Vendredi 15 Janvier – Igloofest Interview with Alicia Hush

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It’s finally here! For its 10th edition, Igloofest planned four weekends of music in the Old Port of Montreal. Beginning on Thursday, January the 14th, the day after, the winter festival welcomed Alicia Hush, Kim Ann Foxman, and Paul Kalkbrenner, all of them performing on the main stage.

Probably the most awaited, ‘Paul K’, as he is frequently referred, did his part of the job. Playing mostly – even exclusively – his own tracks, he produced his familiar live act, without using any headphones, and subjugated the crowd by playing until almost one in the morning.

Before him, the American Kim Ann Foxman accomplished a fare-more Techno DJ set. Playing for one hour and forty-five minutes, she is, at least to me, a satisfactory revelation with a high potential.

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Warming-up before the two latters, Alicia Hush is doubtless the one that made my night. Exclusively assembled for the event, her live act was massive. Ontario-born, Montreal-based producer, she pleasantly gave me the opportunity to ask her a few questions after her performance; here is the interview:

Francois Legras: Hi Alicia, thank you for your time! How was it?!
Alicia Hush: Super fun! Within ten minutes I looked and I saw all my friends it was great!

FL: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career as an artist? How did everything happen?
AH: I was DJing since I was 19, but I don’t DJ anymore, although I did it for 12-15 years. I realised I needed to start producing. At the beginning I was really nervous, I didn’t really know what I was doing and, furthermore, I was super intimidated by the great minimal music that was happening around me. But I finally started producing my own music and people were paying attention, so it made me really happy. I had a couple releases and then decided I had not the capacity to DJ and make music: that’s why I decided to stop DJing, and started working on a live set 4-5 years ago.
It has always been my dream; make people dance with my own music. I kept practicing, and then I sent a demo to Mutek in 2012, if I’m right, and they accepted it.
I created my own label (HushLamb) with my friend Sarah Lamb.
Right now I’m just producing and doing a live set; I’ve put DJing on a side but might go back to it someday.

FL: If you had to tell us your kind of music as an artist, what would it be?
AH: Well it’s always difficult to say (laughs). I prepared a set especially for tonight, and because I was opening I tried to keep it a bit chill.
Normally I would consider myself as minimal-house.

FL: So you’re a DJ, a live-maker, but also a producer. Thus, when you produce, do you just sit on your sofa and start something new, or do you already have an idea in your mind?
AH: Sometimes I have ideas in my head and should actually write them down because they disappear so quickly (laughs). Usually I sit down on my desk and I try to come up with some ideas; then I go to a proper studio to work on it.

FL: Who are your favourite DJs?
AH: I think Zip is amazing. Ricardo Villabolos is incredible: he keeps your body moving.
Akufen is a great DJ as well. He’s been here for a long time and kept my attention for so long.

FL: When did you arrive in Montreal, and what do you think of the growing electronic music scene in the city?
AH: I moved here three years ago musically because of Mutek. To me, Mutek is the most beautiful festival ever. So, as a person who makes music, that’s what brought me here. Since I’ve been here, I have played to couple Muteks so I feel so grateful that I’ve been acknowledged as an artist here.
I would say: electronic music artists here are appreciated in a really special way.

FL: What do you think of Paul Kalkbrenner that plays tonight after you?
AH: I am not super familiar with his music, I am so stuck creating my own so I don’t have much time for it.
Of course I have seen his movie (laughs); the music in it is very good.

FL: What’s next? Any gigs, releases…? Did you plan to go to Europe?
AH: I try to go to Europe every summer for at least a month. Last year I was there for three months, I feel super lucky that that happened.
Right now we are just pumping up our label: it’s digital and we are trying to make it vinyl by the end of the year. That takes a lot of energy, to try to make that happen. So that’s pretty much the number one right now: working on my set, and working on the label…

FL: … and thinking about a come back to DJing?!
AH: Yes! (laughs) It’s going to happen someday; right now I just can’t do it.

FL: Thank you Alicia!
AH: Thank you Francois, it was nice to meet you!

Article by guest writer Francois Legras

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