HARTS (aka. Darren Hart) is an artist that waves the flag proud for true musicianship: a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer. His grooves are slick, his rock’n’roll heavy and his soul / funk / pop is light and breezy. No wonder Prince has taken a shine to him saying that “He reminds me of how I was at that age”. HARTS début record ‘Daydreamer’ is set to drop later this year and what a musical adventure that will be. Trust me, this will be an album you need in your life.
We caught up with the man himself, Darren Hart, to talk about his past, what’s to come in the future and the songs he’s most looking forward to people hearing from his début. Plus much more.
Firstly, I’d like to say thanks for this interview.
My pleasure, thanks for the support!
What’s one thing that we should all know about Harts that we might not know about you yet?
I was somewhat of a top level Australian athlete in Athletics before I went serious into music.
‘Angels Walk Below’ is one of the first tasters of what we can expect coming from your forthcoming début album. What are the themes and ideas that are running through the songs on the album?
I guess the main lyrical themes and ideas would be escapism and uncertainty, which runs throughout the album and is a common topic I tend to write about. Musical themes follow styles of Funk, Alt Rock, Soul and Pop.
You’re going to release début album later this year, what’s the process been like working on the record? Are there any collaborations? When can we be expecting it to be out?
There isn’t any collaborations on the album. I wrote, played all the instruments, recorded, produced and mixed the album all on my own, which has kind of been my process since I started. I think for me, being the only person behind everything you hear, I’m able to get my message across and better portray my artistic vision for my music that way.
Sometimes it is tougher that way though, and more time consuming. But, I’m ultimately really happy with the record I made and so excited to put it out! It will be out in AUS & NZ on the 5th of September. International dates to follow.
What song on your début album are you most looking forward to people hearing and can you tell us a little bit about the track, the background and how it all came together?
Really looking forward to people hearing “The Last Two Three”. It’s an 8 minute epic that was actually one of the quickest songs to record and finish. Essentially it started as a ballad type song with a few surprises, but evolved into something else as I kept working on it. I love it and I’m keen to hear if people will love it too.
Music often speaks to the listener prompting thoughts, feelings and a deep connection to be made with a song. Music sometimes sparks imagery and colours in our minds, which we associate with the words being sung or the melodies being played. Does this happen in your mind when you’re working on a song? Can you give us an example?
Music sparks colours in my mind definitely. Especially when working on a song. Part of the reason I use the colours Red and Blue so much is that those are the strongest colours I get from listening back to my music when I’m making it. Sometimes green too.. And also a weird shade of orange/amber/pink that I’ve never seen in real life before, ha.
They correspond to the music in different ways depending on the riff, melody, texture of the sound or chords that I’m hearing when I’m playing. Sometimes a guitar needs more red when it is too blue for example, meaning more agression/distortion.
I wanted to take some time to try and get to know the man behind the music a little more. You started making music at a young age, where did that drive come from?
I didn’t start learning music seriously until I was about 15/16. So I was actually relatively old compared to a lot of others that started learning when they were young kids. But as soon as I started learning music, I was making and playing music in bands. I picked up the drums pretty quickly. I think the drive came from friends around me, who were getting into playing instruments around that time and it seemed interesting.
Who are the artists that inspire you creatively and who are the artists that you listen to for comfort?
Thats a tough one, there are so many that inspire and influence me. Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Nile Rodgers, Lenny Kravitz, Elton John, Gorillaz, early Daft Punk, Fleetwood Mac.. A lot of stuff like – 70’s Pop, Late 70’s/early 80’s Disco & Post-Disco, 90’s Rock, 60’s Blues, Early 2000’s French House, 60s/70s Psychedelic Rock… So many and I’m sure I could keep listing for a long time, ha. It literally changes day by day and I learn a little from everything.
Who are your songwriting heroes?
Probably the same as above I would say.
You’re going to be working with Nick Littlemore (Empire of the Sun, Pnau) on an upcoming project. Can you tell us more about this?
Unfortunately, not yet. I really liked Pnau’s work on the Elton John VS Pnau record they did a few years back. And he’s also loving the music I’m making..
What are your top tips for aspiring musicians and singer/songwriters?
Learn as much as you can and get as proficient as you can. I think for longevity in creativeness, it will come down to how much you know, and how to use what you know to make great records.
Your song ‘Lovers In Bloom’ was playlisted worldwide in H&M stores, did you ever hear yourself in one of their stores? How does it feel to get that sort of recognition so early on in your career?
I never got to hear it which was a shame, but it always feels awesome and encouraging to get that recognition and the exposure that something like that brings. Big thanks to H&M.
You are very active on social media, twitter and facebook in particularly. How important is to for you to connect with your fans that way?
Super important. I think its important that I read the comments/tweets, respond when I can, answer questions when people are confused about releases or gigs, and just be there to acknowledge that I’m grateful for all the support they show me. Also sharing cool things that are happening as a direct result of the fans work in sharing and spreading my music. A good majority of my supporters are all there due to word of mouth type sharing, which I’m very appreciate of.
A special thanks to HARTS for this interview and for more info on HARTS, check out the following links below: