Interview // Hypnotyst
In times such as these, it’s great to be able to sit back and chill, to take your mind off things and Irish in London musician, Hypnotyst makes the type of music which is perfect for that.
He’s a relative newcomer to London and moved to study music in London’s new music centre, Tileyard. We caught up to chat about his music, how where he has lived has influenced his music, adding your spiritual life to music and living a sustainable life in London.
Hello Hypnotyst! Who are you? Where are you and how are you?
Hello Nessy my good friend! I am well and you? I am currently in my home studio working on some new music! How is your handsome kitty Norman?
Norman is good, thank you, spoiled rotten! Anyway, on with the questions!
You’ve been doing online shows, just because you’re an electronic artist, doesn’t mean this is going to be a DJ set. What can we expect from a ‘Live’ Hypnotyst experience?
Normally I prefer to perform live rather than a DJ set, as I do love to sing and play instruments while performing. I find it very fulfilling and inspiring to do a live performance rather than a DJ set. Although I have enjoyed doing DJ sets in the past. My live performances are usually just done by myself. I sing, play synths and trigger all kinds of drum patterns and effect sound which are present in my music. I often feel like I need a spare hand to cope with the demands of my production.
You recently won a bursary which consisted of some Yamaha gear.. how did you manage that?
I was very fortunate to be chosen by Yamaha to work in partnership with any artistic brand, in addition to promoting both my music and their brand together. This is such a fantastic opportunity as Yamaha is one of the leading brands within the music industry globally. I was very pleased to receive this great honour and recognition of all the hard work I have done within the music industry. In conversation with Yamaha, they stated “we kept coming back to your music, it had a certain appeal we are seeking from artists”, which was lovely to hear. I do make a huge amount of electronic synthesised music and Yamaha have made some ground breaking synths over the years, so I feel this collaboration is perfectly harmonious. I look forward to using this bursary equipment in my new music and productions.
I was awarded the following equipment:
HS7 Studio Monitors
HPH MT8 Studio Headphone
Reface DX Synth
Reface CS Synth
One of the great things about Tileyard is that is seems to have opened you and your music up to lots of collaboration with other artists. Are these collaborations going to be released at any point?
Yes indeed, I have always been a great fan of collaboration with artists, singers, songwriters and top liners. Moving to London and then studying in Tileyard has really opened all kinds of doors for collaboration, and working together with some extremely talented and lovely people. My music and indeed other collaborations have been warmly received here in the UK, and indeed I am planning several exciting releases in the works over the next few months. I have so many at this point, my audience will be hearing excellent music for years to come!
You’re Irish, and were living in Cardiff before moving to London. Have the places you’ve lived influenced your work?
I certainly think that these locations have influenced my sound and artistic vision. When I was living on the peaceful beaches of Garretstown in Ireland the amazing ocean scenery would inspire me to compose very summery, watery sounding music, which heavily contributed to the spacey watery sound of my debut EP “Lose Control”. Upon moving to Cardiff I noticed a similar way of life to Ireland, which lead to the next stage of my artistic development. However this location did not last long in my journey and then a move to London happened. I moved to London to really focus on my music and give it the best opportunities I could, which I am thankful has lead to being in the amazing community that is Tileyard. I have never had my music heard by so many influential people, and the feedback so far has been great. Of course there is always work to be done in the never ending quest for perfection!
Upon moving to London I really started to soak up the city atmosphere and the influential electronic sounds of all the great UK artists that I love and admire (such as Gorgon City and Disclosure). My new sound is now like a combination of Ireland, Wales and London: still channeling the watery beaches of Ireland, but with via the Welsh mythology and the futuristic electronics of London. I very much look forward to sharing my new music with the world, and of course when it is ready I shall contact you first!
Your music always seems to be upbeat and kinda meditative, how do manage to strike a balance with that?
In general, I am quite a spiritual and balanced person (as much as one can be!), and it is my artistic vision to incorporate all aspects of my spiritual life into my music. I started composing my music for HYPNOTYST with the intentions of healing anyone who listens to the music. All of my music is tuned to specific keys which heal mental, emotional and physical imbalances within the body and mind of anyone who listens to the music. I was very happy when we first spoke and you instantly understood this vision, as I could see it was working! In these crazy times it has been a bit difficult to remain constantly positive, and of course music has been a great help to get me thought these tough times. I often get messages on Instagram from fans saying that they have used my songs as a kind of meditation and it has helped them in some way. The best example is my song Let It Go. I composed this for myself and others who need to let the older aspects of themselves go and become the best most excellent version of ones self. I find this song in particular has struck a chord in the hearts of many of my fans for this reason, it is very uplifting and healing, indeed it is like a celebration of focusing on a new journey in life.
