Last weekend at Electric Forest, I had the opportunity to sit down with Indiana’s own Martin Vogt or, as the EDM community now knows him, Haywyre. Starting from a young age, Haywyre has always had a natural talent for performing and creating music. The multifaceted virtuoso has been studying piano since the age of 7, while also improvising and studying jazz since the age of just 14.
It’s no surprise that this long-standing comprehension of the music world has translated into massive success in electronic music production, as Haywyre has amassed over 100 thousand followers on SoundCloud, and is currently completing a festival circuit that has spanned over many cities in the U.S. The man behind the magic is even more impressive, as he proved to be incredibly humble and down-to-earth when he opened up about his upbringings.
I read that you moved around a lot throughout your entire life. How has experiencing all these different cultures affected your character, as well as your music?
I think, in a straight-forward way, that naturally there are so many different aspects surrounding that. I was living in the U.S. and Europe as well. Living in Austria influenced me the most creatively, both in terms of what I want to do and don’t want to do. On a musical level, there’s a great appreciation for a more traditional approach there. I remember taking music courses – being taught by a piano teacher there – and I remember bursting into tears because it was so intense, man. And it’s not a bad thing, as it really taught me to have high standards. In general, obviously being a part of a world that is so different than the U.S., it helped me pick up different things that I enjoy. I’ve now been able to incorporate all these different aspects that I enjoy most into what I create now.
How has having that vast knowledge of piano and jazz influenced your music production in the EDM world?
I think that for a long time, there was no conscious effort in integrating that into my current music. I was studying classical music and piano performance, but I liked the idea of including improvisational input into my productions, and that’s where I started to realize that these worlds could collide. My parents were very supportive of my jazz interests, luckily enough, so as soon as the ideas of improvisation and stuff started coming into my music, that’s when I started getting more inspired. It’s great to pay homage to greats, of course, and it’s always good to learn by example. That’s why jazz is so important to me, and why it lead to me creating my own music in the first place.
When did you decide that electronic music was your calling?
I wouldn’t necessarily call electronic music my calling, but it was the best way for me to become a one-man band. If you’re interested in creating music that involves more complex sounds, you’re obviously going to lean towards something that involves a computer. So, that’s the direction I went in. When I was 16 – in 2009 – I started producing around the same time when electronic music started gaining a ton of popularity. Naturally, that rise in popularity started to encourage me to dedicate myself to music production.
Which artists currently inspire you the most?
A big one on that list would be Jacob Collier. I’ve mentioned him quite a bit in the past, and in the last six months he’s really gained a lot of recognition for the work he’s doing. He’s definitely not that active in the electronic music world – he’s more of a jazz composer – but he’s a one-man band kind of person, and creates everything he performs on his own. He creates these really cool audio/video pieces, that show different versions of himself jamming out on different instruments. His capabilities as a multi-instrumentalist are crazy, and he’s got this really impressive understanding of music theory.
Who would your dream collab be with?
I don’t know if I could boil it down to a single person, but Jacob would definitely be one of them. I also haven’t really been in the mindset of collaborating because I’m trying to figure out where I’m taking my own music right now. I’d also like to work again with Galamatias, as he just came out with a new track a week ago or something. I think our styles complement each other really nicely.
What was it like working with Mr. Bill? I’ve heard he has an incredibly in-depth comprehension of music production, and it seems like he could really teach you a lot in the studio.
It was actually such a casual interaction when we were working on that song. He sent me some stems over, and I was like, “Yeah I’ll lay some keys over that here and there.” We didn’t really get to spend that much time talking about things outside of this song, but I am in touch with him these days. I’m using Ableton now, and I know he’s been teaching Ableton for like a decade. Now I’m trying to squeeze as much knowledge at I can, as he understands a lot of things that I don’t.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2017?
I think it’s hard to define exactly what’s going to happen, but for the past year I’ve been kind of struggling with where I want to take my project next. I felt comfortable with a lot of the stuff that I’ve been working with, and I don’t want to keep making things that I’m familiar with. I don’t want to do something because I know how to do it, I want to do something that expands my creative boundaries. Up next, is probably releasing new content obviously, and maybe some performance videos and another album.
Listen to Haywyre’s last album, Two Fold Pt. 2, below and find his upcoming tour dates here.
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