Having made his name after remixing a number of successful R&B singles including Destiny Child’s ‘Say my Name’, Cyril Hahn has since established himself as a respected DJ and producer.
His original material including EP’s ‘Voices’ and ‘Perfect Form’ are evidence of his quality as a producer of ambient, deep house music. The newly released ‘Begin’ although taking a slightly different direction provides evidence that Cyril Hahn is as creative and skilful as he was when his music first graced our ears a few years ago.
I think this definitely was a bit of a step away from club tracks, it’s more of a listening record I think rather than something you’d wanna hear out.
I’d say that’s the biggest difference, it’s just a bit like, warmer sounding, has a lot more analogue gear. I don’t think it’s necessarily a new direction but just, something sort of different I wanted to do maybe just from playing out in clubs so much, when I got home I started writing it because I wanted to do something a little different, take a break from all that. But I can tell that I’ll feel like writing stuff that’s a bit heavier again soon.
You’ve collaborated with a fair few artists, who has been your favourite to work with and why?
I really can’t pick a favourite it was all really fun, it was all done through email as always, so that’s pretty much how I’ve always approached collaborations, somehow it turned out well. I mean the collaboration with Joel (Ford) was really fun because it wasn’t just a collaboration in terms of vocals, but we also worked on the production together which was a first for me because usually I’m really used to be being in control of the instrumentals and the final mix and so on. It was kind of nice to open up with somebody else and get a different input, that was a first for me and I definitely enjoyed it.
What’s the best gig you’ve done in the UK? There must be one in particular that always stands out and is special in some way?
Oh man, yeah that’s a tough one. I’d say maybe for festivals, the first time I did Parklife. That was just insane because it was one of the biggest crowds I’d ever played, it was the first year touring. I remember when I stepped out onto the stage I was just like “oh man… not gonna f**k this one up” but it turned out to be a really good experience, so I’d say that for festivals. But man it’s tough I’ve had a lot of good club shows in the UK, it’s really a great country for that compared to others so it’s hard to pick a favourite.
You’re travelling to Singapore in a few weeks for the third edition of the Deep End, you’ve been to France, America, Australia, Ireland, Germany to name a few and my question is… strangest food you’ve eaten whilst on tour?
Whilst on tour…. I don’t think I’ve eaten anything strange that I was like, “what the hell am I eating?” It’s more like sad food moments, like when you’re in a rush in an airport and have to eat a really shitty sandwich, or something like that. I don’t remember anything weird in particular.
If you had to pick the track you are most proud of what would it be?
Out of all my production? I’d say right now it’s probably the last song on my EP because it’s the one I’ve written most recently, so I’d say it’s ‘Grace’ from this EP. Just cause it feels the freshest to me. Generally it’s just whatever is newest because I get tired, the older my songs are the more tired I get of them. So usually I’m just the fondest of whatever is my newest.
If someone was aspiring to be a musician, whether it be a DJ or in a band, what advice would you give to them?
Basically just have fun with what you do. Really believe in what you do, and not really over think about what people might expect or what’s cool right now. Really just write music for yourself at first and trust in that, rather than trying to appease to people, yeah that would be my biggest advice.
Did Beyonce or any of the other Destiny’s child members ever compliment you on the masterpiece ‘Say My Name’ remix?
I’ve never had personal contact with any of them, but I’m not sure if there’s been any talk going on between their management and my management, but nothing on a personal level no.
I bet they love it, because it is a class song.
Or maybe they hate it, maybe they’re like “why did you make us sound like we have men’s singing voices!?”
In a previous article a few years back with ‘attackmagazine’ you mentioned about seeing yourself in five years’ time being in a studio surrounded by cats, Cyril be honest are you one of those crazy cat people who owns 14 cats?
No I wish I could, I can’t have pets unfortunately cause I’m just on tour too much, but man yeah I would love to have like a bunch of cats and some dogs just running around, that would be the best.
Yeah, you could use some samples.
Yeah I could have them trigger some stuff for me too on the drum machine, put them to work.
Have you got any plans to tour the UK anytime soon?
Nothing I can talk about but, I think there’s definitely gonna be more UK shows this year still, yeah.
The North or South argument is always a pressing one in universities across England, so I’m asking you from your own personal experience, do you prefer the north of England or the south?
You can’t put me in that position come on now! I will have to say both or I’ll get lynched.
What are your thoughts on free music streaming services such as Spotify? Are they damaging the music industry or helping promote an artist’s music and paying them a fair amount in royalties?
I think they are kind of the necessary evil. Since downloading music started, the way the music industry operated has just changed so dramatically, it’s just the logical step to me. I mean music lovers like myself will still use services like that, I stream music when I’m on the road etc. But I think music lovers like myself will still go out and buy a vinyl if they really feel strongly about a record y’know?
I think people just like convenience, and what’s more convenient then just searching for an artist and having all their albums at your fingertips. It’s tough to say but I’m not too worried about it, I think it’s genuinely a good thing. It’s similar to Soundcloud, it gives smaller artists a chance to just suddenly be in some weird playlist and then, you know get recognised through a platform like that, which is pretty sweet. Whereas a couple of years ago you really had to be out on the road promoting yourself, so yeah there are pro’s and con’s but generally I’d say I’m for it.
So you’d say it’s a good thing?
Yeah I mean obviously the artist themselves don’t profit that much from the plays, in terms of how it translates into money, but I think that all sort of stopped with the Napster era when people started downloading music illegally. I think it’s really about how you adjust to these new trends, and play shows instead of relying on album sales. Basically… putting music out these days is more a promotional tool and something for people to enjoy rather than your bread and butter that it can pay your pay cheque with.
Cyril Hahn’s latest EP ‘Begin’ is out now and available to download on iTunes.