issues and cable soup. I definitely didn’t want that to happen again, so I was really motivated to think of something which could help me to prevent that. In the end I came up with a controller, which has since been called the ‘Holltesizer’; a one-in-the-box controller, allowing me to play live more coherently, systematic and super fast. This would've never come to reality if I hadn't failed first. All in all, failure is just part of learning and experimenting."

In which ways could the scene improve in the future?

"There are a lot of music producers, visualisers, creative art directors and media art designers working all apart from each other, in their own silo. Some festivals or organisations are connecting the dots, by bringing those creative artists together, but definitely not all of them. Where most of us seem to think in boundaries, there are many possibilities if we work together. This will allow for faster generation and iteration of new ideas that are more holistic. Instead of searching for your next colab producer, search for a media art designer and work together on something cool. There’s a lot more than only waveforms. Try thinking like a creative designer yourself for a change, or work together with a cinematographist. Suddenly these new things start to exist. That's how, I guess, the scene can change for the better."

How do you, as a musician, cope with the limitations of the scene by the COVID pandemic?

"Although I miss performing for a crowd, for me personally I don’t see this time as having a lot of limitations. I think me and my team have taken advantage of the opportunities offered by the time we have and focus on music and new ideas. It’s important to focus on yourself and what you can create, rather than on what isn't possible. One of the things I have done in the past year is sending out a lot of new music to artists and labels, releasing new music on my label die Stube Records, constantly learning new things likehow to built my own plugins with Max for Live, broadcasted five live streams from some really cool locations, and recording a new online masterclass. I have also been having good conversations with other DJ’s and producers, about things that normally are lost in the whirlwind of busy agenda's. It's almost as if these conversations have been more meaningful than under normal circumstances. It's taught me a lot!"

What can we expect from you in the near future? 

"I have just released a remix for Oscar L & D-Formation called 'Miracle' on Beatfreak Recordings, and performed a livestream from the ‘Onderzeebootloods’ in Rotterdam last week. This one was very special, as I had the chance to perform in a very big warehouse where we were able to go big on the setup. This concept, where audio and lights are in sync with each other, really is something which I want to extend in the future. Next to that, this Friday I have another track ‘Revere’ being released on Fur Coat’s label Oddity, next to some other great artists as well. Last but not least, in the coming two weeks there will be an online masterclass available on MYT, including a six hour course in which I walk the viewer through how I make a track, and transforming this into a playable track to perform live with."

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