Ryan Hemsworth: “Drake Can’t Avoid Me For Much Longer”
The hot new DJ and producer vows to work with Drake someday soon
By Tamara Roper
Every single exciting DJ, artist and music producer has descended on the UK this weekend for Parklife and Field Day Festivals. With the likes of Snoop Dogg, The Pixies, Danny Brown and Sky Ferreira playing Manchester and London respectively, it looks like little corners of the UK will be filled with music lovers.
One of the esteemed artists gracing the shores of the UK is Canadian producer and DJ Ryan Hemsworth, who we spoke to about working with Drake, killing Beyonce and the British producers who have got his fingers twitching.
MTV: Hey Ryan. You’re in the UK for a little while. What do you tend to do when you’re here?
Ryan Hemsworth: I try to meet up with people, like AG Cook and Sophie, I try to hang out with them. It’s kind of rare, they don’t really come out of their house unless they’re playing shows. London feels like LA; when you’re in the city there’s always people there for whatever reason. It’s always a good time.
MTV: You’re playing Cardiff, London and Manchester. Are you expecting to play different sets?
Ryan Hemsworth: I view shows regionally. So I’ll try and slip in a little random stuff, like a little bit of a Wiley track, just to be cheesy. I’ve realized that sometimes when I’m in certain cities and I’m booked on a line up like Field Day, where people like Evian Christ and all those dudes who do fairly different stuff from me, I’m like, do I try and fit in? But you realise you’re booked for a reason.
MTV: Have you played Manchester before?
Ryan Hemsworth: Once. I don’t remember the name of the club, but my image of Manchester is pretty intense.
MTV: How come?
Ryan Hemsworth: Just how hardcore they go. But, obviously, it’s amazing to be a part of.
MTV: You have to say that.
Ryan Hemsworth: Yeah! Please don’t hurt me. It’s fun to be in my position, to be playing the music.
MTV: Is there a hugely different atmosphere playing festival stages than clubs?
Ryan Hemsworth: I think so. The last few festivals have gone really well though. It has been difficult to find that balance, because I don’t play like, festival sh*t.
MTV: What’s ‘festival sh*t’?
Ryan Hemsworth: In America, I guess EDM festivals are number one right now. Stuff where it’s like festival trap, or whatever’s following dubstep at the moment. I kind of dabble, but I don’t follow it. I like rap, and RnB. Obviously that’s not the most fist pumping, high-energy stuff. I’m finding new ways to weld it altogether.
MTV: Do you have any songs that you know are going to go off?
Ryan Hemsworth: It’s a bummer that I’m playing with Sophie at Field Day actually, because usually I play a couple of his tracks and they go off. He has a couple of new ones coming out, one of them is called ‘Lemonade’ which I usually play. He makes his music in this mono synth thing that has six channels. It’s such basic technology, but it’s the most raw tones, it sounds crazy on a soundsystem. I think he and A.G. Cook really focus on sound design. People really react to that, even if they may not realise it.
MTV: They played a couple of months ago, it was a pretty crazy show.
Ryan Hemsworth: Was that the Hannah Diamonds show? I wish I’d been there. Last time I was here, I would finish my set, and if people wanted one more track I’d come on and play ‘Pink and Blue’. People would lose their minds. When I played Scotland people were screaming at each other. It’s been a fast rise for them.
MTV: PC Music are doing some really interesting stuff right now.
Ryan Hemsworth: Definitely. It’s something I find really refreshing right now.
MTV: Are you working with them?
Ryan Hemsworth: I think so. I’ve been talking with them for a bit now. A.G. Cook has a million different monikers, I might do something with him for the Secret Songs that I’m doing.
MTV: What else are you working on right now?
Ryan Hemsworth: I’m just finishing up my next EP. This one is trying to consciously make a different song, using a lot more guitar and singing. I’ve been getting help from other places, a bunch of dudes from this label called Orchid Tapes. I’m having fun working with people, even if it’s not directly, I’ll be sending stuff back and forth, and getting people to add stuff.
MTV: Has anything happened about you working with Drake?
Ryan Hemsworth: Not yet sadly, no. There was a point before ‘Nothing Was The Same’ where they asked for stems of a track and I was sh**ting my pants a bit, but nothing came of it. I’m not trying to force anything though.
MTV: Why not?!
Ryan Hemsworth: Haha. Well I did just move to Toronto, so I’m a little closer to him. Drake can’t avoid me for much longer, I think me and him could be good friends.
MTV: Snog, marry or kill: Drake, Future and Kanye.
Ryan Hemsworth: I’d marry Drake. I’d hug Future? I’d probably kill Kanye. It’s the same thing with Beyonce though, I love Kanye, but actually having to deal with that…I couldn’t.
MTV: How about Rihanna, Beyonce and Ciara what would you do?
Ryan Hemsworth: I’d snog Rihanna, marry Ciara and kill Beyonce.
MTV: Kill Beyonce? Why! You got to back that up.
Ryan Hemsworth: Just the way I’ve seen Ciara with Future, she’s wifey material. I just feel like Beyonce…it would just be all about her. Which is understandable, she’s pretty amazing. Your life would just be Mr Knowles.
MTV: What do you think of Ciara and Future naming their kid Future?
Ryan Hemsworth: It’s disappointing, because now I can’t name my kid Future.
MTV: You can still call it Drake. You said you’d like to collaborate with him because “you can hold it down in your own different worlds on a track”. What does that mean?
Ryan Hemsworth: I’m seen as an emotional, sad, Internet kid. Or something like that, I guess.
There’s definitely that element of that to my music, and I definitely grew up on emo as a teenager. I’m pretty happy to bring that to the electronic world because electronic music can be some of the coldest, heartless music. I feel that way for specifically about Drake and Future. When ‘Love Song’ by Future came out, I was like, that totally sounds like something I would have produced...I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to be fully associated with them, but I definitely get inspiration from them.
MTV: A lot of people will have found you through the remixes you’ve done for people like Lorde and The 1975. How would you explain to a pop fan what it is that you’re doing with those songs?
Ryan Hemsworth: I try to make it my own track, in my own way. Which isn’t necessarily taking a song which I think sucks and making it better, usually I think it’s a song that I think is amazing, and it’s my favourite track.
A lot of the time when I’m remixing a track there’s a lot of references to other tracks in mind. I’ll maybe use some stuff of my own, or take a melody from a 90s song. With DJs being the biggest artist in the world right now, if you’re making songs that have a reference that makes a lightbulb go off, even if you know what it is, it might make you enjoy it a bit more.
MTV: Do you think that brings down the credibility of being a DJ?
Ryan Hemsworth: It’s always been part of being a DJ. You’re that person bringing the entertainment. You can be a really weird, alienating DJ, but that’s an exception, in my mind. I think your purpose is to run the party.
Ryan Hemsworth plays Field Day this weekend