HEREN is a naturally-gifted producer from Barcelona, who has been composing for as long as he can remember. With more than 40 releases under his belt on prestigious labels such as Ultra Music, Universal Music, Sony Music, Yoshitoshi, House Recordings, Plasmapool Digital, Beyond Sounds, Ping Pong, TRXX and many others, the sky is the limit for him. After all these years as a producer he has now decided to go solo and take the step towards the DJ booths of clubs all over the world. Find his latest remix “Here & Now” on iTunes and embedded below.
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Sean Ritchie: Let’s start off with your hometown of Barcelona. Give the overall sense of the city, atmosphere and culture.
HEREN: One of the best things here is the weather. It’s not so cold or warm. In my personal opinion, the music culture is a little bit less than the rest of Europe. But, this is not a problem, because with the Internet you can connect with [people] everywhere in the world. It’s a great place to live here.
© Troels Dejgaard Hansen
SR: Where in the city would you send a first-time visitor?
H: It depends if you want to come in the summer or winter, because you can go to the beach or go to the mountains to snowboard or ski.
SR: How about the winter then? It’s really starting to set in here in the northern United States.
H: The winter is not so cold here. In Barcelona, for example it’s around eight-to-10 degrees Celsius (46.4-to-50 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s not so, so cold. It never snows, only maybe one time in 10 years. In summer it’s really warm. It’s great for people who are going to the beach.
© José Manuel Romero
SR: Definitely. Now, tying it into your background a bit, what gave you your first interest and inspiration with music?
H: My first interest was with my mother, because she was a music teacher. I learned from here. From there, I began to discover all of electronic music — house, electro house. Before it was all classical music. Daft Punk was one of my [main] influences. Their single “One More Time” was, for me, the before and after [point]. After that I began to deejay. I discovered one year later that you could create this music at home with a home studio. From that point to now is almost 11 years.
Now, I’m more focused in pop music more than electronic music, but I really like both. I like to make my DJ sets and I also like to make my productions. With HEREN, for example, I’m doing this, something more pop. I’m trying to do pop singles more for the club and then you can do remixes. I can then play in the festivals, at the clubs or wherever. The original track may be more for radio, it’s not so club, but the extended remixes can be for the clubs — something harder, more beat.
SR: That ties into my next question, I wanted to touch on your new remix “Here & Now”. It falls in line with what you were just saying, but maybe expand on your inspiration for that track specifically.
H: Well, my idea for this one was something more club, something darker too. The original is something more summer. It gave a vibe of going in a car with your friends to the beach. It’s something very different from the original. I think this is good when you have a track that you can choose different versions, because people can play it in different settings. You can choose.
SR: Absolutely, I love remixes that change the whole vibe, but still keeps the tracks core. To tie it back into travel, how does music and travel really fit together? I love to ask artists this, a lot of them respond back saying, “It’s the best way to pass the time,” or, “Certain songs tie into a memory.” How, for you, does the music fit together?
H: Sometimes it’s really hard, because sometimes you’re traveling so far from your home. It’s sometimes hard to come up with ideas on your laptop in the hotels, in the plane or wherever you are. I like to be home making music. Sometimes, when you’re away for periods of time, you miss the home studio. When I come back to the studio sometimes it feels a bit strange. When I’m on the road I really listen to music to get some ideas for when I go back home to [produce] a track.
© T. Kiya
SR: There’s nothing like a home office when you travel. I know you’re well-traveled, but everyone has a list of places that they still have to hit. What are three on your list? Why?
H: Tokyo — I want to go there, because it’s such a different culture. It’s crazy, the Asian people feel the music differently. They feel it really hard. The [United States] also, but it’s difficult to choose one of the cities. Las Vegas, for example, is crazy — the people there. Maybe, Coachella is the third. Or, I don’t know, maybe Burning Man too.
SR: When you do have some downtime and you’re looking to get away, are you trying to go to the beach, mountains or a city-nightlife setting?
H: I like the beach. I love the beach. My family has a beach house near Barcelona. Sometimes I go there to relax. I like to just listen to the waves. I like to go to the mountains too, but if I could choose I’d go to the sea. It makes me relax.
© Duncan Rawlinson
SR: I’m right there with you. So, lastly to wrap this up, what are the next couple months looking like? Any touring, shows or new music on the horizon?
H: Yes, I’m currently in the studio making new music, because I have a lot to show. I’m working on a couple new singles. I want people to know more and more about my project. I also have new ideas to work on my own label, but for other kinds of music. Nothing that’s pop. More intimate music that’s more me. It can be ambient music or underground, no pop or commercial like what I’m doing now.
We are also preparing the new tour. We’re still sorting through where to go, so I can’t say at the moment. We are closing in on the dates and all the planning, it’s not exact right now. It’s going to be a lot of gigs and it’s coming really soon. I’m really excited to travel and go around. I can’t wait to meet new people in new places and getting ideas [from them].
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For more on HEREN visit his website: