For Hibell, the last decade was the pre-cursor for what is about to come. From starting out as a student playing around with Garageband and a DJ deck, Hibell has gone from strength to strength and the dawn of a new decade is looking very promising for a very talented artist. Already at home in the music industry, after working with huge names such as Little Mix, Olly Murs and SIA, Hibell is looking to take his music to a higher level and become one of the new breed of musical superstars. The Guide talked to Hibell about his plans, his background and why Hip-Hop/Rap is leading the way in music today.
Has a career in music always been the plan?
‘Well, in Upper sixth at school I started to DJ a bit, and I used to be quite musical at my previous school as I played Guitar. However as a teenager, sport began to get in the way and it took over my life. But as I said in Upper Sixth, I began to get a real interest again in music and this translated into DJ’ing.'
'At university, I had a lot of time on my hands and I began to really go for it with my music. I would wake up and make music all day up until 6-7pm and then go out with friends. It was a constant cycle, but a lot of fun! Over the course of that year I gained a lot of experience in regards to making and producing music, and by summer of that year in May or June time, I posted a track on SoundCloud, which was the starting point really.’
The music industry is known to be difficult to get inroads into, so how did you go about it? 'After posting the track on SoundCloud, I started emailing artists producers and blog pages on SoundCloud with the track as well as individual artists too. These emails included people with the same management as the Chainsmokers, which was much easier to do with the old style of SoundCloud. Within a month the track that I posted got 10,000 plays which at the time was mind-blowing, I surprised myself! From then on I was trying to promote it as much as I could and I paid a couple of channels to share my stuff, which I think was one of the best moves I made.
'The use of the channels led to blogs and management companies getting in touch, which led to conversations of being managed. For me this was massive, especially as I had no previous connections in the music industry. From then on I tried to be consistent, every month posting tracks and this was key to me being able to produce on albums for Little Mix and Olly Murs.'
‘I don’t know, I have not been one to look at a painting, and music just comes to me, maybe people just say it for attention. In a way there may be truth to that but for me other music influences and inspires me.’
What kind of things do you take inspiration from for your music?
‘I always use ‘Notes’ on my phone, which I use to write down songs, when I hear melodies, or chord progressions that I like. I often integrate these into my songs in some way, as I believe that nothing is ever truly unique. I think that ultimately things that are completely unique are a culmination of different ideas and concepts. For me I feel as though music is the inspiration for my own music, although I know that other artists use different sources of inspiration such as specific places or books and other objects.’
At that point I jump in and ask a further question, ‘I know that some artists especially in the Hip-Hop genre take inspiration from pieces of art, such as A$AP Rocky. Do you think art and music have a link and does it bring you inspiration?’, Hibell takes his time and laughs to himself, ‘I don’t know, I have not been one to look at a painting, and music just comes to me, maybe people just say it for attention. In a way there may be truth to that but for me other music influences and inspires me.’
Furthermore, which artists do you think had influenced you the most in your music?
‘I would say that is quite hard to pin point, for me not one person has been my “single” inspiration. I would say a range of artists have inspired me but I guess originally it would definitely have been Kygo and Avicii. Those artists heavily inspired my music at first and you can hear that in the tracks. Now, though, I am doing a reboot of my brand, my tastes have changed and my choice in music is different to what it was a couple of years ago. At the minute I’m using a lot of guitar and I am mixing Indie stuff with a lot of Hip-Hop; I guess you can see that style with Bon Iver right?'
'The way things are at the moment, Hip-Hop is so big and the sound of music is so much more organic, as opposed to 2010 when it was far more electric sounding music. With Hip-Hop, people are sampling tracks with real instruments; it’s the old style of music being recreated in a contemporary method. Nowadays I would actually say I get more influenced by certain styles rather than just specific artists, although Juice Wrld was an artist who I admired and I loved his melodic beats.’
'Again it comes down to consistency; breaking as an artist is one of the hardest things, especially at the minute as there are so many people popping up everywhere, more so with the rap scene.'
Are you looking to put an album out or continue the producing side of things with singles?
‘Well at the minute I am looking to piece together an EP which is very exciting, and that’s going to be the first thing I am going to drop. Though I will put out some singles as teasers. I have got a few things ready to drop now, which I’m pretty stoked about. Again it comes down to consistency; breaking as an artist is one of the hardest things, especially at the minute as there are so many people popping up everywhere, more so with the rap scene. So hopefully I will be aiming to drop the EP this year and I am heading to LA in a couple of weeks.’
‘Easy life’, I joke, and he responds laughing,‘Haha I wish, it sounds it but it is a lot of hard work and this furthered because you are self employed and you have to go out and make the music, it won’t do it itself; as cliché as it sounds it is about how much work you put in.’
Where do you see your career going and what are the plans for the next few years?
‘I want keep doing music for sure, maybe get into something after but for the foreseeable future i