RGM Introducing – We caught up with H2whoa and had a chat

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide to start to become a soloist?

It really came about because I started seriously writing and recording my own music during the lockdown, so the social situation made us all soloists in whatever it was that we do. For me, it just happened to be music. I think it suits me because I just enjoy making stuff that I like to listen to, and as a soloist, you’re more free to do that.

Introduce us to you and your musical history?

Music has always been a huge part of my life. My dad used to listen to opera all the time. I hated the singing but loved the orchestral parts. I taught myself to play piano as a kid and would be borrowing music books from the school music department. As I got older and moving around more, the guitar offered me a much more portable solution to making music. It was only during lockdown that I started making my own music – partly just as something to do, but also because I’d just moved to Germany, didn’t speak much of the language, and was separated from friends and family. It was quite a profound sense of isolation, and writing music was a great outlet.

What advice would you give other artists starting out?

Make the music you like, think about constructive feedback you get, let go of any negative comments that have no constructive value. My second bit of advice would be to learn by doing. There’s loads of great information on how to improve your music production, but you have to start by throwing yourself into it.

What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?

“What’s your genre?” Honestly, I have no idea. There are so many sub-sub-sub genres of music that I really don’t know how to classify myself.

What support is out there for new artists in Germany compared to the Uk ?

That’s difficult to answer. In terms of live scenes, I’ve only lived in Germany in the COVID world, so there hasn’t been much of a live scene. In the modern age, I think borders matter less and less. With everything being online, I suppose people have access to more or less the same resources (distribution, platforms, audiences, etc) regardless of where they live.

Who is inspiring you at the minute on the German unsigned scene?

I’d like to give a shout-out to MJTJ Production, a German artist who has been a huge support. Check him out!

What would you like to see more of in Germany?

Shops that open on a Sunday and real curry!

Do you sign upto any conspiracy theories? 

Not really. I’d love it if it turned out that UFOs really were aliens, but I don’t actually believe that. I’m sure there is alien life out there somewhere, but doubt we’ll ever make contact.

What useless party trick /talent do you have/? 

I can recite the alphabet backward very quickly. I can also pronounce the alphabet with lowercase letter sounds

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

Not had the chance to perform live yet (music, anyway – I’ve done quite a bit of comedy, so it’s probably not relevant here)

What was the worst experience on stage?

I slipped on the stage steps at the Comedy Store in Manchester. Didn’t feel like a big thing at the time, but I’ve had a permanent dent in my leg for about 10 years as a result!

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about? 

I’m a scientist and I’ve used a laser to carve my name on the DNA inside a single cell

Tell us a funny story from backstage?

It’s only a little thing, but I remember watching a friend who was exhausted after a gig just gradually fall asleep until they were face down in the chips they’d just got from the chippy. They were still hot. Hard to describe the ethereal beauty of such an event.

If you had to describe your sound to an alien how would you describe them? 

I make rhythmic noises that have sounds like “weeeeooop” and “nrrrrnrrrnrrr”, but those sounds aren’t made by human voices. Sometimes there are repeating chunks of sound, but each repeat is slightly different to the last

Name a four-piece band made up of legends – who would be in it? (drummer, bass, lead singer, etc)

Guitars: Dave Gilmour

Bass: Victor Wooten

Lead singer: Chris Cornell

Drums: Dale Crover

If you could play any music festival, which would it be?

I had an amazing time at Reading back in the day, so I’ll say that as that would feel like the circle was complete

What makes you stand out as an Artist?

A big multi-layered sound that draws on electro/synth sounds as well as a grungy sound, particularly when the guitar parts drive a track a bit more. I also like an interesting bouncing bass that doesn’t just rely on the root note.

What’s your favourite song to play live and why?

As above, not had the chance to play my own music live!

I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?

Yes! The track is called “CYBA?” which is something of a private in-joke that only one other person in the world will get! “CYBA?” experiments with having strings (violin and cello) helping to guide the overall tone of the synth and guitar elements. When the string section ends, I then loop the last note of that underneath the rest of the tune. The music gradually builds with the bass taking a slightly more leading role before transitioning into the main section.

Talk me through the thought process of the single?

I knew that I wanted to work with strings on this piece and do something a little different from the last two releases, “Tourniquet” and “Collide Apart”, which were more heavily driven by the guitar. With all of my music, I tend to know the general feel I want to go for when I sit down to write, but I tend to just play until I hear something I like. Once I’ve found a starting hook, I’ll then build the track around that. That starting hook can end up being anywhere in the final piece, not necessarily at the start.

What was the recording process like?

I record everything in my living room! These days I use Studio One, but I started out using Mixcraft. For what it’s worth, Mixcraft is absolutely great, especially for the price, can’t recommend it enough. But Studio One has a bit more functionality. I tend to write at night, and I typically start by developing a melody on my keyboard, although with “CYBA?” I actually started with the bass line. Once I’ve got a decent chunk of the tune down, I’ll then start experimenting with my guitar and see if anything fits. The most consistent thing I do is that I always write the drums last, as I write them to support the tune.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single/?

Working with a virtual string quartet was interesting as there were times I knew what I wanted the strings to sound like, but trying to write that in software wasn’t always easy!

Would you change anything now that it’s finished?

I always hear things in the final mix that I regret or want to change, especially if I then start listening on another set of headphones. But honestly, you just have to let that stuff go. I’m not a professional producer. I’m self-taught in mixing down tracks, so most of the time I’m just fudging it. I’ll settle for just getting better over time.

What are your plans for the year ahead? 

Keep writing and releasing music. I am honestly just doing this because I’ve fallen in love with it. I don’t pretend that I’ll be rich and famous. I just love doing it, and if there are other people who like what I make, then that’s great! I’ve already got two more singles scheduled, “Professor Sausage Fingers” (releasing October 15th) and “Headlong” (releasing October 22nd). I’m sure there will be more.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

I guess… let’s just be nice to each other. There are enough dicks in the world, so let’s strive to not add to that!