ARTIST TALK: Hans SOLO & Jaden Castro
“We’re rooted in jazzy, mellow-toned, dirty, dusty drums-ish beats”
Af: Kathrine Alby
Hans SOLO is a young producer and DJ from Aarhus. He is known for his productions for New York rapper Joey Bada$$, and now he has initiated a new collaboration with the American underground rapper Jaden Castro from Hartford CT. Razor sharp lines will be delivered on top of experimental, jazzy beats played in partial collaboration with pianist Jonas Cook and bass player Justo Gambula from Aarhus based trio Athletic Progression. SPOT Festival called up the busy guys to ask them some questions.
Why did you start making music? What inspired you?
Hans: Music has always resonated with me. When I was very young I started collecting hip-hop cd’s and listened to them back to back all the time. My older brother and sister also listened to a lot of music in the house when I was a kid so they introduced me to artists like Mos Def, Alicia Keys, Nas etc. A lot of New York-based stuff. When I was around 11 years old I started experimenting with beats on FL Studio and I basically just drew the inspiration from the music that I have heard during the years. Trying to remake some of the classics and putting my on twist on it. I have then grown into different genres – within hip-hop but also in the electronic scene, house, disco, funk etc.
Jaden: Honestly, it was a way for me to express myself fully. Growing up I wasn’t as open as I am now, so it gave me a sense of comfortability.
You met and began your collaboration online. How did that happen?
Hans: Basically I just heard Jadens music through his group The Voyagers on social media, and I could definitely spot the talent and potential immediately. I just responded to their approach and started sending them beats. We have a lot of unreleased material. Then we have just kept the contact through Facebook and now we are finally linking up.
Try to describe the creative process when producing music together from two different locations in the world.
Hans: It’s just a feeling. Yeah super cliché. We send ideas back and forth and communicate online. When you match each other’s style you just know it.
Jaden: I would say its rather easy, especially as a vocalist. As soon as I hear the instrumental I automatically can get a feel and the flow for the song.
You’ve just met each other in real life for the first time, even though you’ve been making music together since 2012. How is it to suddenly work together in the same time and space?
Hans: Haha, it’s definitely confirming the feeling that I had a about Jaden. We have basically known each other for six years, so it’s a pretty natural feeling being around each other knowing that we are here for the purpose of music, but also introducing him to a part of the world that he have never seen. It’s an amazing experience for both of us. Sharing cultural insight and aspects and learning from each other. We have only worked in the studio a couple of days now, but it’s a natural process of him writing and me producing beats accordingly to the vibe of his stuff.
Jaden: Yeah, it’s quite exhilarating. Me and Hans pretty much hit off from day one, so the process feels natural.
What insight do we get, when listening to your music, in terms of sound and lyrics?
Hans: The music is very organic but at the same time rugged and raw. Hard to define our sound in one piece, cause you get a bit of everything but definitely rooted in jazzy, mellow-toned, dirty, dusty drums-ish beats.
Jaden: Well, I try to be very knowledgeable and just socially aware with my lyrics, so you can expect to learn something by the end of the listen.
You haven’t performed together before. What can we except from your SPOT performance?
Hans: We’ve made the decision to work on most of the material during his one month stay here in Denmark, so we are still in process of creating the actual music for the show, so it can go many ways at this point. We have included the pianist Jonas Cook and the bassist Justo Gambula (Athletic Progression) to create a more live-based performance during the second half of the show.
Jaden: The rest is a secret. You’ll just have to wait and see.
If you visualize your own SPOT-crowd, who is your target audience?
Hans: Everybody basically – obviously I expect some hip-hop enthusiasts to be around, but the more people the merrier. My target audience is open-minded people who will connect with us during the show.
Jaden: I agree. All walks of life. I make music for the people, not anyone specific.
If you could pick another artist to work with, who would that be?
Hans: There is so many people I would want to work with, but one person in particular I would like to look over the shoulders to say the least is Los Angeles based producer Flying Lotus. He is without a doubt one of my favorite artists because of his way of layering sound and structuring his projects.
Jaden: I would say Calvin Harris. His production is just A1.
Do you have any acts you must see at SPOT?
Hans: We’re going to see My homegirl Josephin Bovien, for sure. And Monti. But to be honest, I haven’t really checked out the program thoroughly enough to map out my route. I have heard about a lot of dope people coming out to play.
What are your dreams in terms of your collaboration?
Hans: That would be to kill this show, release some of the material that we create during his stay and be able to connect again in the future and keep the connection strong. Maybe even tour the world.
When: 3rd may 2019