Influenced by soundtracks and video games, Canadian born Ryan Hemsworth is a product of the new generation, and is known for his strong Internet presence and persona.
“I definitely rely on the Internet for the position I’m in, which is great, but it’s a bit scary when that’s all people see; to be placed in to one little category and then realise, if that’s it, that’s what your going to be for your quote on quote, career.
So, I always try and backpedal and say ‘oh well actually I’m going to do the opposite of what you just said,” Ryan says.
And his moody electronic music is headed in a different direction with Ryan’s next album, due to be released later this year; returning to playing guitar and working with bands more, with a new EP expected for Listen Out live shows.
“I’m working with Mitski and this duo from New York, called Girlpool and singers and songwriters from that world more so than the electronic world.
“I definitely want to approach the show (Listen Out) in a little bit of a different way and be able to perform some of the songs in more of a live setting, and hopefully have a guitar on stage,” he says.
While most DJs and Producers choose to release their music under a moniker, Ryan explains it was out of his hands, as he had sent some demo songs to writers and they got posted with his name.
“And that was just my name forever, for better or worse. At least it’s my name. Although it’s kind of weird when people say ‘Ryan Hemsworth sucks’. They mean the music, but it’s like ‘ugh he’s still a human being’,” he jokes.
A listener first and musician second, Ryan describes his approach to producing and remixing as a fan foremost. He says if he finds that he’s loving something or listening to a track on repeat, then he’ll think about possibly producing something for them or remixing it, to take it into a different place. He says his approach is more than just “Ugh, I wanna remix this Diplo song, because it’s really popular.”
His ‘fan’ approach to producing was what influenced his Secret Songs artist sharing project on Soundcloud.
“Nina Las Vegas definitely inspired me with her Triple J show promoting Australian artists and I wanted to do something similar. She told me to go with what I know, which was definitely Soundcloud and putting people in mixes.
“I found that a lot of the time, people were emailing me asking for ‘who’s this artist’, and ‘who’s this artist’ within my mixes, so it reached the point where I was just like, why don’t I put out these artists’ music and do it for free? And Secret Sounds has done a lot better than I was expecting, I didn’t really think it was going to take off at all, but all the music has been really refreshing and nice to put out.
“A lot of these artists come back to me three months later, having an ANR hit them up or to announce they have a publishing deal.”
Ryan Hemsworth is returning to Australia for his sixth trip Down Under for Listen Out, with Australia being the first tour he ever performed outside of Canada. He’s hoping for the best but he says nothing could be worse than a show he played during South By Southwest. “Basically they were trying to find a way to promote their shelter and an email showed up in my inbox saying, ‘Do you want to play for a bunch of dogs?’ and I was like, ‘my life has lead up to this moment.’ It was funny, they had a table set up for it, and then they were like, ‘OK, you have to play really quiet, because they’re going to go crazy if you actually play loud’.” So yeah, it was pretty funny.
All in all says he’s excited to get back out here to play Listen Out, see old friends and get some flat whites, as he reckons Australian coffee is amazing.
THIS OR THAT
Flame Emoji or
Cats or Dogs
Fruit Loops or
Bungee Jumping or Skydiving
Find out more about the Listen Out Festival, here.