Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Exclusive Interview with Hallex M

 Dj, Producer, Remixer, Label Owner, Music Manager and 
Events Promoter

Hallex.M is the Label Owner of UNITED MUSIC RECORDS, and has been an Events Promoter since 1998. Through his worldwide gigs and promotions, Hallex emulates positive vibrations.

Through years of listening to a diverse palette of music, Hallex has created his own unique House Music sound. As an International DJ, Producer and Remixer, he's played alongside greats such as Jazzy Jeff, Ultra Nate, Laurent Garnier, Bob Sinclar, Martin Solveig, Kenny Dope, Todd Terry, Barbara Tucker, Jamie Lewis, Terry Hunter, Osunlade, Black Coffee, Derrick May, Spinna, Stephane Pompougnac, The Martinez Brothers, Quentin Harris, Wayne Williams, Dixon, Josh Milan, Danny Krivit, Slick Rick, Spen & Karizma, Tony Touch, Liquid Deep, Cassius, Ralf Gum, Nickodemus, Dj Meme…

A true globetrotter, his appearances include the biggest clubbing centres from Paris (Djoon Club, Barrio Latino, Grand Palais…), Mexico, Tokyo, Monaco, New York (Cielo Club, Sullivan Room, Apt…), Deauville, Switzerland, Spain, Miami Beach (Nikki Beach, Clevelander, RockBar…), Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Coachella, Boston, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Bordeaux to Las Vegas (Palms, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand...).

Hallex’s years of DJing led him into producing his own music in 2007. He experienced much success in this endeavor with his track “Mi Casa” including remixes from MKTL, Rancido, Dj Sabo, Kalero… Hallex continues to produce quality music on his own as well as collaborating with other artists such as OMAR “UK soul legend”, Peven Everett, Djeff Afrozila, Mr V, Jocelyn Mathieu, Dj Fudge, Tasita D’Mour, etc.

Hallex began organizing events for the infamous Winter Music Conference, a music festival which has taken place in Miami every March for the last 25 years. Since 2008, his events have grown to become much anticipated every year by artists and fans alike. Recently, renowned Japanese airline ANA "All Nippon Airways" sought after Hallex to use his track "Stirring Me Up (Journey Reprise)" onboard their aircrafts for their travelers' listening pleasure.

After relocating from Bordeaux, France, Hallex M is now the music manager for AQUA GROUP Hong Kong. AQUA GROUP is made up of premier restaurants and exclusive night clubs in Hong Kong. Hallex serves as the music marketing guru. Hallex continues to release free podcasts every month on itunes store to show his appreciation to his followers as well as a desire to share his music with a diversity of people around the world, his ultimate goal being uniting people through music.

 MzHouse Diva: When did you get started in the music scene? 

Hallex M: I was kind of born into it because my two older brothers were DJs, and my parents held parties in the restaurant they ran and my grandfather sold vinyl records.

MzHouse Diva: How did you get into djing? 

Hallex M:  I followed in the footsteps of my brothers,who introduced me to DJing and electronic music. 

MzHouse Diva: What was the first record you bought? 

Hallex M:  Actually, I bought two records at the same time, Ray Charles “The Best of…” and Bob Marley and the Wailers “Kaya”. 

MzHouse Diva:  What was your first paid djing gig? 

Hallex M:  In 1996, for an afterhours in Bordeaux, but in France afterhours start at 5a.m. and go til the next afternoon. 

MzHouse Diva:  How would you describe your djing/production style to people?

Hallex M:  My first DJ style was techno, like Jeff Mills, and Green Velvet…. My first production style was very soulful and my first release was for Jellybean Soul Records and it was a remix of Monique Bingham. 

MzHouse Diva:  When did you first full in love with house music?

Hallex M:  House Music was around 1997, before I was more techno.  Dj Sneak, Paul Johnson, any Chicago-style house and French Touch with artists like MotorBass, Etienne de Crecy, Alex Gopher…. were my main influences.   

MzHouse Diva:  What draws you to the deeper, soulful side of House? Why has it often been overlooked by mainstream audiences yet thrives underground and how can that be changed to reach a broader base?

Hallex M:  The first thing that attracted me to the deeper, soulful side of House was when I lived in Montreal in 1999. Coming from a scene in France that was more club pumping and techno, and in Montreal, I met JojoFlores and Gary Tremblay who introduced me to a jazzier, more soulful kind of musical vibe.  I found this music to be more profound with sounds that really touched my soul.  The Afro, Latin, and especially soul and jazz instrumentals gave the music a more human quality. 
I think this musical style is overlooked in the mainstream because unfortunately, the mainstream crowd isn’t looking for musicality and soul when they go out to party.  I think they just want to escape and cannot find that escape in soulful music.  However, there are those rare people who really appreciate this style of music as it should be and those are the ones we find in those underground niches.  I don’t think this will ever radically change, however, with the new tendencies moving towards “New Deep”, this brings us closer to “Deep House” and is bringing underground music into the mainstream. 

MzHouse Diva:  Who were some of your musical influences?

