[INTERVIEW] Hello Yes Shares Perspective On Their New Remix Album, Touring Alongside ZHU, + More
Known for their groundbreaking ability to fuse a plethora of genres and styles, eclectic duo Hello Yes has quickly made a name for themselves in nearly all sectors of music. Made up of Ronny, the fresh-fitted musical innovator sipping his drink above, and Mitch, the laid-back imaginative artist savoring his ice cream, this pair blends everything from funky house to psychedelic bass, casting a sonic spell over their audience.
Merging their unique senses of creativity, experience gained while touring as ZHU's backing band, and dynamic skill sets, Hello Yes has crafted an identity and sound that is contagious among fans of music and live entertainment. Under their electronic-live hybrid project, these two have performed on some of the world's most idolized festivals, such as Beyond Wonderland and Lightning In A Bottle.
Now, Hello Yes has launched a new chapter of their early career, one that celebrates the electronic music landscape's diversity. Dropped today on prominent imprint Gravitas Recordings, their Hello Yes (The Remixes) compilation brings together a wide spectrum of progressive artists that forge an immersive listening adventure for their audience.
We linked up with Hello Yes so they could share their perspective on this sensational album and their project as a whole.
Check out iEDM’s exclusive interview with Hello Yes below.
iEDM: How did the name Hello Yes come into existence? Was there a specific moment when you both decided to embark on this next chapter of your careers?
Hello Yes: On tour, we started prank-calling scalpers off Craigslist selling tickets to our shows and would inquire with the greeting “Hello, yes. Are the tickets still available?” The formative discovery of the phrase was in Bali on vacation, where locals would shout out to tourists from motorbikes “Hello, Yes.” It’s an ‘I have what you want’ kind of phrase; a clever play on the English vernacular that uses a greeting and affirmation together.
The journey was a natural progression of spending a lot of time together writing and touring with ZHU, and finding that we had a lot of creative ideas to get out.
iEDM: What were your initial reactions to “Belong” receiving the amount of attention and praise that it has? What auditory components stand out the most to you when listening to the track?
Hello Yes: We were pleasantly surprised at the trajectory of “Belong”, especially because it was our premiere release into the vast ether of playlisting and digital streaming mayhem that is so easy to get lost in. Of course, you hope something hits, but to strike on the very first release gave us a ton of confidence.
On the drop, the bounciness of the bass really stands out as a key thing. The track has a feel-good head-nod type of energy. The arpeggiated guitar chords and floaty, explicit vocals in the verse section pull you in before it takes you there. A bit of an oxymoron to be singing so pretty while cursing.
iEDM: What is the most important thing that each of you has learned from touring with ZHU that has transferred over to success with Hello Yes?
Ronny: We have learned so much from ZHU and touring with him. It’s tough to choose one thing. Creating a universe for your sound where it comes to life visually and physically is something ZHU has always been phenomenal at. Producing house music that doesn’t overuse live instruments is a fine line that ZHU has threaded brilliantly. When you learn to listen to music differently because of someone, it changes everything. ZHU did that for me with frequency carving and sonic wisdom.
Mitch: I completely agree. We are continually learning lessons working with ZHU. He's phenomenal at keeping his vision intact with every aspect of the project. The sound, merch, visuals, persona, and live show are all unique to his artistic expression. To a high degree, I think he stumbled into it all by maintaining a mindset that welcomes creative risk. ZHU continually reminds me to embrace 'creative extremes' through his work.
iEDM: What were some of the highlights from your recent performance at this year’s Lightning In A Bottle? Which songs do you think garnered the best crowd reactions?
Hello Yes: We threw in a handful of unreleased tunes into our LiB set this year. It was exciting and interesting to play new music and have a front-row seat to the response in real-time. A couple of unreleased tracks seemed to resonate; one called “The Bag” and another, “Emotion.”
We also dropped a handful from the new remix record that mixed things up nicely: partywithray’s “Never Trusted Me” remix, Megan Hamilton’s take on “Moon Cloud”, and Chamberlain’s nasty down-tempo remix of “The Lesson”.
iEDM: How do you balance each other’s musical identities and creativity while working on projects together?
