Highlights of Our Modern World

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Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned Southsea based artist Highlights of Our Modern World to find out more…

Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I'm from a little town on the outskirts of Portsmouth called Havant. I currently live in Southsea though. I first had an interest in music from a very early age. My parents had one of those early tape and vinyl towers that they would play a lot of Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd on. I guess you could argue that it's where my eclectic taste began.

Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
I really started to make music of my own from the age of about 12. I had started to develop a keen interest in the metal and rock scenes, which quickly drove me underground into Hardcore and punk. It wasn't until just after school when I discovered things like post-rock and underground electronic music. I find it hard to pick favourite things, as I like so much stuff but two bands that have always claimed the top spot for me are: Hopesfall and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. In terms of influences for HOMW... I would definitely say Lapalux, DJ Shadow and anything that Steezy asf puts on his YouTube channel, haha!

How would you describe your sound?
I started off making wonky electronic music, I was very much trying to make something along the lines of Gold Panda/Jon Hopkins. I quickly noticed that I was predominantly listening to instrumental hip hop, especially anything on the Inner Ocean Records and Steezy asf rosta, so I figured I would give it a go and add my spin on it. I would definitely say I make progressive styled instrumental hip hop, with ambient and post-rock elements.

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What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
My latest release is called Cursed Fate and the themes behind it are loss, adventure and acceptance. Each track is titled after a character from a video game that hold a special place in my heart. I have purposely picked video games that deal with plot lines in which the protagonist must play out his/her own cursed fate.

What’s your local music scene like?
Our local music scene has more ups and downs than a trampoline, but then most local scenes do, I guess. It used to be really good for heavy music and punk and all sorts of stuff, but I don't want to go on and on like an old head about how good the golden days were. I do think that there are some incredible people trying to push the local scene and offer a variety of different sounds and styles, to which I am forever grateful. There's a very strong psych presence here, mixed with (what I would refer to as) new-age grunge - think vintage clothes and fuzz pedals. One great thing about this particular scene though is that it is very open minded and the promoters and audience aren't afraid of an eclectic gig line-up, catering for all sorts of tastes and styles. This is great for me because I get to play all sorts of weird and wonderful shows, where you wouldn't usually expect to hear my kind of music.

What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I'm starting to get into the habit of just constantly creating. I want to be releasing at a really steady rate, evolving my sound each time. I think it is really important to do this within the beat community. I have no festivals lined up but it is a goal for next festival season to get on at least one, I've got my eye on a couple. Other than that; I would like to do a few more collaboration projects with other producers, as I have really enjoyed the ones I've created so far.

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Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
If I could I would love to collaborate with Lapalux, or even Jon Hopkins. I just think they both have such a unique and beautiful sound that makes them so distinctly them.

Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Oh plenty! Not so much with the stuff I do as HOMW but I have been involved in a number of musical projects and bands over the years. I used to play in a hardcore band called Sentaor and we were always getting up to mischief when we played gigs. I seem to remember one very drunk Christmas gig in which we were kicked off stage and banned from the venue for diving through drum kits and throwing guitars about. I don't think we were trying to be Nirvana or anything, we were just drunk idiots, haha.

What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
That I have a new album called Cursed Fate out on all major streaming sites and that they should listen to it and then follow me because I will be providing a consistent flow of music and art into their lives. The world is pretty dark at the moment, so I am providing a remedy of music to relax and chillout to, something we all need.

You can find out more about Highlights of Our Modern World via Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, Spotify or Twitter.