In Conversation with…HER

From the first hit of snaps and claps to it’s slow building groove, ‘Five Minutes’ is pop at its best. Hook-filled, dynamic and alluring. This is HER – the French duo that have captured the world’s attention off the back of two stunning singles. These suavely dressed gentlemen are hot property.

We spoke to the duo to get more insight into how they work and what’s coming in the future.

Your first official release as a band is a mixtape – a throwback to a classic medium of self-expression. The ethos of the mixtape is centred on DIY and artistic independence. Does this resonate with you as a band?

Originally a mixtape is just a compilation of songs. The “Album” with 10 tracks that we know today is just a creation. What’s important is the story you wanna tell in your music. That’s why we worked hard on the tracklist, it talks about a relationship, from the desire to the wedding. The use of the word “tape” is also a reference to the Hip Hop scene. 

‘Tape #1’ is out now. It’s numbered as the first, does this mean that there will be a series of mixtapes to come?

Oh yes ! It’s just the beginning.

What can you tell us about the recording of ‘Tape #1’?

We’ve worked on those songs with Michael Declerck our sound engineer. He does the live sound for us since a while and we produced the tracks at home in our studio. So we could say we did it by ourselves, but we also had other experiences before. We worked with Joe Chicarelli on a track in Studio La Fabrique in the south of France for example. It was a great experience, and even if we did not use the track, it helped us find the sound we really wanted. We recorded live with 3 other musicians in a studio. It’s important for us to keep the human groove in our music, it’s something special that you can’t really do with a computer. 

Easy comparisons to Hurts will arise with your band – being a sharply dressed duo with a love for creating sophisticated, leftfield pop. Everything HER is and stands for – from the way you dress to the artwork to the music – it’s very cohesive. Who are the artists that you think get it right when it comes to a fluid vision between the music, the visuals and the fashion?

Well, thanks. We didn’t know that band. They seem to be quite famous in England! We think that the music must dictate the visuals. It has to be natural and it has to serve the music. We did not choose to wear suits only because it’s classy but because we are strongly influenced by the 70’s Soul music, by the Motown scene. All the great singers at that time had suits or special clothes when they went on stage. 

We also love what Kendrick Lamar does, the cover of his last album is just crazy. We could also talk about Joy Division, they had great style and it worked so well with their atmosphere, with their music. They created iconic visuals. 

Even though HER has been a while in the making, 2015 was your debut year. How do you feel it’s gone?

It’s been a great year so far. We really enjoy playing live, so we are really happy about what’s happening. We can’t wait to play even more gigs all around the world if we can.

In modern society, social media has become integral to the way we interact with each other. What’s your view on social media?

We think that we’ve got to live with our time, so we won’t say it’s horrible. We use them, we have a Facebook page, but we are not big addicts. We don’t have Instagram or twitter for example. Real life experience is more important, and people should give more value to that, rather than taking hundred pictures all the time. That’s also the reason why live shows are so important to us. 

After the critical success that your initial singles have gained, when it comes to working on new material, how do you approach it?

We’ve already wrote several songs for Her, so we don’t have any pressure on us. Right now we are mainly working on the live show, but we should be working on new songs soon.

You’re inspired by the women in your life, what are some of the lessons they have taught you?

We can’t talk about lessons, it’s just the experience of relationships. We are what we are because we have had different experiences with different people. 

You’ve played your first batch of live shows this year, how have the live shows been going?

Great, it’s a pleasure to play our songs live. It gives another dimension to the music, and people really seem to enjoy it, so it couldn’t be better!

What’s the plan for 2016?

Play music. 

The duo’s debut mixtape is out now, buy it on vinyl here. Or alternatively, the mixtape will be released digitally on 15th January, pre-order it here.

HER Links: Facebook

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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