The electronic dance music scene first heard of Helena when her debut single “Girl from the Sky” shot to the top of the Australian club charts, remaining at the Number 1 spot for four straight weeks, and consequentially making Helena a seemingly overnight star. However, Legend’s involvement with music started at an early age, when she was trained on the cello and piano; her music career to date is simply a culmination of her talent and hard work. She has had multiple successful tracks since her debut, such as “Raven” and “Legend,” and released on some of the world’s most renowned record labels, such as Ultra, Spinnin, and Musical Freedom. Her electrifying live sets have earned her a loyal following of “Helena’s Legends,” and this following has led to her traveling across the globe to perform. Helena has already set the bar high, and she continues to impress with every wave of new music…
Interview by Dan Prince
Helen a huge welcome back to DMCWORLD. You have more air miles than Richard Branson, where on planet earth are you today?
Hi Dan! Thanks it’s good to be back! Today I am in NYC, I am here for a week of press promoting my new EP Part 2 of ‘No Explanations’ I have just finished an in person interview over at Billboard which was pretty dope.
You have lived all over the world…where when you land feels like home the most?
Hmm…now you got me I actually don’t know! I have spent significant time in Bristol, Sydney and LA so much that they all feel like home when I land in these cities. Bristol maybe ultimately feels like home as my family are mainly there. Home to me is a feeling, not a place.
You are so LA! What is your favourite piece of music you have heard since springing out of bed this morning?
I heard Twenty One Pilots – ‘Heathens’ on my way to get a coffee this morning, blasting out a car in NY.
So a new year and another slice of Legend magic! This time as you mentioned earlier in the form of ‘No Explanations’ EP Part 2, following the release of Part 1 back in December. Talk us through these brand new urban delights…
Last year I was a bit lost musically for the first half of 2016 I wasn’t vibed anymore on what I was making so I decided to change up my style and head more in an electronic pop direction. I am super happy with where I am at musically right now, I feel inspired again . I decided to showcase my new sound in the form of an EP split into 2 parts with 3 tracks on each.
On Part 1 I was singing on the track ‘Illusion’ which was me singing for the first time ever. Another track is called ‘Getaway’ feat Blake Rose, a young talent from Australia. And the other track is ‘RU Feeling It’ feat. Lyre, a talented female singer/songwriting duo from LA. ‘RU Feeling it’ was the lead single from the EP and I made a super cool music video for it in Shanghai. The video is more like a mini movie like a big acid trip, the theme being ‘Ego Death’, the loss of self identity in order to see things in another way.
Part 2 of the EP is out now so I am very stoked for that! Another 3 tracks, ‘Ghost Ya’ feat. Sophie Hintze’, a talented girl from NYC. And then one called ‘One Night’ feat. Sade Serena, another upcoming talent from Jamaica / Miami. The 3rd track is a reboot of the Dawn Penn classic ‘No, No, No’ which I have made into a big club festival trap / bass mix. The reaction to the EP so far has been amazing, which has been very inspiring for me.
How would you say your production style is changing as you get older?
I would definitely say my style is changing as I am getting older. I used to be all about what is going to make the club jump hard, now I guess I want people to see my depth as an artist and I want to make tracks that still sound good in years to come. I am focussing a lot more on the musicality now of the music I am making, I want to make tracks that people want to listen to in more environments other than just the clubs – you can always make a harder club mix of the tracks to play out. But I also want people to be able to drive / chill to my music and stream on Spotify and the likes.
Also worth screaming from the rooftops about is of course your new fashion line. What’s it all about?
So excited! I am in the process of launching my own fashion label under my artist name – Helena Legend. I studied fashion design at college before I went into music so it’s always been a huge passion of mine that has been there for a long time. I always wanted to do my own label but I was so consumed with music that I didn’t give it the time. But I feel now the time is right for me to do it, I am drawing from my inspiration of music, touring and stage performance to create a line that is very much high end street wear / sports lux. I am making it in Los Angeles, designing it all myself as well as sourcing all the fabrics, trims, zips etc. It’s given me a real creative boost being able to get stuck into a new project like this. So far the response has been amazing. I am spending my time making sure everything is right then hope to launch it in he middle of this year and I am teasing some of the samples on my socials in the mean time and in press pics so keep an eye out.
What are the 5 big tunes in your box this weekend…
1.Helena Legend Feat Lyre – ‘RU Feeling It’
This was my lead single off Part1 of my EP so I have been playing it every set without fail. I love this track, such a sexy vibe.
2.Helena Legend Feat Sade Serena – One Night
This is a real dancehall inspired beat, that has been working so well in my sets. It’s off Part2 of my EP ‘No Explanations’.
3. Throttle – Hit The Road Jack
Such a tune! STILL at Beatport No 1, he killed this track.
4. Pushup by O5CAR
I’m hammering this track, a huge trap club track the drop is pure filth.
5. Helena Legend – You Don’t Love Me
My Bass Trap re-boot of the Dawn Penn classsic, the drop is large!
The last GREAT…
Film you saw:
Arrival – now this is a GREAT movie, highly recommended.
New album you checked out:
Migos – ‘Culture’.
Book you read:
The Idea In You. it helped motivate me with my new fashion project.
Can you cook? What would you rustle up for me if I popped round unexpectedly for dinner?
Yes I can cook! I love cooking, I am vegetarian, so I would probably make you a vegetable pesto pasta dish.
DJing is London or Las Vegas? What do you prefer?
The festival season is upon us, where can we catch you this year?
My next festival show will be at Phoenix Lights (In Phoenix). The line up is huge, very excited for this one.
Then I will be back in Asia playing at the Storm festivals all over China. Then I will be all over the US and Europe…
3 things you ALWAYS take with you to a festival if you know it’s gonna get messy…
Sunnies, extra phone charger + credit card.
An up and coming producer to watch out for in 2017?
Throttle! he’s about to take overrrr. Watch this space.
The last time you danced to a DJ…
I supported Taylor Swift at the Superbowl in Houston a few weeks ago and Ruby Rose was playing (we have been mates a long time from Australia), so was good to see her. She played after me and was throwing down some classic house vocals with all the feels, I was having a little sing-along and dance in the booth.
Let’s skip forward 5 years. What do you want to have achieved by then…?
I hope I will have achieved a Billboard top 20 hit (at the least).
A successful fashion label selling all around the world.
And I would like a baby at some stage too (I think hahaha). I hope maybe I can work family life into my career.
And finally, what do you have in store for us for the rest of 2017 studio wise? We hear rumours of a huge collab…?
Yes! After EP Part 2 I have a new single coming with Kirsten Maldonado (From Pentatonix) which is sounding dope! Just finishing it off at the moment and another big single coming (with me singing on) after the EP I will be firing out more singles for the rest of the year.