Interview: Lazy H

Interview/Music: Lazy H.

North London composer, producer, instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, Lazy H is set to unveil his new project ‘Where’s Bill?’.

Quietly earning himself a well-deserved reputation for his refreshingly outrageous experimentalism and forward-thinking approach to music the rising artist has previously worked with L-Vis 1990 (Night Slugs), Reflec (Clergy, Lobster Theremin), and singer songwriters Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Collard and Ronika.

‘Where’s Bill?’ continues in the exploratory vein of his earlier work finding him expertly balancing melody, harmony, sweetly swung drums and bass weight, seven tracks that span a wide range of tempos and moods.

With the album out tomorrow, we has a little chat with Lazy H about music, and the Future Bubblers programme.

 

When did you start making music, and what was it like?

I started pissing around on Ableton when I was 13 or 14. I’m not too sure how to describe it. It was heavily sample-based, I sampled a lot of Scandinavian jazz, Japanese film/ folk music, electronica and video game soundtracks. I’d flit between grooves, tempos and moods quite a lot and always tried to incorporate some improvised element so as you can imagine it sounded pretty west.

When did you adopt the name Lazy H and where did the name come from?

When I first moved to London I used to DJ a lot to make some extra cash. I somehow wound up DJing at a series of SBTV events. I don’t know anything about grime or hip hop so I’d do the warm-up slots playing jazz, afrobeat and disco and then awkwardly hang about afterwards. The guys that ran these events just started calling me Lazy H and it stuck. I don’t think I’m lazy so hope it was just some affectionate slang for the resident jazz nerd.

Tell us about the albums sound and how it compares to Bubblegum?

I think it’s pretty different. Bubblegum is a dance record. My new album, however, is pretty mad. Sonically it gets almost experimental with misbehaving electronics. There are different grooves and tempos in every track while structurally it’s more like a pop record with clear sections, quick track development and clear lead or melodic elements at all points. So anyway it’s a pretty big stretch from Bubblegum. Saying that I do like to think there are some common threads, particularly in the production, feel and sound. I like to go for a very electronic sound that’s hi-fi, crisp and clear, but with a lot of grittier and more natural elements. Things like staying away from quantization, using lots of samples of acoustic instruments and again always incorporating some form of improvisation and keeping things which I didn’t originally intend in order to bring some life to all of the electronics.

Is there any theme or inspiration behind Where’s Bill? What’s the story behind the album’s title?

I think basically ‘Where’s Bill?’ is me trying to work out who I am musically. The whole record is exploring my musical influences, trying to combine elements I love without any end goal while trying to be confident that a consistent sound that represents me comes from it. I also did this for the artwork and ended up choosing an image of one of my greatest influences (Bill Evans) and then covering him with some abstract splodges of paint so only his outline remained. I guess this and the title is kind of a comment on how we’re all just a big splodge of paint which vaguely represents our influences. Makes a lot of sense right?

Tell us about your growth as an artist since gaining the support of the Future Bubblers programme?

I feel like I’ve grown loads. It’s the first time in my life I’ve been in a musical community and not felt like an outsider or that it was all some big musical competition. This has really helped my confidence in that I now feel like I can be completely myself, I can create music which doesn’t fit into any genre or scene without judgement and people might actually like it. I think it’s not just great for people like me but also generally for art and community: promoting the new, foreign and unusual and celebrating art which falls between the cracks of convention. For me, this is a really big thing in developing not just art but healthy communities which are open and accepting of variety and change.

You’ve built a new live show so what can we expect from a Lazy H show?

It’s predominantly improvised so it’s different every time. However, you can still always expect to hear big ass synth sounds, experimental electronic glitches and fat jazzy grooves which often end up going through a variety of shades and moods like some sort of cosmic journey. If that sounds like your cup of tea you can check out my Brownswood Basement session on Clash mag.

Any last words for the Twistedsoul community?

I’m really proud of my Spotify playlists. If anyone out there is into experimental electronic music, video game music, jazz and just generally SYNTHS then definitely check out my ‘Lazy H – Fresh Picks’ playlist on Spotify.

 

Where’s Bill? is out 27/11 via Stereoptico. Order here.

CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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