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RHR Interview with Michael Hooker

Michael Hooker
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Michael Hooker- Edge of the world

I have only known Michael Hooker for about a year now, but I mean it when I say he is truly one of my inspirations when it comes to his passion for music and his grind. He is one of the hardest working musicians/entrepreneurs that I have ever met. Michael Hooker was born in Jersey, Channel Islands. Most of his adult life was based around music: from running a successful club night called “Out of this World”, DJing to being the youngest licensee at the time for a popular underground nightclub on the Island and promoting. In 2003, he moved to England to pursue his career further and in early 2013, he obtained an O1 International Artist visa and moved to Phoenix, Arizona to work in music full time as a DJ, music producer, and label manager for Re:Sound Music. Michael created Re:Sound Music back in 2010 in England. He is signed to many major labels including Yoshitoshi, FSOEUV, Global Underground, Sony, BeatFreak, Dear Deer, Desert Hearts Black, and Whartone Records. 

Livestream:

On Sunday, June 21st, Michael Hooker, Creativ Studios, and The Seader Project team woke up bright and early to catch the perfect backdrop. I stayed up all night so I could watch the team create excellence, from the comfort of my own home. This live stream really blew me away—from the scenery to the ambiance of his tracks. The sun was rising as Mr.Hooker was curating the perfect set for his viewers. He puts so much thought into the logistics of mixing, and doesn’t just slam track after track, he is very strategic about his moves. Song selection is a huge factor of importance when it comes to creating the perfect mix, which was really implemented in this set. The way the cameras were set up and perfectly angled created the perfect vibe, along with the beautiful drone shots of the scenery throughout the stream. Check out the recap here.

EP:

While Michael was planning for the perfect live stream, he was also in the works of releasing his new EP with Yoshitoshi Recordings. Now, if you don’t know what Yoshitoshi Recordings is, now is the time to research. They are home for some of the most talented up and coming house and techno artists. When Michael first told me about his release, I was in shock— Yoshitoshi is a dream for many. 

The “Warning EP” consists of three tracks, one of which is a remix from none other than Quivver. I was really impressed with the variation between each track, as not every track has the same rinsed elements, Michael took the time to make each track its own. The first track is “Warning,” which is my absolute favorite on the EP. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that he had dark elements overlaying some vibrant effects and the pattern was consistently changing, again, adding variation. “Thoughts Of You” is the next track and had different varying elements in this one. There is a vocal chop that changes over time but also tricks your ears to make you think other things are happening (listen to this track closely and you’ll hear exactly what I’m talking about). It is easy for the audience to follow the flow of the song, it almost feels like he is trying to take us on a journey throughout the track. Lastly, we have the “Thoughts Of You” Quivver remix. I admire the fact that Quivver left important elements from the original track, yet he made it all his own by adding his own sounds to the mix. The intro is different, and I think that’s really important when it comes to remixing a track. 

Interview:

I really wanted to pick Michael’s brain a little bit, so I reached out to ask him a few questions. 

RHR: So you’re a DJ and a producer, what inspires you to keep going in the music industry? Who do you look up to the most?

Michael: My inspiration is my passion for music. I work hard to maintain a career as a full time DJ and producer but I work in this industry because I truly love all aspects of music. That has always been my driving force over anything else. 

The DJs I look up to the most are Sasha, John Digweed and Laurent Garnier. All three have maintained careers of over 30+ years and yet they still consistently push new music. They never fail to blow my mind with their music programming and their incredible knowledge for the styles they play.

RHR: Tell us a little more about your brand/project. What were your inspirations when building your brand? Where did you get the idea?

Michael: I started Re:Sound Music (originally Re:Sound Records) because I wanted to create a digital platform for artists in my genre to release their music. It was the natural progression from being a DJ and also a music producer. I only sign music that fits the styles I would play myself. I treat the artists I sign as a family and I encourage everyone to cross promote and support each other when they have releases. 

From there I started hosting Re:Sound Music & Friends events. We are different because we use bespoke, unique locations for our parties. It’s a great way to expose our sound and the label to people that don’t always want to go to a nightclub environment. It’s also a great way to meet other DJs / Producers who play / make the same sound.

RHR: Your live stream from the Edge of the World was absolutely breathtaking, what was your favorite moment from that set? What made you want to film at this location?

Michael: I was approached by The Seader Project to work together and they already had the location in mind. When I saw photographs, I knew it would be perfect but when I got there and actually saw it, I was blown away. Being able to DJ with that epic mountainous backdrop was another level. I am so glad that I have it all on film.

RHR: What are your top 3 music goals at the moment?

Michael: Sadly the industry is at a standstill right now due to the Pandemic but my main goals are:

To stay focused, keep learning and developing my skills.

It would be amazing to be part of a label tour with a major label for example Yoshitoshi. 

I would also like to keep expanding on my own Re:Sound Music brand.

RHR: If you had to give one piece of advice to a new DJ/Producer, what would it be?

Michael: As a DJ: Take the time to search for the sound you truly enjoy. There are amazing tracks out there and if you take the time to find them it will make you stand out from the rest. 

As a producer: Take the time to learn the equipment and understand the fundamentals behind music productions. Most DAWS now come with a suite of plugins for you to get started. It is much better learning what these do before investing into more equipment that will hinder your development. 

Overall, just work hard and make sure you always enjoy what you’re playing / making. It’s ok to switch it up if you’re not happy. You’ll achieve the best results when you truly love your sound.

RHR: I listened to your new EP and absolutely loved it! What motivated you to write this? How long did it take? What is your favorite track on the EP?

Michael: Both of the tracks started off based around the vocals. Warning is a track I’ve always wanted to create as something that builds and gets more intense after the drop. Thoughts of You is a mixture of three vocals that I pitched and then manipulated. I made it specifically so that both tracks complemented each other as an EP.

The EP took me around two weeks to complete from start to finish. I already had the ideas in my mind so they just flowed. I’d been having conversations with Yoshitoshi and when I submitted them I was blown away to hear Sharam’s feedback that he loved them both. Yoshitoshi is a label I have respected for years and likewise with Sharam as a DJ and Producer too.

I like both tracks equally and having the remix done by Quivver who I’ve also supported for years was a perfect way to round off the EP.

Important links:

Michael Hooker’s latest EP, “Warning” was just released on Friday, June 19 dropping on Yoshitoshi Recordings.  Get it here.

Michael’s Facebook
Michael’s label

Additional links:
The Seader Project
Creativ Studios

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