With his brand new single Afraid feat. HARLEE now out (check it out here: https://jameshype.lnk.to/Afraid), we caught up with British multi-platinum selling DJ and producer James Hype to find out the latest.
How are you doing James, are you keeping busy?
Yo! Yes I’ve been really busy lately what with the release of the new single Afraid with HARLEE, and all the DJ videos and livestreams that have been going on across YouTube and the internet in general. Despite the ongoing closures of clubs and festivals, I’m finding this a really exciting time for DJing and dance music.
What’s the best part of being a DJ?
I’ve always been someone who’s loved showing music to other people. I’ve always been that person who found a new song and had to play it to like everyone that I knew. So that’s where it comes from for me, wanting to be a DJ. I guess where I’m at with it now, I kind of do that – also, mix up a lot of tunes and mash stuff up to kind of create something new while I’m doing that as well. Yeah, I like getting to show people music, I also like to show people why I’m the best.
When did you first realize you could make a career in music?
I used to get paid like 50 pound to DJ at people’s 16th birthday party – that was the start. But I really first got paid off a record label in 2016 – that’s when I think it hit me hard.
Your new single ‘Afraid ft HARLEE’ just came out, tell us.. how did the collaboration happen?
Afraid was written by HARLEE, myself, and Rob Harvey – I’ve known Rob for years and I had worked with Harlee a couple of times before. This time it was a little bit different because we all went to Rob’s house in Yorkshire – in the countryside – which is quite different to the normal studio sessions I’m used to in London. I think this brought a different vibe to the session, and maybe that’s why we were able to create such a great track.
How have you found being in lockdown?
Despite all the gloom and doom – I am the kind of person that sees the best in every situation. I’ve loved lockdown because it’s enabled me to connect with my fans and my followers all over the world in the form of video and livestream – and reach people that might not have even heard of me before. It’s great ‘cause I get to share the experiences with music through the internet with loads of people from all over the world a couple of times a week. It’s sad that I missed out on a whole summer of amazing shows and playing to people in real life, and it’s really sad for the music and touring industry and all the people whose jobs or careers revolve around those industries – it’s going to be back though – were going to be alright!
What inspired you to put out DJ mashups and challenge videos?
I’ve been DJing for 15 years and somewhere along the way I got to the point where DJing was really easy for me. I started looking for ways to make it more exciting for myself, rather than just playing one record for 5 minutes, then the next record for 5 minutes. I was like – I’m kind of bored of doing this, because I’ve been doing it for so long – it’s dead easy.’ So I just started adding different things into the mix, and before you know it there’s one record playing with the vocal from a different record and then all of a sudden I’m DJing on 4 decks all at once. It was a natural progression for me. Then about 3 years ago, me and my mate Gucci started filming it – the DJ mashups – and putting them out on Youtube and Facebook and people loved it and it took off from there
What was your most memorable performance and why?
Definitely playing at the Liverpool Arena a few years ago. I’m from just outside of Liverpool – so this was a big show for me because all of my family and friends came to watch. There were 10,000 people in the audience, and it was the first time I had ever played in an arena. I did the show – I smashed it – even though I was nervous. I had another show at a nightclub afterwards and when we got in the car to leave the arena, I went on twitter and on the top of my twitter it said “James Hype is now trending in Liverpool” and I was like YO this is the maddest thing ever – I was in utter disbelief – that was the most memorable show of my career… so far.
What was the last show you went to as a clubber?
I think it was Circoloco at DC10 in 2019… Yes defo was …. bring it back please!!
Describe your style/fashion?
My style can vary a lot – I like wearing loud colorful stuff, especially if I’m preforming on stage – I like to stand out and I’m not afraid to wear some mad stuff. It’s very street wear inspired and sportswear inspired.
How do you spend your time away from DJing?
I spend a lot of time in the studio just getting creativity out – I’ve got a lot of it inside of me. I go to the gym quite a bit as well.
What else is coming up for James Hype?
Right now, I’m totally focused on the brand new single afraid featuring Harlee. I’m also working on all of my streams that are live on YouTube twice a week – plus, dropping DJ videos regularly. I’ve got more music on the way as well… and it’s the best music I’ve ever made – let’s gooo.