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Original Talent: Hayden James

Today, we’re kicking off a new series thanks to ORGNL.TV, a new editorial channel by Stolichnaya Premium Vodka. Every month from here on in, Original Talent will be profiling a new and original artist on the Australian electronic music scene and to start things with style, we’re honing in on Sydney fast-riser Hayden James.

One of taste-making label Future Classic’s newest signings, Hayden dropped his sublime five-track EP Permission to Love at the tail end of August. In the few weeks since, he’s been name-checked by Flume, taken the reins of triple j’s Mix-Up Exclusives, been added to the Listen Out line-up and clocked up almost half a million plays on his first tune, Permission to Love – which, it’s worth noting, only hit Soundcloud a few months ago. So with the hype machine in full force, we tracked Hayden down for a few questions.


How long did the EP take to make? Can you talk us through the production process?

I wrote the EP in a few months, but I spent another few producing and improving the tracks to get them how I wanted them to sound. Sometimes it’s hard to let go and say it’s finished.

My process of writing and producing changes a lot, but I’lI usually come up with an idea – melody or lyric – and go from there. I spend a day playing around with the initial idea to see what I come up with. I might have three or four different variations of the track and from there I’ll save it and not listen to it for a few days – it helps to come at it with fresh ears. I can tell very quickly what version I want to move forward with from there. That being said, I wrote Permission to Love in a few hours and that was it. Sometimes it just works that way. You never know. Once the writing process is over, I spend a lot of time producing the sounds. This definitely takes the majority of my time.

I noticed you don’t have any remixes up on your Soundcloud – is remixing something that interests you or are you more focused on original productions at the moment?

I’m actually working on a few remixes right now. I’m pretty choosey… I won’t remix a track unless I pretty much hear something straight away. Remixing is a great way to try new styles/techniques I think. I’m excited to release some remixes soon!

Have you always worked alone? Is producing something you think is best done on one’s own?

I’ve written with a few people in the past but I’m really enjoying writing by myself at the moment. It feels good to have your own thing and do whatever you like! I would definitely not rule out working with someone in the future though.

Are you happy to classify yourself as sticking to a certain genre, or can being beholden to one sound be restrictive?

I am just happy writing whatever comes out, really! I would classify myself as an electronic artist but that’s as far as I would go. I feel that the EP shows a few different sides to my sound.

What’s coming up for you for the rest of 2013?

I’m writing a lot right now and working on a few remixes which is keeping me busy. I’m also putting together a live show to debut in November. I’m also really excited to play Listen Out festival in Sydney!