19 Jul 2019
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Hybrid Rose - Interview with Hybrid Rose

05 Apr 2019 // An interview by J_Plates

Wellington based Hybrid Rose's musical character showcases the embodiment of too much sugar, too much spice and a little bit of underground flamboyance. Jeremy from Muzic.net.nz spoke to her about scouring the internet for inspiration, creating visuals and working with Fanfickk - here's what went down:


There have been so many new genres and styles specifically sprouting up throughout Internet Music Culture over the past 5 years. Synth Wave, Vapor Wave, Future Funk, City Pop, and Boom Bap, are all well established and well received, so where does your music fit into the sea of ever expanding sub-sub-genres?


There’s a lot going on, I still don’t think I fit in a category after all these years y’know? I generally use the traditional sense of pop music, but I still take advantage of it by using my own feel. I like to manipulate and alter synthesizer presets, so I’m not using something that someone else made. A lot of Awkwardly Eccentric consisted of instrumentation that I have put my own twist on.

How many hours a week do you typically spend scouring the Internet for inspiration, and what are some of your favourite points of interest on the information highway?

Too many tbh, lmao. I am always finding new things to inspire me, in the real world and online. I have been staying away from the Internet a little bit; I’m a very fragile person and I find a lot of the stuff that goes on now, it’s brutal and messy, and intense. I watched this video recently that said if you follow people on social media who don’t support, encourage or inspire your overall health and wellbeing, un-follow them. Now I only see what I want to see and that makes me a more inspired person, seeing what I want to enjoy.

Now more than ever, it is accessible for most people to be able to produce their own music given the relatively cheap technology and ease of use software; what inspired you to want to start tinkering around and creating your own sound?

Well I was trying to be trendy and use trendy elements to make distinctive music that people will find appealing. There’s a funny line between being different and being yourself. We all have individuality, but we’re also people who will colour in the lines. It wasn’t until I started doing what I wanted to that genuinely made me happy, that people started listening in. I’m always trying to grow, change and incorporate other things, but I love being the video game girl that I am.

If you were to expand on your current studio setup, what would be the top two things on your list, e.g. monitors, a new synth, or inspirational soft toy etc?

Monitors. I cannot stress this enougggggghhhhhh!!! Or another pair of decent headphones so I can have some studio headphones and travelling headphones. I also want to find some edgy retro synths from the dark corners of the Internet to experiment with. I like food so maybe like a lifetime supply of satay chicken?

Alongside producing your own music, you also create all your own visuals; the music video for Video Games is really impressive! What’s your aesthetic process for matching these types of visual elements to your music, and do you come up with a concept first before creating music or vice versa?

Hahaha thank you! I’m not actually a huge fan of visuals and music videos, I feel like they can only tell so much story within the time frame of the video. Still imagery is so much more exciting to me because it can say so much; you can paint this very detailed picture of what you’re trying to say, and you can include symbolism that travels back in time and can connect with someone.

I am slowly stepping away from the video game vibes, and I’m trying to explore more levels of edgy retroenergy. I really like weird historical facts and mystical myths. I’m also discovering an interest with European history, Greek mythology, and spirituality involving witchery and magic; it’s kinda weird but yolo.

There are elements of tongue-and-cheek humour scattered throughout your work and writings; 'Princess Peach in a K-Hole' comes vividly to mind. Somehow this seems fitting with the nature of both the visuals and music, but could you elaborate on how this sort of lowbrow edge infuses itself into your artistic vision?

Hehe, well I like to think I’m professional, so I try to be a little serious. But when only a few people are looking, I’ll like, get my left boob out with a cheeky smile, wink, and put them back before people are looking again. I just love weird cheeky humour; it’s a part of my personality and it meshes nicely with my Hybrid Rose brand as this weird video game character slowly forming into a shape-shifter.

You’ve worked with fellow Producer Fanfickk on previous tracks, and who also features on your latest single Solitude. How did your collaborations come about, and how do your stylistic differences come together when working on a new track like this?

We’re like sisters; we talk every single day; we’ve shared so much with each other and I have so much love and appreciation for her. When I first heard her voice, I had this gut feeling that I needed to work with her, her vocal style and lyrics are so fucking great and we both agree we make a great creative team, and she’s JUST UGH SO COOL!!

Cereal is truly the best any-time snack; what inspired you to write such an introspective song such as Solitude, and then flip it with the contrasting and late-night orientated remix?

Hybrid Rose: Well, it’s weird because the song used to be called Green, the first two demos were titled as Green, about having a weird love for the colour Green. The demo was made in September last year. Then the word Solitude was running around in my head for a week or two and decided to change it. Last October, I asked Fanfickk when I made the final decision to call it as such, she liked the idea and we made it happen!

The song is super cute, reminds me of something in a romance Anime, the Nightcore version was inspired by the cute aesthetic, because we know the song is chill, but I also have dance tracks, so we decided to go for a Nightcore vibe, and I think we nailed it :)

Fanfickk: The song was inspired by how I spend most of my time, which is at home, alone. We wanted to frame that as a positive experience rather than one to be pitied. I really like hanging out by myself (and with my cat), and strongly believe that cereal is appropriate at any time of day. The Nightcore remix is just for funsies, since Rose and I love Nightcore.

Solitude feat. Fanfickk is being premiered at an upcoming show titled 'Shut up Mum, I’m trying to DJ' on April 11th @ Caroline. What can fans expect from the gig, and who else is featuring on the bill?

Heheh I am so excited about this gig, some of my favourite performers will be performing alongside with me. The other performers are Ginger Kiss, LOTU and Ursula Le Sin - which are all very different to each other but contrast beautifully in a live setting. Yes, I will be premiering Solitude live at the gig at the end of my set. We’re going to have a bedroom aesthetic to the gig; it’s going to be so wholesome and chill and relaxed. ^-^

What’s next for Hybrid Rose, and what’s the best way your fans can reach out, hear your latest music and goings on?

Can I be honest? I have no fucking idea! I released Warhol like 6 months ago; I didn’t think I’d be this inspired because right after finishing that record I was pumping out so many tracks. It was a weird situation, so who knows? I could be dropping another record after this one this year! I could be going on a world tour, I didn’t think I’d be performing as much as I do or working on new music as much as I am, which is mad! Just keep following me on social media to see where the Hybrid Rose adventure goes. ^-^

 

About Hybrid Rose

Citing a range of musical influences from Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) to Lady Gaga and Marina Diamandis, to Coldplay, Blenheim resident Rose Gray (aka Hybrid Rose) self-produces tunes that vary from chiptune ditty Video Games to the poppy, dance-y Pixel and distorted dubstep of Expectations.

Her influences go beyond music, however; the opening chords to Pixels came to her while watching an episode of Adventure Time for example. She also cites vintage design and graphics as an influence, especially in terms of the visuals she produces alongside her songs. While Gray doesn’t consider herself a political person, she says she’s very passionate about making change.

Her musical character is a little more involved however, and the music is occasionally politically inspired. Hybrid Rose, an electronic character. An infectious virus in your ears, an addiction you cannot quit.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Hybrid Rose

Releases

Warhol
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Cherry
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Cosmic
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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