September 12th will be the day that one of the most recognizably sounding contemporary artists in deep house will again be playing in Amsterdam: HNQO. On that Friday the Brazilian-born artist will be playing at AirAmsterdam alongside supporting acts from DHA Prunk, Kevin Duane and Kimou.
Today HNQO (Podcast) is one of the fastest rising young stars in the deep house and indie dance scene. Years of hard work are already behind this young musician, who got his start throwing parties in Curitiba. Young people in search of new music horizons flocked to these gatherings, and eventually some of dance music’s hottest acts found themselves sharing the decks with this ever present, ever humble artist. We went for a chat with the Brazilian DJ to ask him about the scene in his home country, his production routines and whether there was something he’d like to change in his life.
Can you tell us a bit on how the dance scene in Brazil’s major cities is changing/evolving?
It is getting more and more popular for sure, the number of parties and festivals is rising and more people are attending them. It makes the country a good place for the business and gives opportunities to a lot of international and also national acts to perform their music.
Back in an interview from 2012 you stated that you had a pretty minimal studio setup, to say the least (a notebook, soundcard and a pair of headphones). Is this toolkit still enough to make your music today?
I can still make music on such setup, but since last year I’ve started setting up a proper studio with monitors, synths, drum machines, percussion instruments, racks etc.
Looking back now on that time in your producing life, what kind of production gear would you recommend beginning producers to buy first?
Definitely a good pair of monitor speakers. It is not that expensive and its very useful from the moment you lay down your first beat.
Do you feel that your sound has went through a transformation in the past 2 years since ‘Point Of View’ was released on Hot Creations?
I think it still has some similarities as it is still coming from me, but I’m also experimenting with new sounds and trying to make it fresh. Always giving it time and try not to force something I’m not really feeling.
If you were able to change anything in your life today, what would it be?
My bank account (to buy more gear).
What was your very first dance record?
I think it was a 12” from the Italian label “Soundplant”, released back in 2004. “Boogie Drama” EP by Zardoz it’s called, with a very nice remix by “Stylophonic”.
In what way has the musical heritage of Brazil and perhaps your town of Curitiba, influenced your sound in the studio?
As Brazilian music is normally very percussive, I’m sure to say that it affected the way I produce by making me spend a lot of time taking care of drums and other percussive elements, followed by pumping bass lines as well. I love grooves.
In what venue/club setting does your music come to its full potential?
It depends on the sound system, the crowd, the place. But i think I prefer the middle size, where both intensity and power can make some damage.
Which DJ/producer (or non-dance artist) should people look into and learn about for some musical/mental inspiration?
Inspirational grooves coming from Fella Kuti, his band and their amazing history:
What would you never ever do, even if you were offered a large sum of money to do it?
Commit suicide, I guess.
You haven’t been to Holland that many times as compared to other countries you’ve played in. What has your experience been with the crowd over here?
I’ve been to Holland twice since last year, one for the DGTL Festival and another one for the Deep House Special at the ADE. Both times were very nice for me, such amazing venues and my experiences with the crowd were very nice so far. I’m looking forward to be back in Amsterdam this week.
What can we expect from your set at AIRAmsterdam on the 12th of September? Any new tracks that you will be unveiling there?
I’ll be playing my style with my own tracks as well as showing some other faces of my musical taste inside the house and techno genres. Some grooves to be expected, no doubt.
Finally: which local Brazilian dish should everybody have tried who is going to visit your country?
That dish would be a proper “Feijoada”. Google it and die from desire. I will be getting one in 15 days, when I get back to Brazil.
HNQO | Prunk | Kevin Duane | Kimou |