Ronny: Haha the dirt… We have so much love and respect for each other, but we undoubtedly butt heads now and then, which is all part of the process. Ultimately, our skill sets and personalities complement each other in such a uniquely special way. I think when there’s an adversarial moment, I try to remember that we are best as yin and yang and that the best idea should always win, which isn’t always my idea.
Mitch: That is entirely on point, Ronny. As artists, we get protective and passionate about our ideas, which does result in creative debate occasionally. But with Hello Yes, we both agree that the goal is to place ourselves in the fan's perspective while we're making music. We're constantly trying to answer questions about how the music feels in various environments. These questions are crucial because once the music is released, it isn't ours; it belongs to the listeners.
iEDM: What is each of your go-to sources for inspiration when cooking up ideas for new tracks?
Ronny: Jogging with headphones to tracks I’ve favorited, being alone, driving while talking to friends, surfing, and self-reflection.
Mitch: Ideas always come when I slow my world down by making space to listen actively, study new topics, and self-reflection.
iEDM: From your perspective, how does Hello Yes (The Remixes) take listeners on a sonic journey through a fusion of genres? How does each remix contribute to the overall vibe or theme of the compilation?
Hello Yes: Naturally, there is a fusion of genres and sonic journeys with remix records because you have a different chef on every track cookin’ up their dish. The overall theme on this one is just allowing these insanely talented artists to take our songs and melodies to places we wouldn’t necessarily go or think to go.
Allowing for massive bass drops, wobbly funked-up builds, glitchy frequencies, and funky sounds, all provide a fresh take on our original vision. “The Lesson” Chamberlain remix goes to ‘Mars on Ketamine’, while Defunk’s “Talk of Town” remix is a Denver club-style banger. We love all of it.
iEDM: Why do you have such a high level of appreciation for remixes? How do you plan on incorporating Hello Yes (The Remixes) into your live shows?
Hello Yes: We have a huge appreciation for other artists who have taken the time to re-imagine our music; it’s truly the ultimate compliment another artist can give you. Having the remixes allows us to diversify where we go in a live show. Having these different ingredients essentially enables us to cook up different vibes and sonic destinations. The live set is undoubtedly more interesting and exciting now that we have remix options.
iEDM: You guys are always rocking groovy and eccentric outfits on stage. What are both of your favorite fashion trends right now? Regardless of cost, if you each had to pick one, what would be the perfect festival fit?
Hello Yes: It’s just like any other creative expression. You have got to be in the mood, and when you are inspired, it’s the most fun thing. All of a sudden, combinations make sense and stage outfits are born. When we’re not in the mood, it’s like anything could or couldn’t work. The baggy pants thing going on is pretty funny, mainly since we lived through it in the 90s and it was just as ridiculous then.
Mitch: It's been a lot of fun coming up with ideas to tie our musical aesthetic into our stage wear. It is helping us dial in on our visual brand and ideas for future merch. We want to have fun with fashion while overthinking it. However, my favorite fashion trend right now is bleached eyebrows. I don't see myself doing this, but I can totally see it on Ronny!
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iEDM: Are there any upcoming projects or releases you can hint at for your fans to look forward to? What are your biggest aspirations for Hello Yes and the experience it provides over the next year?
Hello Yes: The next batch of releases is so special to us. There’s something for everyone, housey-festy vibes and some deep cuts that take you places emotionally. Aspirationally, we want to play more shows and more festivals, while making music that connects with people.
iEDM: Visualizing the EDM scene in 2030, what is your outlook on the topic of electronic-live hybrid music and performances? In what ways can we strengthen the bridge between these two entities?
Hello Yes: So much music has evolved into electronic music, whether it’s hip hop, pop anthems, and most publisher library vibes. Everything is blending and crossing over. I think we just need to continue to define our sound and let the instruments speak, it’s really that simple. The instruments will always be a fundamental part of our identity, so it’s really about allowing our songwriting production process to evolve, then letting everything fall into place.
Photos courtesy of Hello Yes
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