HVMZA is a Belgian music producer and DJ with Turkish and Arabic roots. His music sits somewhere between deep, afro and tech house, incorporating elements from a huge range of genres including hip-hop and traditional African music to create an engrossing and highly unique style. His music stands out due to his colourful background and the range of genres and cultures he brings to the table: African, Latin and Middle Eastern influences all feature heavily, often complimented with Hip Hop and R&B vibes. Never afraid to push boundaries and test new horizons, HVMZA is a dynamic artist who looks set to make his mark over the coming months and years.
Welcome back to DMC – where in the world do we find you today?
Hey DMC hope all is good! Right now I’m in the country where I was born and raised, Belgium.
Tell us a little about your background and how you first got into music?
Well I’m a Belgian music producer with Turkish and Arabic roots. Since I can remember I was always into music, it was always a part of my life and I always had such a strong attraction to it. Around the age of 15 I think there was a talent show in our school and I decided to participate with my friends. We rapped and breakdanced, it was terrible, lol, I mean we were kids but we had so much fun! And that’s how the ball started rolling. When we wanted to record, I was the geek trying to learn all the producing stuff and figure everything out. Then I found out that you could make beats with Fruity Loops, I fell in love with it and since then I have never stopped learning and practicing. But at one point of my life I realised that we were never gonna be superstar rappers and I also didn’t know how to promote and monetize my beats. That was also at the age when I was starting to go out with friends and seeing all the DJ’s and realising that there was a way to make a living out of music. So I started to learn DJing, started to promote my own events and keep learning, practicing and improving my producing skills. I was also realising that I could express my creativity much better with house music, because you don’t always need rappers or singers in a house record, you are not depending on anybody else so that’s when I transitioned from hip hop to house and here we are today.
Were there any artists or scenes in particular that influenced your early work?
I was a really big fan of Ninetoes and still am today lol. I loved his productions because I could hear all the elements I loved, like the tribal drums, raw and organic sounds, sometimes flavoured with some hip hop samples. I could identify myself with his music so I think he is one of the artists that definitely inspired my early work.
Checking out your previous releases, there seems to be a real variety of styles. Was that always something you were aiming for in your music?
Yes definitely, I grew up in a place with so many different cultures and nationalities, being surrounded by all of that and listening to hip hop 24/7 definitely made me the producer I am today and I’m really proud of it. So I always try to reflect that in my tracks as much as possible.
The various styles of house – deep, soulful, vocal, tech etc – all seem to drift in and out of favour. Do you feel like one of another is going to have a ‘moment’ in 2021? Or are we being a little reductive?
I think the major styles like deep, soulful and tech house etc will be in flavour for a long time because they are the closest to their roots, but right now Im definitely seeing a rise in afro house and I’m loving it, so I think and hope that it’s gonna have its ‘moment’ in 2021 and many more years.
Which artists are exciting you in Belgium at the moment?
We don’t really have big artists in Belgium that are in the house scene or at least in the style that I am. But I do see a crazy rise in our festivals like Tomorrowland etc and that’s super exciting. Really hope to play there one day!
HVMZA - In West (Extended Mix)
What was the inspiration behind your latest single In West?
I actually made In West for a contest that The Martinez Brothers and Splice put together. Like I said before I was a big hip hop head and still I am today. At the time of the contest I was bumping Travis Scott’s track Out West everywhere and was in love with the flutes so I sampled it and called the track In West lol. I didn’t win the contest but because it got so much attention on Instagram I decided to release it.
Talk us through your studio set up… any particular favourite bits of hard/software?
Well that’s a nice question because I’m in the middle of building a new acoustically treated home studio for myself and I’m super excited. Right now I’m working on a Macbook Pro, my DAW is Ableton 11, absolutely love it, I would say that’s my favourite piece of software at the moment. I have KRK Rokit 8 studio monitors but I’m planning to buy new ones once the studio is finished. Can’t decide between Adam’s or Focal’s, so if anybody has any tips, hit me up on my Instagram lol. Favourite hardware would be my Apollo Twin X interface and I absolutely love almost every plug-in of Soundtoys.
What are your production plans for the rest of the year? Do you have a lot coming up?
The plan for 2021 is to release a track every 5 to 8 weeks, I’m gonna try to keep that promise I made for myself and go for it. So yes, a lot is coming up!
Finally, what’s the best record you’ve heard in 2021 so far and why?
Oh wow good question, I heard so many amazing tracks this year. But if I have to choose one, I think I would go for Francis Mercier’s new track Premier Gaou. The original track belongs to Magic System, a group I was listening to a lot when I was young. Francis flipped the track and made an afro house version of it and it’s absolutely a masterpiece. He teleported me back to those times and brought the two worlds I’m in love with together in one track, beautiful!
Thank you so much for having me DMC. Love, peace and harmony!