What is your name?
Aadarsh Gautam aka Hyphen
What is your genre of music?
Alternative Hip Hop
Give us a little bio about you.
In West Philadelphia born and raised, On the playground is where I spent most of my days
What made you go in to music?
When I started writing I was in a bad place mentally. I was working a job I hated and was thoroughly depressed. I had started writing poetry, but watching performance videos of people like Kendrick Lamar and Anderson Paak really captured me. They expressed emotions in such an engaging way and the more I looked listened to more and more hip hop, I realised how good a medium it was for expressing protest. It has the ability as a genre to both be contemplative and also passionate.
Are you a signed?
What is the meaning behind the single ‘We’re Ok’.
It’s possible to feel ok after a dark time.
Describe the track in two words.
Trumpets!!! & upbeat
What was the writing process like?
When you have a theme/idea in head, the writing itself is pretty easy. I had a theme in mind of wanting to talk about making it through depression so it was just describing my memory of that time. I wanted to make a song which made you feel good after a shitty day.
What was the recording process like?
Once we had a tempo/beat which we felt had the ability to uplift people, I started thinking about what made me upbeat/positive. Thinking of the time after my depression was that thing, and I wanted to reflect that feeling in my writing as a message to others that you will be ok!
Who did you work with on the single.
I work with a producer called Jordan (JARJ music) and we have a wider team of 5-6 session musicians/singers who help out too.
Will we see a music video for ‘We’re Ok’
Not working on one at the moment.
You are also set to release a new EP, tell us more about it.
Lots of upbeat, jazz/funk influenced songs! I want to remain authentic in my song writing and to speak on subject matters that may not be as openly discussed.
Describe each track in two words.
Jazzy, Funky, Upbeat!
What is message you are trying to tell with your EP?
a tight rope over skyscrapers’ is a phrase I quite like and expresses a lot of what I do with my music. Any themes I cover in the songs I cover (Love, Sadness etc) always have a counterpoint which is reflected in the song structure (I often have a part of the song which sounds very different than the rest)
Who did you work with on the EP?
I work with a producer called Jordan (JARJ music) and we have a wider team of 5-6 session musicians/singers who help out too. I also have a track with Ben Zaidi on there!
Do you have any shows coming up or a tour in planning?
What else can we expect in 2019?
Lots more music, and some festival slots I can’t announce yet but keep your eyes peeled!
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any upcoming artists?
I work a lot with a singer called Josh Tenor and I’m excited for a song with Ben Zaidi.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Yes of course! firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you play any instruments?
Who are your influences?
Stromae, Anderson .Paak, Kendrick Lamar
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
I just write what I see around me and my perspective on it.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Hopefully doing this full-time, touring world-wide, and releasing music which people really connect with.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Well, I have a full-time job. But aside from that, I’ve gotten really into boxing and squash. Boxing is the best – after every session you feel like you’ve sweated out your soul and feel cleansed.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
I can’t put my finger on a single song, but watching lots of performance videos from Anderson .Paak/Kendrick Lamar was very inspiring.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
This guy I used to work for was a terrible human being, but he was a real ‘rags to riches’ story. He started out cold calling people selling tax advice, and is now a multi-millionaire. He said ‘When I was cold calling people I’d only hang up after two answers ‘Yes’ or ‘Fuck off’’ I think having that dogged approach to everything is super important. The other is from my mum – she told me that having an ego is the best way to set yourself up for failure. Ego blinds you to what you are doing wrong/need to improve on to get where you want to be.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Be true to yourself and make music that feels right. I’ve found this hard over time, because there are so many pressures in terms of what you need to be or look like to be ‘successful.’ But the moment you’re enjoying making the music, it comes out better/more authentic. Also you don’t need to be sad to make good music
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Try, try, try again – pretty cliché, but if you knock enough times on a closed door it will either open or break down.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
I most feel at home in London – so I’d probably say Ronnie Scott’s/A nice walk around Brick Lane
You’re coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
2/ Who do you see first?
My flatmates – One is one of my best friend since primary school, the other I lived with at Uni!
3/What do you eat first?
Something less healthy than I should be
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Flair shirt, headphones (to psych up with beforehand), Water, Sunglasses (if I’m feeling randy) and the lyrics to my songs
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?