It’s James Hype bitch!
James Hype. Just him. The producer behind one of the summer 2022 most played hit, “Ferrari”. But it seems that over 200M plays on Spotify and 13M on YouTube wasn’t enough for James Hype. The release of Oliver Heldens‘ remix, and in particular Lazza‘s remix for the Italian market are proof of this. James Hype is trying to push the track even higher, and in Lazza’s case, reaching #1 on Spotify Italy on release day was the corroboration that the “Ferrari” wave is still far from reaching the shore. During our experience at Dreamland Music Festival we had the opportunity to interview James Hype about his productions, his own record label Stereohype and many points of view on his work.
- “As you did in “Ferrari”, the use of the right vintage sample seems to be the key for a massive house hit nowadays, do you think this interconnection between past and present will be beneficial for the future of electronic music and what do you think about current remixes value as tools for geo/genre-localized promo? (Like the Oliver Heldens and Lazza ones on “Ferrari”)
Dance music has always been about sampling. That’s how dance music started. People used other people’s records, chopped them up and made them into new things. So that’s something that’s always been a part of dance music, as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn’t say that’s a new thing. I think it, sometimes there’s more of it and sometimes there’s less of it, but it’s always there. I know when I made “Ferrari”. I was making a beat for the dance floor and I just love that guitar riff. And I thought “If we put that guitar with a really fire beat, the dance floor is gonna love it”. So that’s all that was going through my head. When it comes to remixes, the fact that we’ve done this Italian remix of “Ferrari” with Lazza is crazy because yesterday the remix came out and today is the #1 record on Spotify Italy, which is mind blowing. I just think it’s amazing that we can connect the two worlds in this way. And I was talking with Lazza and I said to him, it’s so cool that a rapper understands the house music world and understands how to bring the two of those together, because that’s something that people haven’t really done before, or I’m not aware of that happening before. So I’m super excited to be a part of that.
- What’s the most particular venue you performed at and how do you feel being surrounded by a mountain here at Dreamland Music Festival?
Well, when we drove through here to get to the place, the view just kept getting better and better. And it was like, “Wow, look at some mountains!”. Then like 10 minutes later, it was like, “Whoa, look at those mountains!”. And then like, “WHOAA!” You know, the mountains kept getting more and more impressive. So it’s definitely a good view here at Dreamland. The craziest place I’ve played… It’s a hard question. I haven’t even got a good answer for this. I’m just grateful to be playing out and about in the real world. You know, I’ve played in my apartment for so long that I’m just happy to be here with real people, in cool countries and different cultures, and experiencing this together.
Stereohype by James Hype
- You launched your own record label Stereohype in 2020, with releases that include artists like R3WIRE, Dots Per Inch, Tita Lau & more. It’s hard to give an imprint in the 2022 market but Stereohype has all the credentials for “moving differently”. We were also attracted by the concept, especially for the logo that resembles an element of the periodic table. Which is the story behind it?
Well, let me be honest, right? In 2020 I was doing so many live streams and making so many YouTube videos. YouTube pays people for their songs. So I was like, I’m playing all this music. And loads of people are making loads of money when I play their music. Cool. So what if I was to put music on my own record label, then play some of that, and then we can take some of the money back and help other artists and help ourselves through the period of the pandemic where we weren’t making as much money, you know? And that was the thought behind it. It was, “How do we bring this YouTube world and a record label together to be beneficial for up and coming artists and to build a platform?”.
Another thing I would say is unique about Stereohype is that it is a record label like we’ve been in a position where we’ve been able to push artists that people might have never heard of before. And the music that’s come out. As far as I’m concerned, it is all music for the dance floor. I work with R3WIRE, we create, we curate the music for the label and we listen to a lot of stuff. And my only criteria for things that I want to sign is things that I wanna play in my DJ set. That’s the only criteria like someone could send me a record and I might listen to it and think “Oh, this is gonna do loads of streams!”. Is it gonna work with my dj set? No? Okay. Or they could send me a record and I’ll be like, “Oh, this is really cool and underground.” Is it gonna work in my dj set? No. Okay. You know, it’s a very easy decision to make. When I’m not excited to play it in a club. So I’m really trying to stay true to that with the record label, because like you said, there’s so many out there. It’s hard to break through. So I need to focus on what makes Stereohype different from all the labels, you know?
- How do you think the hype for music promotion is changing in the latest years in terms of tools, platforms and perception?
I can only answer this from my own perspective. I believe in promoting music to my own fan base first, you know. So, I always play music as soon as I’ve made it. I’ll go into the studio. I’ll make something, before it’s even mixed and mastered properly, I’ll play it. So that I can get feedback from my audience. To see what they like, see what they don’t like. And I get feedback from the real crowd in real life. Get feedback from people on YouTube, on Instagram. I feel like the promotional process starts even before you finish making the record. Like I was playing “Ferrari” on shows and on YouTube in 2019, and I had fans every time I posted on Instagram fans would be in the comments drop Ferrari, drop Ferrari, drop Ferrari. And that was for three years. Obviously on a bit longer than I would’ve liked. But the point is, as soon as I make a record in the studio, I’m already promoting it even before, even before it’s signed, you know? And I think that’s really cool because I’m not trying to, I’m not trying to force anything and I’m not trying to make things fit. I’ve got the audience there and I’ve got the track and if they like the track, then it’s a perfect match. And if they know, then maybe I will think about what I’m doing with it.