You’ve previously been a guest on The London Ear and we chatted about your ethos, of being conscious of the the world around you. Is this more than living a green life, being as sustainable as possible? Is it possible to do that, from your point of view, in a city like London?
I do find it quite challenging in the world in general to stand up and be the conscious human we should all strive to be. My hope is that through my music many fans will understand this world view and slowing think about expanding their hearts and minds, as well as having compassion for both themselves and others. I am viewed by many as a “big hippy” as I believe that connection, love and respect for all our fellow humans and species on earth is important to our evolution as a whole consciousness. London presents both a huge amount of opportunities and a huge amount of challenges, in this regard. I try to make the best possible choices to lead my to ultimate happiness, and so far my experience of London has been quite amazing. I have met a huge amount of spiritual people in vast spiritual communities which did not exist in Ireland, and of course an ocean of musical connections! My plan is to continue to grow this network and connect with as many people who would benefit from the healing I offer within my music.
From following you on social media, I know you’re pretty much always making music anyway. Has lockdown been a help or hindrance to your creative process?
Indeed I am a self proclaimed studio junkie, and if I had my choice I would be in the studio 7 days a week, working on music being inspired, and collaborating with my super talented artist friends. In Tileyard there is a running joke that my name should be painted in the door of Studio 5 has I spend most of my life in there at the moment (well certainly before lockdown began!). Unfortunately lockdown has not served me well in this regard. It has been a bit disheartening to not be able to attend studio daily and meet the people I work and collaborate with. As a musician, songwriter and producer, we need to be around others and interact with them in a studio environment. There is absolutely no substitute for being in studio in real person. Zoom writing sessions, which are the current new craze, are not as exciting, as the moment or vibe is often lost in translation over the internet. I have however been mixing and producing my own tracks during this time, so they are closer to completion and unleashing upon the world! I hope we return to normal as soon as we can I very much look forward to being in the studio all the time again!
Music is not only a creative outlet for you, it’s your work. What plans, although they may change now, are you working towards?
A yes, music is my reason for life! I always say this to everyone. Music has been the most constant aspect of my life and I have spent so many years working so hard on it, as I am sure you know, a lot of this industry survives on hard work! I have enjoyed it immensely being employed in a job that I love to do, creating art for other to enjoy and experience. My current goals are to release this enormous backlog of music in my archives and get back touring when we are allowed to. Yamaha have several stages around the UK and they said I would be a featured artist on these stages as soon as gigs are allowed to start again, and I am very excited about this opportunity. Since attending Tileyard other songwriting opportunities have entered my work arena. We constantly write songs to brief for artists, labels, advertising agencies and film makers. These areas of work have expanded my horizons in regards to sustaining a career within the music industry, which is very important to my personal growth as a human.
What has lockdown taught you about yourself?
This lockdown has been very challenging in many ways. I think the best thing I have learned is my ability to pick myself up and just keep going on! I have faced many human adversities in my life, like most of the planet, and in order to live the successful life I desire I must go out there and create it into existence. I have to focus on this and remember this whenever I have dark days during these unprecedented times. Lockdown has also taught me that having a large amount of free time does not help me finishing my music! I need to be in the studio for that creative inspiration and vibe to bring songs to completion. I do feel much better at the moment, and will continue to strive towards my new few releases.
The new normal is something that people are both embracing and scared of. What are you most looking forward to doing when we have a bit more freedom?
One of the first things will be to have a nice cup of coffee at my favourite coffee shop. You never realise how much for granted we take these things! Many of my fans will know that I am a serious devotee to the art of coffee and how it contributes to my music. And of course seeing my friends is high on the list, but most importantly I will be the most delighted to return to my natural habitat in Tileyard Studio 5! As an avid gig goer I also highly anticipate the return of being able to watch live music again. You can find me front and centre when it’s all back to normal!
Send us a lockdown selfie?
My new studio assistant has been featuring in my stories on Instagram recently. His name is Drew (the giraffe!). He says hello too!
Finally where can we find you online?
Where’s the best place to check out your music?
These days I am all over the internet, all social media platforms and all streaming platforms. I will include the top destinations below:
APPLE MUSIC: https://music.apple.com/gb/artist/hypnotyst/1443676582
and of course a quick google of HYPNOTYST will bring up all of my other sites like Bandcamp, SongKick, etc