’Hayden James – Something About You’

For the first piece of exclusive content in Hayden James’ TMN artist residency, we’ve got an interview with the talented Australian artist! Peep the conversation below where Hayden discusses his musical roots, his success thus far and what he’s got in the works. If you’re not yet familiar with Hayden James give our introduction post a read and enjoy some of his fantastic tunes through out this piece. 

TMN: What was your first musical memory?

Hayden James: My mum playing the guitar. She would play Spanish style flamenco stuff. That and my parents listening to Lionel Richie records.

TMN: When and how did you first start getting into making music?

Hayden James: I started writing a few years ago. I used to DJ a lot so all the stuff I used to write was skewed towards playing in clubs I guess, as opposed to now where I’m writing more songs to be played whenever, wherever.

TMN: Your original music has such a distinct groove and emotion to it—can you talk a bit about some of the artists and sounds that you were really into when creating your debut EP?

Hayden James: Thank you! It’s really important that my music has that emotional element / connection with people. Artists that give that kind of feeling to me is Daft Punk, James Blake, Jai Paul, Odesza to name a few.

TMN: Did singing come around the same time as producing for you or was that a bit later?

Hayden James: It was pretty much the same time. I would write these songs and didn’t really know any singers, so I just sang on them myself as demos. From there I started to manipulate / pitch them. I never intended to sing really, but it has worked out so far ;).

TMN: So many artists need to flood the market with a slew of releases to get noticed but you’ve amassed a large following on the backs of a few quality releases. How meaningful is it for you to have such an avid fan base at this stage of your career?

Hayden James: Yeah it’s so crazy. I’ve only released 2 singles (along side an EP) to date. It’s really amazing to be able to tour so many places around the world with the music i’ve released so far.

Can’t wait to release more music really soon!

TMN: As a follow up, do you think that idea of quality over quantity is one that’s lost to some degree in the current landscape of music?

Hayden James: To me, quality is everything. It’s not worth releasing something you’re not 100% happy with. I take my time :).

TMN: You’ve toured pretty much everywhere internationally at this point. Have there been any specific performances that stand out to you?

Hayden James: I just came back from my first European tour which was an incredible experience. All the festivals and shows I played were great, but one of the stand outs for me was Reading and Leeds Festival. Such a crazy, energetic crowd!

TMN: A lot of your shows have been DJ sets but you’ve also already unveiled a live show. Can you talk a bit about putting together your live set and the vision behind it?

Hayden James: I play my live show 90% of the time. I really enjoy DJing, but playing all my own music to crowds is really special to me. I play a lot of unreleased music in my shows too. It’s great to get a read from the crowd on the new stuff.

The live show is always evolving as I learn more and become more comfortable with new instruments. My setup at the moment is an MS20 mini, SPD SX drum pad, Ableton push and a few other little gadgets. I have a lot of fun on stage!

TMN: Last time we spoke, you mentioned you were working on some new material. What’s next for you as far as original music? Are there any particular ways that you think your sound is evolving or progressing?

Hayden James: I’ll be releasing a new single really soon, but what i’m really excited about is working on my album. It’ll be ready next year.

TMN: Future Classic has become such a powerhouse in contemporary music in the last few years but still feels like such a tight-knit group of artists. Can you talk a bit about how you got involved with FC and the role it’s played in your career trajectory thus far.

Hayden James: It’s great to be part of such an incredible group of artists. The Future Classic guys are great to work with. I’ve been with them since I released ‘Permission to Love’. To be part of something that people know all around the world and respect is incredible.
’Hayden James – Beginnings’

TMN: We know you’ve worked with George Maple quite a bit in the past. Are there any other fellow-FC artists that you’ve been working with recently or would like to team up with?

Hayden James: Yeah I’ve been in the studio with Touch Sensitive a few times. You might see those results in the Album next year ;).

Flume has also recently done a remix of my track ‘Beginnings’ (Flume’s lost remix) which you’ll be able to hear on his essential mix real soon.


HJ3The biggest misconception about Australians is that we drink Fosters beer.

Our shellfish is obviously the reason that so much good music is coming out of Australia right now.

I could spend hours looking at anything space/cosmos related on the Internet.

If I could share a cigarette with one person, dead or alive, it would be Clayton from Odesza.

One time while I was playing a set, I watched 100 dudes jump the fence into the festival and outrun the cops! Good job.

If an Alien came down to Earth and asked me what music was, I’d play them Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

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