Interview: helloworld Comes to Terms With Heartbreak On Intimate EP, “things i wanna text u”
Soundtracking deeply personal stories with bubbly beats, helloworld’s latest EP is a stunner.
Aptly titled things i wanna text u, the fresh project is out now via San Holo’s bitbird imprint and features five tracks that capture helloworld's journey through heartbreak.
The surging producer, singer and songwriter has managed to curate an expansive audiovisual world around his artistry ever since his project's inception over two years ago. helloworld has signed his music to labels such as Bassrush, Monstercat and SLANDER's Heaven Sent, but things i wanna text u is his most impactful record project to date.
Beyond its sparkly grooves and empyrean production, things i wanna text u finds helloworld teaming up with the non-profit organization Bring Change To Mind, which tackles the negative perceptions and stereotypes associated with mental health struggles, especially among young people. helloworld says he wants his new EP to serve as a potent reminder of the importance of emotional wellbeing.
EDM.com caught up with helloworld ahead of the release of things i wanna text u to discuss the story behind the EP, his creative process and much more.
EDM.com: You’ve come a long way since you started releasing music as helloworld a little over two years ago. As an emerging artist, what are some of the challenges you've faced in the music industry and how have you overcome them?
helloworld: Thank you so much! It’s been a journey. I can’t believe it’s already been over two years. I think as an emerging artist, the biggest challenge has been with myself for sure. Showing up every day, continuing to push things forward and improve.
A lot of people think that external challenges are the biggest ones–like the industry itself, other people, etc. But in all seriousness, I have been my biggest obstacle–learning to work with myself and not against myself. Learning to get comfortable with singing and performing. Showing up every day. It’s all part of it and has been so worth it but by no means easy!!
EDM.com: Thematically, things i wanna text u explores your journey through heartbreak. Could you elaborate on how you captured these emotions throughout the EP’s five tracks?
helloworld: Keyword: journey! I ordered these tracks really specifically because I wanted to paint the picture of the journey that I went through for this entire heartbreak. So, you can probably guess the emotions for each one–"call me up" is kinda like the feel-good track–the one where you’re excited and feeling good. Followed by “wasted,” a low point, sadness comes in and you feel horrible inside.
“am i right?” was a time when I was starting to feel a bit more resentment toward this situation and realizing the negative impact it had on my mental health. And “sorry” is kinda like the "fuck you" to the situation–it’s a bit of a happy ending where you don’t wanna take any more shit. And, a great way to end it–a reminder to myself that "no matter how this ends, I’ll be just fine."[embed]https://youtube.com/watch?v=3WrlIBzWrxY[/embed]
EDM.com: The EP concludes on a positive note with the song "no matter how this ends i'll be just fine." Why was it important for you to include it as the closing track?
helloworld: The end of a journey. The final step in the healing process. To me, this song is almost something I am reminding myself, “No matter what happens, you’ll be just fine, Drew."
I wanted to end on a positive note for this one because the EP is filled with so many emotions, including some negative ones, and I felt like it was important to show how I’m doing now, which is great. I got through it and I hope that can inspire someone who feels like they won’t be alright.
EDM.com: Could you share the significance of partnering with Bring Change To Mind and how their resources and expertise contribute to promoting mental wellness alongside the release of the EP?
helloworld: The events that inspired this collection of tracks brought me to one of the lowest points in my mental health that I can remember. I consider myself a generally happy guy, and I was getting concerned with myself. It made me realize how important it is to take control of your mental health and to take action.
So, I wanted to aim for the release of this EP to have a broader impact beyond providing music for people to enjoy. By partnering with Bring Change To Mind, their valuable resources and expertise in promoting mental wellness contribute to the overall goal of spreading awareness and ending the stigma surrounding the discussion of mental health.
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EDM.com: Your music has always defied genre limitations. How does things i wanna text u continue to push boundaries and showcase your unique sonic perspective?
helloworld: I tried really hard on this release to show my versatility as an artist so I appreciate you saying that, seriously! At the beginning of helloworld, I primarily focused on releasing more bass music-facing tracks. However, over the past couple of years, I’ve explored way more aspects of my abilities–from singing to playing piano to songwriting and realized that I have so much more to offer and so much more that I want to make outside of the cool drops.
EDM.com: Your background is deeply rooted in coding and video game culture. How does that inform the sonic direction and aesthetics of your music?
helloworld: I think it’s a feeling more than anything. I love that nostalgic feeling you get when you play old Nintendo games. I grew up on that stuff. So when I’m making melodies and sounds for my music, I’m kinda looking for that same feeling. That cute, emotional, playful sound.
EDM.com: Could you also share some more general insight into your creative process? How do you blend all these different auditory elements together while also conceptualizing deeply personal songwriting ideas?
helloworld: I love to start with sounds. I usually try to make something that creates the feeling mentioned above, and based on the vibe of that little sound or snippet, I like to workshop melodies and lyric ideas that fit the type of track. I love writing from personal experience because, as you know, heartbreak and the like are springs of inspiration if you know how to use them.
But overall, I think the best way to describe my creative process is just “following my curiosity”–I try to make it fun and love to use the word “play.” If you take that childlike approach of “play” to writing music, you can come up with some really awesome stuff.
EDM.com: Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals as helloworld? Are there any collaborations, projects, or new directions you are particularly excited about?
helloworld: I want to continue to push boundaries for helloworld—I recently did my first live set (vs. a DJ set) and it was so much fun. So a big goal of mine is to take this show on the road and give people a chance to experience my music live. That’s kinda why I got started with this in the first place anyway.
As far as other directions, I don’t even know. I think the best part about this whole thing is that I never know where it’s gonna take me. Ask me two years ago and I would have cringed at the idea of singing live. But now it’s something I wanna do so bad. I can’t wait to see what’s next!