Hellove is the brand new project from Estonian Eurovision Finalist Igor Volhonski, bringing his unique musical vision to indie dance with emotive guitar and piano-based productions. This month sees the release of debut single ‘Lie’ with Australian singer-songwriter Trove. DMCWORLD dives into Estonian waters…
What does your typical production process look like?
It usually starts with me and my songwriters Claus Pener and Sander Sadam. We get together in the studio, fire up Ableton and find some chords or something that gets our feels going. After, it’s really finding the beat or the genre that opens the chords up and gets the emotion moving. I try to get the idea of the track done as fast as I can before the inspiration runs out. Otherwise it might end up in my graveyard of ideas. Then, after minor tweaks and listening to the track for two weeks, we scout for potential vocalists that would suit the track best. Once we find the person, we start the process with them and bring it all together.
What does it feel like to have a debut single with a featured vocal from an established artist the likes of Trove?
Oh man! It’s a feeling of its own. Being a fan of Trove and for him to perform on the track is definitely a dream come true.
What do you enjoy about collaborating with someone when producing music?
I always try to collaborate as much as I can. It’s really inspiring to find people who match your vision and give it a whole different spin on it. I love bouncing ideas and seeing a fresh perspective on things.
What was your experience like as an Estonian Eurovision Finalist?
It sure took a lot of energy but there was so much to learn from, things like what cameras to use at specific times of the show. I’ve always been a “bedroom music producer” and I didn’t have any experience with turning my music into an entertaining experience on the television. There was a lot to take away from the challenge and met new inspiring people, one of whom became our songwriter for the next upcoming track (you’ve might have heard of him if you’ve kept an eye on the Eurovision)!
Outside of the realm of electronic dance music, what other genres/musicians do you like to listen to?
Metal music has definitely had a big impact on my songwriting. I started from Metallica and ended up with Bring me the Horizon. After I started producing I became a big fan of Hans Zimmer. At some point I started writing film music that ended up as 10-20 minute songs. Funny enough, those sounds used later ended up in my pop music production.
What type of electronic dance music genre do you enjoy listening to most in particular?
I enjoy any genre that catches my feelings. Usually house music is the one to go.
What aspects of your immediate surroundings in Estonia do you find creatively inspire you?
Apart from my close friends, the nature. I love our songwriting camps where we head out of town to some small cabin in the woods and totally zone out from the world. That’s where inspiration strikes the most.
What do you enjoy most about songwriting and producing?
The reason why I produce/write music is to feel something I haven’t felt before. I’d say I’m sort of addicted to music… When I don’t create something new I get easily depressed. Usually when writing new music I discover something new about myself or reasons why I’m feeling either happy, anxious or sad. It’s a direct link to my feelings.
If you could choose anywhere to perform post-lockdown, where would that be and why?
My dream would be to either play on Tallinn Song Festival Grounds in Estonia or in Coachella in the US.
‘Lie’ is very lyrically emotional — what was the impetus behind the narrative and overall tone of your new track?
When we were writing the instrumental, summer was just around the corner. It was an awakening on multiple levels. It’s interesting how Trove gave the already uplifting instrumental an unique feeling – explaining how difficult it is to end a relationship and move on, while still thinking the best is yet to come. Our songwriter Claus has always said that a good song has that “magic sauce” where you don’t know if the song is happy or not. I’d say “Lie” has a similar feeling to it.