PRIME meets the elusive and ingenious Herzeloyde, covering everything from early inspirations to his upcoming EP
PRIME: For those who are new listeners, give a brief introduction to yourself to include your name, age, hometown, and a bit about your beginnings as a producer.
HERZELOYDE: My name is Reyjah and I'm 24 years old. I grew up east of Melbourne, Australia. My brother and I were raised by our parents who strongly encouraged music throughout our upbringing. From as young as I can remember, I was surrounded by instruments and was able to pick up whatever I mucked around with quite easily. After teaching myself piano and learning guitar from my Dad I begun violin lessons at 8-years-old. This was also the time when my Dad purchased his first copy of Fruity Loops.
From the moment I made my first simple drum beat I was hooked and I've been using FL ever since. Over the years, I've also grown as a musician, learning things such as clarinet, saxophone, African and Brazilian drums, singing, rapping, scratching and jazz piano. All of this has definitely influenced my musical choices as a producer.
PRIME: I imagine you get asked this question a lot - how did you choose your alias, and have you always gone by Herzeloyde?
HERZELOYDE: In high school we studied an old novel called Parzival which featured a character called Herzeloyde. At the time I was looking for a name to begin a new chapter of music production with and I wanted to settle on something that hadn't been used before. We’re approaching the 9-year anniversary now and Herzeloyde has grown into something I never expected.
I first heard your music at a Mr. Carmack show. Tsuruda, who opened for him, played “Sprung” and from the moment I heard that track I was determined to find out who produced it. Your music is unlike anything I’ve ever heard and it’s impossible to pin it to any genre - who are your biggest musical inspirations?
HERZELOYDE: Artists such as Bonobo, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Amon Tobin, Bill Lazwell, Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Bjork, Groove Armada, Thievery Corporation, Jimi Hendrix and many others were introduced to me from my Dad as he was exploring modern music. Dad pursued radio DJ work when I was young so he had an excuse to expose himself - and me - to a lot of underground and alternative music. This was all before I really began my own journey of music discovery in my early teens.
When I started using the internet and my mp3 player I got heavily into artists such as Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and Eminem before discovering legends of the Dubstep and DnB scene like Caspa, Rusko, Pendulum, Dj Hazard, Noisia and Skrillex. However, one of the most powerful, pivotal moments for me as a musician had to be the discovery of Mr. Carmack. Not only did he blow my mind by completely changing my perspective on production, I also really resonated with his description of art as a form of escape. These days, I find huge inspiration from my SoundCloud favourites such as Tsuruda, Hapa, Mo Vibez, Tennyson, Woolymammoth, Aztek, Rob Clouth and countless others.
PRIME: How do you feel the music scene in Australia differs from that of the U.S.? Is there as much of an audience for electronic music out there?
HERZELOYDE: The scenes differ immensely in my opinion. The U.S. has such a beautiful history when it comes to music’s evolution and its growth within styles. A lot of the music I tend to listen to originates out of the U.S. and so naturally I feel my output can reflect those sounds. That's not to say that some amazing music doesn't come out of Australia as I love artists like Hiatus Kaiyote, Cosmo's Midnight and Sampa the Great. There's definitely an audience for electronic music here, it's just a lot less oriented to the underground SoundCloud producer vibe.
PRIME: I’ve been seriously rinsing your recent tunes, including “Turn On” and your remix for Hoodboi and Djemba Djemba. What do you have up your sleeve in terms of upcoming releases? (Feel free to talk about your upcoming EP dropping July 22nd here).
HERZELOYDE: Thanks for the support, glad to hear you’re vibing the 4/4! I’ve got a 2-track EP coming out on July 22nd via Night Owl Collective that I’m really excited to share.
I’m also sitting on a stack of new music that I think represents my best output to date. So far I’m working on wrapping 2 EPs and an album with a few singles and remixes thrown in for good measure. Each project features collaborations with some of my favourite producers, vocalists and MCs and each pushes towards different spectrums of the Herzeloyde sound, so there should be something for everyone.