Producer and DJ born in Madrid, one of the brightest talents in the electronic music scene, Henry Saiz has crafted a unique path in his musical career. Not following any trends and refusing to fall into any category with his trademark sound that combines influences from club music and a wide range of styles like 80´s pop or progressive rock to name a few, his constant growth across the globe enabled him to spread his art to new audiences.
In his first days as a DJ, Saiz released almost exclusively with big labels “with a focus on melody and community”, as he puts it: Renaissance, Global Underground and Bedrock. Then he created his own label Natura Sonoris.He won DJ Magazine’s ”Best Label” award in 2011.
With regular releases on such labels as ‘’Last Night On Earth’’, ‘’Suara’’ and his own ‘’Natura Sonoris’’, to name a few, he’s also become hosting a show on Spanish National Radio ‘’El Laberinto’’.
Wanting to get closer still to the crowd, he’s returned to his first love, live bands, with an electronic trio that, apart from his solo performances, he’s also regularly touring the world with. One of the highlights of the live band concept was their Boiler Room debut back in 2015 where guys delivered absolutely outstanding performance full of soul, powerful grooves, seductive vocals and thrilling emotions showing their particular approach to house music. Always striving for innovations and creativity, Henry embarked on an ambitious musical journey of a whole different level. He launched a world-traveling audiovisual project through Kickstarter that achieved a huge success. This effort of trying to examine the relationship between environment and sound will materialize in 2018 year with a release of a sophomore album and a film that will be a combination of both documentary and fiction.
He has performed and continues performing all over the globe. He has been part of festivals like Sonar, Glastonbury, Ultra, EXIT, Creamfields, Global Gathering, We Are Lost among others and also iconic parties like Circoloco at DC10 Ibiza. Henry Saiz is one of the Spanish artists whose constant growth has enabled him to spread his music to new audiences and is, without doubt, one of the brightest talents on the global electronic music scene.
Hello Henry, we are very honored that we have a chance to talk with you. How are you and where are you at the moment?
Hello! Feeling good today, thank you. I’m in my house in Alicante, Mediterranean coast of Spain.
When we talk about music industry, from the moment when the traveling, performances and parties stopped, you’ve found a way to communicate with your fans through the live streams called ‘’At Home with Henry’’ on Youtube, which you do often, later also on Patreon. How much do you actually miss the parties and live interaction with your fans around the world?
The streaming show is a consequence of missing both my audience and playing gigs around the world. Also when all this madness started I thought I had a kind of duty as an artist to entertain my followers and also missed human interaction. About Patreon, is just a great way to create a new kind of relationship with my audience where they can help me produce the show and give me support both financial and emotional in order to keep creating my art through these tough times.
So far, you have done more than 90 episodes that have been broadcasted live on Youtube. Why did you choose to play different genres through each episode, which are not always related to electronic music? Is that how you wanted to entertain the audience during this difficult period or for some other reason?
I’m a very open minded music lover, I get positive things from music no matter what style or genre. So this was a great opportunity to show my audience music styles that I can’t play in a club and show my musical taste in a wider way. Generally you don’t want to listen to very energetic dance music when you are dealing with anxiety going through a lockdown for months or just when you spend so much time at home with a different mood than when you are partying.
Do you think you have created a new kind of connection with the fans during this year and how do you think it will show when you finally see each other live? You surely now have a little more time to, if we can say, dedicate time to your audience around the world.
Definitely something very very special has been created through all these almost 100 shows, we shared intimacy on many levels and also I spend a lot of time interacting with my followers on YouTube or the private telegram group I have with the members of my patreon, so yeah, definitely an Intense and strong bond.
If we go back a little bit to the beginning of your career, we can find out that you were In black metal back in the days. What inspired you to switch direction and go to electronic music? We know that your dad was quite influential and he introduced you to Jean Michel Jarre when you were nine years old. Can you take us back to that time and tell us a little bit more about it?
I’ve been inevitably influenced by every music style that I listened to and played, I played black metal for years but also progressive rock, jazz-fusion, experimental… All that music gave shape to my artistic vision during the years and definitely the early electronic music pioneers like Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Wendy Carlos, Tangerine Dream and others created a big impact in my mind and introduced me to electronic music. Thanks Dad! 🙂
You have a distinctive sound, very unique and captivating. How did you develop it? And how important is mentally challenging yourself to your creative process?
For me if something in the creative field doesn’t represent a challenge at some level it’s just not interesting. My sound is a combination of a very open minded musical taste, a natural curiosity and aim to go beyond my own limits when I approach an artistic project and a strong sense of self-demand and perfectionism.
