Following the release of “Should I” and “Aftermath”, 2020 is set to be a promising year for the Parisian star – Hendrix Harris.
The latter, a bass-heavy track that toys with the darker aspects of the human psyche, has begun to receive buzz due to the eerie but stunning Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-esque visuals which capture the tension between Hendrix and his alter ego ‘Tommy’.
IndustryMe caught up with Hendrix to discuss the single, the importance of a Tommy and more.
Your name is quite unique. This is probably a question that you get asked regularly but did your parents happen to be fans of Jimi Hendrix?
Not particularly, I mean they obviously liked the persona he embodied and what he represented but I think they just genuinely loved the name.
Hendrix is my middle name though, my french grandmother could not pronounce it the right way.
Half French half British with Jamaican roots on your mother’s side, in what ways has your diverse heritage influenced your eclectic sound?
In so many ways, especially on my mother’s side. To be honest, I never related to music in french (except for a few legends like Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Brel, Barbara, Booba). My Dad being French, gave me the taste for British rock, East coast rap, American folk music, and Cuban music. My mother has always been a soul & jazz fan, so from her, I got my biggest influences (Otis Redding, Billie Holiday, Al Green..). She also loved old tunes from her maternal island ( Bob Marley & The Wailers, Harry Belafonte..).
I think that when listening to my music, the listener can get a bit of all those scenes, sounds and voices.
You have just released your new single ‘Aftermath’. The track explores a darker aspect of humanity – the constant battle with personal demons. What was the writing and recording process like?
“Aftermath” is a very personal song. I talk about the struggles I’ve always had to face in regards to facing both sides of myself. Between spontaneity and thought out decisions, being loud or being quiet, being black or being white.
I wrote this song quietly in my bedroom, alone, about 3 years ago now. I then recorded it in Paris in a little studio with my loyal friend and associate Duke (aka Lou Berry) like every song from this EP.
Many artists are familiar with the concept of Tommy. He is that inner voice that pollutes your mindset and causes both insecurity and frustration. In what ways have you managed to silence Tommy and shake the cycle of self-doubt?
Tommy doesn’t only represent the negative aspect of the brain, he is way more than this, he is a piece of the puzzle that is very needed. Without Tommy there’s no Hendrix, no balance, there’s just chaos.
The paramount challenge for me, and the most difficult one I’ll have had to face yet, is shutting down Tommy, or Hendrix at the right times. As both are extremely dangerous when out of hand, in opposite ways.
A lyric that really stood out for me was – “I used to argue with my feelings”. Right now a heated discussion is being held on music contracts and the music business in general. As a new artist have there been times when you have found yourself silencing your personal feelings due to the politics of the music industry?
Never, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I’m trying to be as free as I can in this age of modern slavery.
On a lighter note, the music video for Aftermath is stunning. The visual is very Jekyll and Mr Hyde-esque. Has Kevin Froly always been someone you wanted to work with?
I love working with Kevin Froly, his ear is always wide open to suggestions. He’s quite close to people I know so it all happened naturally. I’ll definitely work with him again in the future.
You have also worked with a few artists such as Raquel and Lou Berry, should we be expecting more collaborations this year?
The only collaboration planned, recorded, and filmed for now is with my Cuban friends: Barbara El Urbano Vargas & Cimafunk.
On your song ‘Should I’ you got to flex your Spanish speaking skills, are you going to be exploring this further on your future singles?
I’ve already recorded a few more parts in Spanish in another song yet to be released this year. It’s only the beginning.