I've first stumbled upon the music of harris cole last October, when Birocratic featured his tune "Grind" featuring C Y G N in the mini mix he did for us. Initially inspired by various dubstep producers, nowadays his music nothing but a genuine and continuous music journey through places where soulful samples, experimental beats and jazzy vibes meet.
There have been quite a lot of nights where I found myself bouncing between the tracks on his SoundCloud and I feel he has somewhat of a very emotional and personal approach towards making music. Needless to say - I was quite excited to have him onboard and I hope you guys enjoy his mini mix and the interview we did below.
Hey, Harris! Thanks for the interview and the mix. Before anything, can you tell us a bit about yourself.
So - the mix! Can you tell us what was the inspiration behind it? How would you describe it in a sentence?
I’m not sure how to describe it: i guess that’s how i was feeling at the time, when i listen to music, it usually mirrors what i’m experiencing at that moment emotionally or mentally or whatever
How did you get into producing music? Do you have musical upbringing or played any instrument beforehand and do you think that's important for today's generation of producers?
I started messing around with ableton in eighth grade -- though before that, i had taken drum lessons for maybe a year (i think this was in middle school or elementary school) as well as a year of guitar. I tried taking saxophone lessons in high school and quit after a month, sax is hard. I’ve always been moved by music; there’s never been apart of my life that I can remember that music didn’t somehow play a major role. When it comes to playing real instruments as a producer, it’s very important though it hasn’t shown to be essential: what is essential, though, (i think) is forming a strong understanding of composition and instrumentation. It can only help to pick up an instrument and play around with it - i personally love involving instruments within my work. For a month i had a bass which was real awesome for me.
As a producer, I feel that as long as i or anyone else is naive to instrumentation and composition, we cannot be our best. Not to say you need to take a course in music theory or take piano lessons, much of what is to be learned can be taught through introspection and experimentation, but it’s very important to work to better yourself as a composer and musician
I saw on your Twitter feed you mentioned some of my favourite producers like Carmack and Flamingosis. Who else inspires you to do what you do?
Right now my favorite is mndsgn - there are several things about his work that influences me a lot. I’m not sure if he does his own engineering, but regardless, everything is mixed with such intentionality resulting in a super distinctive and personalized sound (sonically speaking). He’s finding a way to spin on what feels like major 80’s influence and turn it into something that sounds like it’s from the future, while sonically giving it the warmth of an 80’s cassette. Not to mention his composition, most of it is fairly simple and straightforward, but the melodic aspects to his work is always powerful. He’s definitely my favorite right now
Another favorite is my friend Lain: Tyler’s still relatively new within the online music scene, though i’ll be working closely with him in organizing his debut project and getting that out within the next few months -- i’m very excited for that. Tyler inspires me because he’s patient, he’s modest, and he’s hard working. And beyond all that, his music is wild. I could say much more about him but it’s best to just go listen to his stuff. Hopefully you’ll be seeing much more of him this year
What's the hardest thing you ever had to sacrifice in the name of music?
A healthy sleeping schedule, a social life, self-nourishment, ya know- all the important stuff. But fuck it, lol
A lot has been said lately about the rise of producers in the last couple of years and their "movement" from the shadows to actually being in the spotlight. What's your take on that?
The internet has made that possible: and it’s not just for producers. All over the world, artists are being discovered through their personal endeavours through the internet, whether on Youtube, SoundCloud, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.. Though as an artist myself, I don’t find it conducive to be thinking about anything other than the art itself. As an artist, I’ll never be done growing: the second I begin to get caught up in where I think I stand in the world as an artist and a person, I think that’s where my growth will begin to decline.
I think it’s important too to keep your intentions honest and genuine: as an artist, having “the spotlight” be your motivation to working on your art doesn’t seem to be too healthy. Doing that neglects a focus on the art. I think if an artist has something personalized and unique and important to say, the world will begin to listen
If your life hasn't gone in the direction of making music, what else do you think you would be doing right now?
I have no idea. Maybe working with animals or doing social activism stuff. Maybe another medium of art. I really couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else, though
What do you wish yourself to happen in the next 2 years, music-wise?
I just want to keep growing and learning and hopefully continue to make music that I’m proud of
Thanks for everything and looking forward to your next sounds!