Cxemcast 069 – Sky H1
Your debut release Motion was called “one of the most striking entries” of 2016. Tell us about your musical journey that has led to such a breakthrough.
I’ve always been one way or another involved in music, not necessarily as a performing artist, this only began later on. My friends in Brussel were always occupied with music in some form, and before producing I was promoting events, writing, playing on radio etc. My first profound musical explorations were mostly related to jungle and drum and bass, especially from labels like Metalheadz, Good Looking or Hospital — things that have a very dramatic atmospheric or melodic approach. I think that’s still something that attracts me mostly in music I’m listening to right now. The project I created as Sky H1 only started out around the time I got my first release on Creamcake in 2015.
Have you had any particular idea in mind when you created Sky H1?
To be honest, I never had an exact idea in mind when I created the project. I just wanted to make music in a very low-key way. I got encouraged by friends to put things online, and it just got picked up a lot quicker than I thought it would. If it wasn’t for Soundcloud and the network I created there, my musical path would have been very different. Thanks to collectives like Bala Club that found my music online and played it on their radio shows, I was able to reach a bigger audience which lead to my music being released on PAN.
How much has changed for you since the release of Motion on PAN?
A lot has changed since, I never expected that the music I make would be so well-received. This sounds cliché, but I never thought I would be able to play all the shows I’ve played since that record got released as well.
What about collabs? Going through your recent productions, I noticed a certain affinity for collaborations.
Working on your own can feel very suffocating at times. Collaborations, past and current ones, are a way for me to try new things and get inspired by other people. Exchanging the way you work with others, and seeing the creative process of someone else takes you out of your own comfort zone and makes you examine your own way of working.
How did your collaboration with ssaliva appear?
Ssaliva and I have been friends for a long time now, and he’s always been a huge inspiration for my own work. We’ve been exchanging music since I started producing, so a collaboration was always the logical next step. We have similar affinities and ways of working and I find that collaborating has been an inspiring process. There’s a few other collaborations in process, but this is always a trial and error type of situation. You can work on things for a long time that might never see daylight.
The track Dooms you made with ssaliva was featured on Co-op compilation which aims to shine a spotlight on the problem of global discrimination. Do you consider yourself political?
I do consider myself political and I felt immediately connected to the idea behind the Co-op compilation, but my music tends to trigger more of a sense of escape or utopia, rather than it being a departure of social criticism.
You’ve said once that your music is very intimate. What makes it sound this way?
I suppose the intimacy is innate to the music I produce because there’s always a clear private or personal influence that triggers the creative process.
What about musical influences? What contemporary artists do you follow?
I think the mix I made gives a good overview of some contemporary things I listen to.
What’s the musical idea behind this mix?
I tried making something eclectic, mixing some of my own things with new things I currently listen to and some older stuff. The pace of the mix floats between club and ambient.
What have you got coming up in the future?
I have just scored a short film for a collective called Demystification Committee. The premier of that will be at end of June in London. Also, I collaborated with two installation artists (N. Koeke and G. De Kort) on a project called Axis, which will be a part of De School program at the ADE festival. It initially started as an improvisation, but we’ll perform again in Brussels at the end of June. Then there’s a solo work coming up, and the collaboration with ssaliva should get released as well at some point. More soundtrack works are also in process.
Interviewed by Tanya Voytko