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Q & A: Hayden James

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on June 25, 2014

Sydney based producer, Hayden James, almost broke the internet last year with his instant hit ‘Permission To Love’, and has been unstoppable ever since! Part of the Future Classic family, Hayden is just wrapping up a national tour with RUFUS and is on two pretty incredible bills alongside ODESZA and Kele. We caught up with him to talk tours, new stuff and what it’s like to be “running with the big dogs.”

So you’ve just wrapped up your tour with RUFUS! Was that the biggest tour you’ve done so far? What was the highlight for you?

Yeah it’s my first tour around Australia. I’m so, so tired hah. I was great fun with the Rufus boys and other supports, Kilter and Crooked Colours. So many highlights.. It was pretty special playing the last few shows of the Palace Theatre in Melbourne (RIP Palace), playing to nearly 4000 people at Fremantle Arts Centre, and finishing it off with two sold out shows at the Enmore in Sydney. If I could, I would do it all over again.

Can you explain the narrative idea behind your EP? I read that you drew inspiration from Daft Punk’s ‘Discovery’ album for that. Is it easier for you to write whole works as a story instead of singular songs?

I like to let people make their own mind up about the story of the EP. Everyone interprets things differently. I find it much easier to write with a story in mind for sure. Even though the story might be fiction, it still creates meaning and in turn becomes more powerful and emotive.

I read you weren’t into “writing songs for clubs”, but more interested in writing for yourself – what does that mean? Do you think there is a particular way in which one writes a song for the club?

It means I’m more interested in writing actual songs as opposed to just beats and loops that sound cool… Not that I don’t like that stuff, but I always write originals with the goal of longevity that means something to me personally.

‘Permission to Love’ was obviously huge for you, with some people saying you nearly broke the internet! How has it been for you, watching the song you released being received so well?

It was a shock actually. I’m really happy everyone got into it and liked the release. With the support of Future Classic and Triple J, it reached a lot of people which was great. It was also the first song i had written and released by myself, so it meant a lot to me.

How has it been since you joined the Future Classic family? You’re with a few pretty important names, is it scary or encouraging to be “running with the big dogs”?

*laughs* Tell me about it! Future Classic is has definitely become a beacon for new, exciting music around the world. It’s awesome to have their support and great to be part of something big. It’s definitely encouraging to have such amazing artists on the label with such a diverse range of music.

You’ve got some new stuff coming out – what can we expect from this?

Yeah I’m very excited… like, ‘Permission To love’ Excited! I’ve got a new track coming out soon that features Touch Sensitive. It’s called ‘Feelin’ Better Together’. Lots more new music to follow!

You’re one third of two pretty amazing sideshows for CIRCO! What are you looking forward to most at these? 

I’m excited to be on the Sydney and Melbourne shows with Kele and ODESZA. I caught ODESZA at the last Enmore gig with RUFUS (they jumped on to support for the last show) and it was special! I’m a big fan of theirs, and Kele too!

Hayden James show dates:

June 25 – 170 Russell, Melbourne  W/ KELE (BLOC PARTY) AND ODESZA
June 26 – Metro Theatre, Sydney W/ KELE (BLOC PARTY) AND ODESZA


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