RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW EDINBURGH ARTIST HAMPI
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
Hey, I’m Matthew. I’ve been making music as Hampi for a few years but only recently started putting stuff out. Prior to that I studied music at University in Edinburgh and played in a band during those years called Let Love Rule.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I guess I realised as a kid that it came pretty naturally to me and that it just felt ‘right’ for me. I played bass obsessively when I was a teenager, but gradually I realised that if I wanted to write my own music then I’d need to branch out into other instruments and sing.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
I think that’s probably right! Nothing is handed to you in this industry, and I’m learning that the hard way. At the moment, I’m writing music, putting things out there, and slowly building an audience. This time last year that wasn’t even on my radar. Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say.
How have your songwriting skills developed over time?
I’ve probably simplified things a lot more. Most of my songs at the moment are really simple structures, but I’m exploring much more these days with the textures, the layers and the intensity that that can add.
What is the music scene like where you are based in Edinburgh?
It’s got a lot of amazing opportunities as a city. Almost all the bars in the city center offer live music, so that’s great if you want to find work playing covers and party tunes. It’s not got the same scene for original music though, at least from what I’ve found – going to gigs just isn’t really part of the culture in Edinburgh sadly. I think it probably because it’s a tourist-centered city. A lot of music venues have been closed over the years. You can’t have it all!
What’s your thought on Spotify monopoly on the music industry?
It’s a great product, speaking as a customer, I love using it and discovering new artists on there, so really I think it’s pretty useless to complain about the downsides like how much royalties are getting paid. I don’t see things changing, so it’s better to try and adapt to the times. There are always new opportunities if you have your eyes open to connect with fans and make a living. I feel like I’m still just trying to catch up with the times at the moment because I was out of the loop for a few years.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
Sure, all of them! No but seriously, there is so much information available today that you can find evidence for anything that you want. So I always say trust your gut on these things.
Did you buy anything you didn’t need during the pandemic?
What was the worst experience on stage?
Actually, a few years ago, before I had released anything as Hampi, I had a solo gig where I was going to be looping and debuting my music. I couldn’t even get through one song because my pedals kept cutting out. I’d built it up so much in my head as well and people had come out to see me play. That was a pretty bad one.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
It’s kind of a feel-good uplifting song about human connection. It’s a really simple, big, loud shoegaze song.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
Sometimes people come into our lives, and sometimes people leave. Occasionally though, there is something that lives on between us. Unknowing, unspoken, a presence that lingers in the ether of an unbreakable bond. We feel it in our dreams and we feel it in our bones. Forever in our thoughts and in our hearts.
At least that’s what I wrote when I was pitching it to Spotify Editorial!
What was the recording process like?
I just did it all directly into my laptop, maybe a couple of guitar pedals here and there. The big guitar bends were done using an e-bow and a slide (so they’re not actually bends) and the drums were programmed.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
So there’s this thing called LUFS (Loudness Unit Full Scale) that has to do with the average volume of your track. Everyone wants loud tracks, but streaming services (and radio) will normalize the volume to a set level anyway themselves – so you’d better get it there yourself first during the mastering process if you don’t want to compromise the quality.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Yeah, probably! But if you linger on that kind of stuff it will drive you crazy, so I try to accept it and move on.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I’d really appreciate a follow on Spotify or Apple Music or wherever you guys like to listen to your music. It helps a lot. Thanks for reading and have a great day!