212: What was your first introduction into music? Did you play an instrument? How did you get started in the industry?
HxV: I started deejaying when I was 15, about 15 years ago. At a time before EDM was a thing, this was the first or second wave of electronic music coming to America with Prodigy leading the way. I used to deejay in high school in Savannah, GA at clubs but at the time, none would play House music. In the early 2000s, I was spinning at gay clubs and began to mix house music and rap instrumentals every Wednesday night in front of 500 people. I started deejaying because I wanted to learn how to produce/engineer and how to mix, what worked on the floor and how to structure songs.
212: Do you have a preference in software?
HxV: I use Ableton but I don’t have a preference, it’s just about what I work the fastest in. It’s important for anyone to work with what they’re comfortable with, I’ve seen huge super producers make top ten hits on an iPad so it doesn’t matter what you use.
212: Let’s talk more about your sets and the actual nights where you’re hosting an event or spinning… Do you have any pre-show rituals?
HxV: My pre-show ritual consists of drinking earl grey tea to relax and center myself. Depending on my mood, I’ll listen to something like Discharge, Converge, some crazy metal or just rap music to get myself pumped up and then hit it.
212: Let’s talk more about art, fashion and culture… How have they converged and how do you use that cultural shift to influence your fans?
HxV: The intersection of art, music and fashion was bound to happen and it has always been happening but with the internet we now see it happening in real time. Now we have access to things like Rick [Owens] that wasn’t always so accessible. That was inevitable and for me, these things have always kind of intersected because I’m just a fan of art. In general I respect and appreciate craftsman in any medium that refuse to sell out and are dedicated to doing the best job they can…and I try to use that for myself.
212: How do your collaborations in fashion (FreshIAm, Black scale) translate through your music?
HxV: FreshIAm is just so Atlanta and my side project Vault Boyz was created in the vault, which was this invite only night where we could just invite our friends and play turned down, chopped and screwed kind of shit…this was like 3 years ago before that was even a thing.
212: How do events like Art Basel, where you played to a tiny club with Rae Sremmurd & Virgil Abloh affect your fan base?
HxV: I place precedence and important on that kind of thing more than any of this (LIC) you know? This is where it inevitably goes, but this isn’t where it starts. I’ve always been a pioneer and I respect and appreciate the culture and preserving it and pushing it as far as I can take it. Something I’m focusing on this year is curating these rooms with Virgil where we program and Dj the music as well, but curating who’s IN that room. Playing a room with Skepta and Anna Wintour and then finding that music that connects them, those little spots is like lightning in a bottle. it can’t be replicated and can only be done with the best intentions of giving this shit the platform and making these connections.
212: Lets move to your most recent single with Rome & Vert (Made It) how did that come about?
HxV: Rome is a super homie and Vert has been on my radar for a while now…I love him because he doesn’t sound like a philly rapper and sounds more southern and I like that. I like things that stick out because I stick out. When I was playing these things (LIC) and it was all dub step..I was playing hiphop. I stuck out. People wouldn’t book me at things like this and think “oh he’s just going to play rap music, we don’t understand it.” and then EDM-Trap blossomed and saw there was a market here.