Hallex M:  I am influenced differently when I DJ, when I produce and when I listen to music just for fun.  It can go from Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson to Henrik Schwarz and Carl Craig to Joe Claussell and Laurent Garnier. Also, since I have my record label, I receive lots of tracks for review, and I am even influenced by some up and coming artists who made music in their garage that nobody knows about.  So, my list of musical influences is a long one and is continually growing. 

MzHouse Diva:  Who are some of the artists in the music industry, would you like to work with in the future if given the opportunity?

Hallex M:  I would love to work with Eric Roberson, Leela James, At Jazz, India Arie, Josh Milan, Osunlade… I am fortunate to have already worked with some great artists like Omar, Tasita D’Amour, Peven Everett, Jocelyn Mathieu...

MzHouse Diva:  Do you play any musical instruments?

Hallex M:  Not really, but I can create my own music, like basslines and some synthesizer sounds, but not like a real musician.  It takes me a long time.  Oh and I can play a little percussion and the harmonica, but again, very amateur. 

MzHouse Diva:  What is your most memorable moment in your career?

Hallex M:  I have so many but I think my first one was in Spain in 2001.  I was playing vinyl in front of 2000 people and I was so excited and overwhelmed by the crowd that when I was dropping the needle, I couldn’t stop shaking. 
Also, the first time I played in Chicago, thanks to my friend Julius the Mad Thinker.  That night, the Godfathers of House were there in the room, like Ron Carroll, Chip E, Glenn Underground and Boo Williams.  The crowd was really eclectic, like gangster rappers, beautiful girls, punk….but everyone was there to dance to soulful music and it was an amazing night. 

MzHouse Diva:  What was the best advice that was given to you?

Hallex M:  Don’t just play a set that gradually brings the energy up to a peak, there has to be peaks and valleys in your set to keep people interested longer and not exhausted and ready to leave after 30 minutes. 

MzHouse Diva:  How did you get into producing?

Hallex M:  At first I wanted to make my own versions of well-known songs, so that I had something fresh and that nobody else had.  From there, I started doing my own productions and now have some great collaborations. 

 MzHouse Diva:  What is your inspiration, and what pushes you to do new work?

Hallex M:  There’s nothing in particular that pushes me to be inspired.  The inspiration just comes or doesn’t so when it comes, I run with it for as long as I can. 

MzHouse Diva:  When you aren’t busy djing and producing; what do you like to do in your free time?

Hallex M:  Free time? What is that? Just kidding, a little bit. . I like to travel and explore new places, however, even when I travel, it’s usually work related.

MzHouse Diva:  How do you feel about House Music becoming more digital? Do you think that hurt or help the house music industry?

Hallex M:  Unfortunately, I think many producers and record labels lose a lot of money but because of digital music, many unknown artists can be showcased on a global scale.  Along with that though, the competition is unlimited and not filtered so there’s almost too much music out there.  It’s also changed our relationship with music.  Before, we would be excited to go to the record shop, choose your vinyl or finally find the treasure you were looking for or find something new.  Then you’d buy it and physically hold it, look at the cover, appreciate the art, the credits etc.  Buying music was a passion and you were immersed in the music you purchased.  Also, on vinyl, there were limited copies, so when you did get that exclusive album, you were so excited.  Now, anyone can have any music for free and that changes our relationship to music and how we appreciate it and those who make it.  Now everyone says they support music or are music lovers, yet they don’t buy anything.  It’s such a contradiction. 

MzHouse Diva:  What are some of the house tracks that you are really feeling right now?

Hallex M:  Karizma - Hear And Now (feat. Osunlade)
Disclosure - January (Kaytranada Remix)
Nick Holder  - The Love Frequency
And I am loving the last track I produced with DJ Fudge on Yoruba Records featuring the legendary soul singer from the UK, OMAR – Simpatico

MzHouse Diva:  If you could change one thing about the house music industry, what would it be?

Hallex M:  I would really love it if the new generation would start to be attracted to it.  We need fresh listeners to take an interest and keep the movement going. 

MzHouse Diva:  There is a lot of young fresh talent out there waiting to be discovered.  What do they have to do for getting recognized and promoted?

Hallex M: Never forget the roots of the music while being able to diversify their musical style.  They also have to find their own style and not just copy the stars of the movement.  To be promoted, that’s just simple marketing, you have to hustle. 

MzHouse Diva:  What do you see in the future of house music?

Hallex M:  Music and trends are always cyclical, for example, how New Deep was inspired by Deep music.  We always take the past, refresh it and give it a new spin, so I think the future of house will be a look back to the past and maybe vocals will come back next. 

MzHouse Diva:  How would you like to see your music career in a few years from now?

Hallex M:  I would like to see my first produced album and more collaborations with great talents. 

MzHouse Diva:  Can you tell us about your future plans or Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with goals?

Hallex M:  For production, I have a new single, again produced with DJ Fudge and vocals by Omar that will be released in the spring on Makin’ Moves Records, a track with ManChildBlack, and some exciting projects with Sunlightsquare. 
As a DJ, I really want to explore more festivals around the world. I have plans in the works to do an Australian tour. 
MzHouse Diva: I definitely can't wait until your album is released. Thanks for your time and it was a great pleasure doing this interview with you.

*Follow the links below to get a taste of the Hallex M.
House Experience*