hiio Interview (2014)

Together with Felguk and Moska, HiiO is leading the wave of a new generation of South American producers. The duo of Nico Hamuy and Ortzy have been working together for just about two years, and thanks to their quality releases and active touring schedule they are becoming one of the rising talents to watch on the international scene. If you haven?t heard their music, take a listen to ?Rock and Roll,? ?I?ll Be There,? ?Waiting for the Night,? and ?Something about You,? and you will see why they are ones to watch for.

RS: How did the two of you meet up?
Ortzy: He used to live in Buenos Aries and I used to live in Colombia. We were introduced to each other by a mutual friend and officially met over Skype. We decided to start working some parties together and here we are a year later.

RS: Before that you were both producers in your own rights, was it a challenge to go from being a solo to a duo?
Ortzy: Yes, definitely. Sometimes it is hard to make our different styles of music fit. I used to produce a lot of house and now it?s more electro and progressive house which is a challenge.

RS: Nico, what kind of style did you do before HIIO?
Nico: More progressive; and he did more housey stuff but everything goes together pretty well now.

RS: You guys live in Argentina now, how is the club music scene there?
Nico: It is amazing, one of the best crowds in the world. Every single DJ loves to come to Argentina and play for the crowds, they go insane.

RS: Now remember I am a dumb American, but I recently spoke to Mosko from Colombia and he said that most of the people there are listening to pop and reggaeton in the clubs. Are you saying that in Argentina people are into the whole EDM scene?
Nico: I don?t know if everyone is in to EDM but it is quite different from Colombia.

RS: You guys have been releasing a new song every almost every month, how do you keep up that kind of production schedule?
Ortzy: We only focus on making music; I think that it is the most important thing when you are a producer – to be making new tracks all the time. We try to do at least one track a month, we travel a lot, but thank god we have our mobile studio and we can make tracks anywhere. Sometimes it takes longer than a month to be released because of the record label’s schedule, not us. We try to make one track a month.

RS: What kind of kind of software do you use?
Ortzy: We work with Ableton. We have a lot of plugins but Nexus is our favorite, we use speakers from Mackie and work on a Mac.
Nico: It?s not a big set up, it is very simple.

RS: Strictly Rhythm is such a legendary heritage label, how did it feel when they picked your track ?I?ll Be There??
Nico: They are definitely one of the best labels, we feel great!

RS: When you work with vocalists like Max C or Abigail Bailey do you bring them in the studio or do you trade tracks back and forth?
Ortzy: It was back and forth because Abigail lives in London and Max C lives here in the States. Everything is by eMails and Skype; we just send things back and forth and run ideas off each other.

RS: It seems like a lot of South American producers are on the rise, I am grouping you all together with Felguk and Moska. Why do you think the South American producers are coming up right now?
Nico: I don?t know, I can?t really say why that is.
Ortzy: I think it is because of social media, everything is so connected right now so you have the chance to work with DJs across the world using your laptop or Skype. It?s really cool that you can live in Argentina, Colombia, or Brazil and make contact with DJs and record labels across the world. It hasn?t always been like that and I think that?s the key.

RS: If I listen to your Elements radio show is that close to what you play in your club sets? What is the difference?
Nico: Yes, and we also play tracks that we love and some new stuff on there. Some of the tracks we don?t play but they are just good sounds for the radio show.
Ortzy: All of the tracks that we play live we include on the radio show, but like Nico said some tracks are not the style for our live shows but we like to show our fans cool music that is not necessarily electro or progressive house. Sometimes we include tech house tracks and other genres from different artists to try something different.

RS: How much of your live show is your own production?
Ortzy: About 30 percent, in two hours we play 5 or 6 tracks.
Nico: We play a lot of our bootlegs but sometimes we play other people’s productions. It really depends on the gig, if we are at a festival we choose tracks that fit for the festival and that same thing goes for the clubs.

RS: If you could work with any producer as a collab which producer would you want to work with?
Ortzy: Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano.
Nico: Yes, they are some of my favorite DJs. Steve Angelo is my favorite but there are so many good DJs out there. We love to do collaborations and love mixing our style with someone else?s. Right now we are doing some really cool collaborations with some DJS that are not our style but we fit the styles together.

RS: Can you say some of the people you are working with?
Nico: We are working on a new one with Chuckie, we have one with Albert Neve who is the Spanish DJ that did a remix with David Guetta, Abel Ramos who is a Spanish DJ as well, and we have a new collaboration with Jonathan Dish who is a Dutch DJ that is really talented.

RS: If people want to follow you what is the best way?
Ortzy: facebook.com/HIIOmusic, instagram.com/hiiomusic?,twitter.com/HIIOmusic and soundcloud.com/hiio.
Nico: You guys can send us messages, comments and tweets; we love to interact with our fans.

RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Nico: Get ready!
Ortzy: Yes, get ready for us; the next year will be big!
Nico: Yeah this year has just started and we are working on some really cool projects with music, gigs, management and booking agencies. We have a lot of stuff ahead of us and we are growing fast. Thank you so much to our fans, we love them and it?s all about them. They show us so much love and it is very special for us.
Ortzy: We are here because of our fans and everything that we do is because of our fans!

Interview conducted March 2014 during Miami Music Week.

Notable Dance Podcast #011

Benny Benassi ft John Legend – Dance the Pain Away (Original)
Jus Jack & Oza ft Blessid Union of Souls – Love is the Answer (Tiesto)
Laid Back – White Horse (Funkerman)
Brass Knuckles ft John Ryan – Alive (Starkillers)
HIIO ft Abigail Bailey – Waiting For the Night (Original)
Denis the Menace and Syke & Sugarstarr – World in Your Hands (Antranig)
Far Too Loud – Drop the Bomb
Holmes Watson – LOL
Maison & Dragen – WOW (Original)
Cosmic Gate – Storm Chaser (Original)
Tiesto ft Kyler England – Take Me
Lange & Susana – Risk Worth Taking (Extended)

SONG OF THE DAY: HIIO ft Abigail Bailey – “Waiting for the Night”

If Chuckie calls it “loud and proud,” you know it’s got to be energetic. South American duo HiiO follows up their recent club hits “Something About You” and “Meant to Be” with “Waiting for the Night,” a big room electro stomper equally balanced between massive energy and chilled-out dropouts. What makes this track stand out (aside from the amazing vocal performance by Abigail Bailey) is the way the dropouts aren’t completely beatless and have a groove that will keep the dancefloor. The rhythm is quite memorable but driving my trainspotter brain crazy, I thinks it’s a bit of Lee and Cabrera “Shake It” mixed with Deep Dish “Flashdance” in there. The lyrics are quite strong, also taking a different direction on the same theme recently explored by Armin van Buuren & Fiora. If the lyrics could be fleshed out into a complete verse/chorus/verse structure, this could be the basis for quite a strong pop song in its own right. As it is, watch for “Waiting for the Night” to be a big room club smash for most of the summer and festival season.

Image Courtesy of InCharge/Be Yourself Music.