In your first debut album titled ‘’Reality is for those who are not strong enough to confront their dreams’’ people had the opportunity to participate in the creation of that masterpiece by sending you sounds they recorded. How many were sent? Can you explain the concept behind the unusual method you used to collect samples for the album?
My fans sent me more than 150 samples, I thought it was a cool idea to keep my audience related to the album not only by listening to it when is done but also being a part of the creation process, some of the samples ended up being a lead part in the song, also gave me the chance to work with very special sounds taken from people around the world.
You made music for TV and production. What sort of projects have you worked on?
I worked a few years in productions for Disney, Nickelodeon and a lot of advertising. Mainly directing and producing the sound design and music for animation series. Very fun but not as enriching as doing my own music.
In April 2018, you launched an ambitious project creating 10 tracks, an audio visual album called ‘’Human’’ that traverses the world, mixing nature, art into something never seen before in the world of electronic music. Let’s talk about the idea behind the project. Why an audiovisual project?
I always wanted to try to translate the essence of a place/culture/emotional landscape/vibe (call it what you want to) into music and it made no sense to do such a thing and not showing the process to the audience so it naturally became an audiovisual album.
‘’Human’’ is, without doubts, your biggest project which was not an easy task. 10 spots of the planet, 10 tracks, 10 movies…A trip around the world through different sound layers, fusion between electronic, house, indie, electro-pop music. What is special about these places you selected for the project and how was the whole experience during that journey, with the locals, etc?
Such an epic work, an experience I will always remember and a timeless collaborative album that gained cult status which was the main point. The selection process was a mixture between places we already knew and loved and places that always symbolized something important regarding human and our relationship with the environment. Special places that say a lot about our essence.
Can we expect similar projects in the future?
Nowadays with this pandemic and the weird years to come I’m not sure if it could be possible at all, but I’m already having some ideas about making a virtual experience in something similar. Virtual reality is here to stay and I find it a fascinating technology.
Last year, you published trilogy of EP’s ‘’Digital Mirages’’, which gained significant attention and support from the entire scene. Also, you rolled your own brand party ‘’Mirage’’. What have been the results? Can you explain the concept behind this trilogy and do you plan to expand ‘’Mirage’’ around the world?
Well, the concept of a “mirage” nowadays is something very relatable because we live in a custom made reality we’ve created, most of my artistic expression is around the idea of what is real and what’s not and also love the idea of creating a party with amazing vibes and a great place for humans to peacefully interact and enjoy music for a few hours, that’s the concept behind my Mirage concept, and also the trilogy Digital Mirages talks about how through technology we can create new worlds and contain our memories there also. Hopefully this COVID shit is controlled finally so I can export this brand of parties to other countries like Serbia. 🙂
You produce more disco orientated material under the name Hal Incandenza. What plans do you have for future work or releases under this alias?
I’m releasing 2-3 albums/eps of Hal Incandenza within the next months, the first one is quite urban-rnb-vaporwave music oriented and I sing in Spanish, so definitely nothing that you guys have listened from me yet but something I really felt like doing during the lockdown. Can’t wait to release it.
How do you think the music you produce has changed, if at all, since the time you started making electronic music, through your early releases to your most recent releases?
I’m constantly changing and evolving in all aspects of my life, which I think is healthy and necessary and that applies to my music as well. How I changed? I’m not sure since change never stops and is a constant evolution heading probably nowhere in particular. If I have to be more specific I’d say I pay even less attention to what other producers do and I just do my thing, I’ve always done that but now I have an even stronger sense of doing whatever I feel like doing music wise.
Your first performance in Serbia was four years ago at EXIT Festival (Novi Sad), in B2B set with Hernan Cattaneo which drew much attention. Do you have any special memory that you can share with us from that party?
And after that, on 2017 you performed for the first time in Belgrade, live with your band. Can you tell us what your impression of the local crowd was then compared to this now?
It was one of the best gigs of my career, playing in such an iconic venue and festival with my good friend Hernan was amazing, hopefully we can do it again someday 🙂 Serbian crowd has been amazing for me and my band, always super warm and welcoming and with the best vibes, I really love playing in Serbia.
Do you have any hobbies besides music? How do you spend your free time?
Yes I have many, I always keep my mind busy, some other hobbies I have are Nature and animals, unorthodox themes like ufo phenomenon and history and culture in general, psychology (specially studying psychopathy), aquascaping, growing cannabis, virtual reality and some select gaming, art in general, design… I don’t know I’m a very curious person.
Many thanks for your time and we hope to see you soon again in Serbia.
Can’t wait for that, one of my favorite countries to play!