Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Introducing – Happa
Happa did a recent interview for FluxWords, read the oringal article here and download several free tracks:
What inspires a 15 year old to stop daydreaming about girls and start producing some of the murkiest, dirtiest bass-heavy House that would have swamp monsters running for cover… Mary Anne Hobbs calls his music “mind-blowing” and with a string of upcoming releases on 2nd Drop, Church and Wigflex, we aren’t arguing!
So Happa, who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am Samir Alikhanizadeh. I am currently living in Leeds(ish), attending high school in year 11 (15 years of age) and I adore dried mango. And full stops. I used to do sports… I don’t any more. I am in love with music (of many varieties) and over the past year or so It has taken over my life. The love grew even stronger when I got into production for about a year and a half ago (Happa is a tender 8 months old). I also have a ‘side project’ called Zadeh.
Four Tet, Paleman & Thefft, all big names in the UK Bass scene and all are hyping your stuff . How do you feel about this?
I cannot even begin to explain the joy that fills my heart. The fact that some of my musical heroes have my music somewhere on there hard drive is ridiculous.
Your music is consistently being compared to Blawan‘s compositions. Has he been your greatest influence or is just a coincidence?
Yeah, well I would say neither. I mean Blawan is a fantastic producer, one of my favourite 4/4 producers for sure, but I am inspired by all things I like inside and out of music. I would never want to compare my self to the likes of Blawan either. I just think that Happa produces a very percussion heavy type of music, and I always try to get a pretty hard/raw almost aggressive feel to my tracks beacause; that’s the sound I am falling more and more in love with, and discovering across the UK Techno scene.
You have a forthcoming release on 2nd Drop, which we all very excited about. What else have you got in the pipeline for 2012?
I do yes, good to hear! I have an EP coming out on Church in October and another on Wigflex, yet there is no set date as of yet.
It is seriously impressive to see such talent in someone of your age, do your friends share similar tastes in music to you? How have you come into the scene so early? What made you get into the darker, percussive side of House/Techno, or ‘Bass’ music?
Thank you, it pleases me that you say so. Not at all really, I have one friend (Al) who has a remotely similar taste in music to me, and my brother shares a very similar music taste also. Well I first really got into music a few years ago thanks to Dubstep, and I suppose I went down the route onto artists and labels like Dark Sky, Pearson Sound and Swamp 81; making that that kind of transition from dubstep and ‘bass music’ then progressing further onto Techno thanks to labels and artists like Turbo, R&S, Blawan, Skudge etc. But I have what I like to think is a very wide taste in music, and I am really into a lot of old music.
You are still at school, what plans to do have when you finish? Are you going keep pushing your musical career or move onto something more academic?
I hope to go to a music college in Leeds, taking part in a Music technology course. I’d also love to do some freelance production for TV or Films, and in the future I want to start my own label.
Mary Anne Hobbs recently asked you to do a guest mix for her, how was it?
It was great! She has helped me so much amongst a lot of other wonderful people with promoting Happa and basically just ‘getting out there’ a bit more.
You also produce under another pseudonym – Zadeh – tell us a bit about it?
Yeah, although I still haven’t really found my ‘sound’ with Zadeh yet, I could say that it is is all about deep/ambient texture, and is very relaxing. All of the productions so far have orientated around the 100bpm mark, and have had much more of an elegant structure in comparison to Happa. Zadeh also takes a lot more inspiration from acoustic music and bands. I aim for it to really get across to people with much more emotion in a way that Happa can’t, and almost make you feel sad in the best way possible… if that makes any sense at all.
Your music intuitively compliments the club vibe, how did you get a feel for the clubbing scene without being in one? Or do you manage to get into clubs around Leeds?
Well, to be honest clubbing nor DJing had any affect/influence on Happa. It was more about me really getting into dance music. I never really tried and most definitely wouldn’t of got in anywhere; used to have a bit of a baby face.
How have your peers at school responded to your musical success?
None of them really care about it really, apart from about three friends (one being Al who shares a similar taste in music to me) who I kinda keep in the loop with things going on.
What other Artists are you feeling at the moment?
I’m really liking Clouds at the minute, my kind of Techno. I also really like and have been supporting Viers, I really rate his production along with producers like Bobby Champs and Metrist.
What is the most unexpected thing that has happened since the start of Happa’s career? Biggest highlight?
Probably being asked to remix Four Tet. He is such a legend.
Finally, when you are 18, do you plan on coming to any the Flux parties seeing as our spiritual home is Leeds?
Of course man! As people say – big up – Leeds!
Happa's 'Freak' is forthcoming on 2nd Drop Records in winter... watch this space!