With the start of his upcoming tour about to begin and having just released his new track 'Streets' - Darren Hart (aka Harts) has been extremely busy. Our writer Emily O'Brien had the opportunity to chat to him this week on a range of topics including dealing with pressure, Prince, touring, and who he is currently listening to. Check out the interview below.
Emily: Your debut album “Daydreamer” came out last year. How does it feel to have it all out and about?
Darren: feels good! I was kinda a bit nervous putting it out because you know, it was still super early in my career and not a lot of people knew who I was, I was a bit nervous as to how people were going to take it, there is so many different goners, sort of a hybrid sound on that album, but it did really well for me. Red and blue was getting some love on triple j and internationally and it was great to be able to show people the starting point for me.
E: On the new tracks that are being released, “Ain't Too Far Gone” and “Streets” there are messages of working together and making changes. Is this something that you are wanting made to the world or your own life changes?
D: the lyrical content does reflect that, but I don’t want it tied to specific things, I was trying to keep it vague, so that people can apply it to their life and situations they are going through. But change is a big thing for me and for when I was writing the album.
E: Are you feeling and pressure in releasing new material after receiving such acclaim for your previous work?
D: Yeah kind of, coz I never want to make the same thing again, and you can tell with the new EP that it’s changed direction. The album was more focused on the funk/soul and pop side, and the EP is a lot more blues/rock so I’m a bit nervous that the people who like me for the album may not like the stuff on the EP and the same in reverse. But it’s just something I have to deal with as an artist who wants to be known for a lot of different goners. At the moment the thing that’s really working for me is my guitar playing.
E: Speaking of your guitar playing, you play a lot of different instruments. Are you just naturally gifted at playing them all or did you have to really work at it?
D: Haha…No I did really have to work at it. But the thing was that I didn't have to work at it, I didn’t have any ambitions to become a musician when I was learning. I was just doing it for fun. Because I was just doing it for fun, I was playing every single day for about 6 or 7 years. I think I may have had a natural talent for guitar though, as opposed to other instruments I tried to learn.
E: Is it true that you do everything like all you’re writing, playing and producing all yourself and in your bedroom?
D: Yeah. I had a laptop and a bunch of audio gear literally in my bedroom and I would record on my bed. Since then I’ve kind of collected more gear and it’s got a bit out of hand, I’ve now moved into the kind of spear room, there’s no bed in there but yeah it’s still a bedroom.
E: So I’ve gotta mention Prince taking an interest in you, saying that you remind him of how he was at that age. Did you ever think that something like that would happen for you?
D: Nah, not really, it’s just something you don’t think about. Its more just the dream and I didn’t think I was that good. He had seen some of my videos and thought that I was pretty good, and then a few weeks later I was playing with him on his stage in his house. It was amazing. Given me such a confidence boost, definite game changer.
E: Can we expect any collaborations or anything to come from your jam sessions?
D: Probably not. Haha it’s up to him, he knows I’m always down for it.
E: So you mentioned before about triple j being rather fond of you. I heard you’re like a version, awesome by the way, was it a big process you had to go through to pick ‘Ariel Love’ by Daniel Johns?
D: I just wanted to pick a song that would get the attention of the listeners, a song that wasn’t so obvious for me to cover. I was trying to do a song that was outside the box for me and I’m glad that you liked it and that other people out there liked it.
E: You have a pretty solid 2 months of touring coming up. How does it feel to have sold out your home town Melbourne and be playing a second show there?
D: Um yeah it feels good! I’ve never sold out my own show before and it’s amazing and overwhelming that I can do a second show. That people dig my music enough. Very cool.
E: And with these tours are you travelling around by yourself or taking a band with you?
D: I’ve got a drummer with me and it will just be the two of us on stage. He provides a solid back beat, better than a drum machine, so adding the drummer was more essential than other instruments. But that is something I do want to expand on in the future, but this tour with just the two of us we will still be rockin and funkin.
E: And my final question for you. What 5 songs are you listening to at the moment?
D: Haha I couldn’t tell ya… I’ve got no idea… I’m really liking, can I say a band?
E: Yeah go for it.
D: the Delta Riggs. There super cool and watching them every night when I was supporting them, I was like, these guys have some killer tunes man and an awesome live show, so there a band I’m really getting into now. I also recently checked out the new Kendrick Lamar and I really dig that too.
Catch Harts on his upcoming EP tour during the below dates:
““Breakthrough EP” Tour