Exclusive: Five Minutes with Joe Hertz

I first heard of Joe Hertz when I stumbled upon his latest track with Bassette, the Amy Winehouse-reminiscent singer who’s been on constant repeat on my soundcloud lately. Hertz himself is equally accomplished, and he’s been popping up everywhere, and his recent EP release and mixes (like the one he’s done for i-D) showcase exactly why he’s such a force to be reckoned.

We recently sat down with him to learn more about his musical influences.

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?

Yo! Its been a busy time for me preparing for the release of my EP which is dropping Friday. Today I’m about to go into a writing session with a singer/songwriter called James Vickery who actually features on the EP, but this one’s for his project. Most weeks I will have a few sessions with different people like this.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

A mix of Electronic Soul/Hip-Hop/House. I take influences from a wide range of styles.

What are the 5 most influential albums that have influenced you the most?

The Score – Fugees
2001 – dre
Split the atom – Noisia
Nevermind – Nirvana
Channel Orange – Frank Ocean

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?

Ta-ku, Kaytranada, Sam Gellaitry, Pomo, Tom Misch, Jordan Rakei and Nao to name a couple (I could go on for a while:)…)

I’m all about groove and melody. When I hear something that can connect with people but also push boundaries, you know its good.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?

A few years ago I invested in a synth called the Virus TI2 and have learnt it like the back of my hand! Its become my ‘go to’ synth for some key elements in my music. Often things like pads/basses etc.

What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?

Well its really tough to even get your name out there in the first place, that takes perseverance and hunger. If you achieve that, its then an ongoing challenge to deliver good quality music on a regular basis. Making music is an emotional thing, when it becomes your job there’s more expectation and stress put on the fundamental process.

Where do you gather song writing inspiration?

Being in love. A hub for inspiration.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?

Usually starts with listening to a whole bunch of music in the morning and drinking loads of coffee..
I will usually start with just a piano track and trying some different progressions. Once something catches my attention I’ll record it and add beats, bassline and start layering some synth/ samples. By this point if I’m working with a singer it already is enough to be recording rough vocal melodies into their phone. From their its about exploring the possibilities!

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?

The first ever gig I did abroad. I played at La Machine in Paris and I was just so hyped! Will never forget it.

And the worst?

A few years ago I played at the waiting room in East London to an empty club.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

A Chef

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?


If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?

Erykah Badu

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

Very Excited that my new EP ‘How It Feels’ is out now. I hope you enjoy.

For more information about Hertz and his work, check out his Facebook here.

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