This nod towards Dani Siciliano ignites further thought from Harris as he goes on to say, “its funny you say that about Dani and Herbert because a few people have said that and I didn’t really get it at first. Shawn my friend and label manager at Scissor and Thread said who would your dream remixer be and I’ve always been a huge fan of Matthew Herbert and so we asked him, I was not really expecting much to come of it, but he replied back saying he’d love to, which was just amazing”. Herbert ended up completing three remixes for Harris, all of which have been excellently received, though its touching to see a man as accomplished as he to still be excited by achieving a remix from someone holds in such high admiration.
He very openly gives little thought to what ‘people’ think of his music any more, aside from his nearest and dearest, Harris is truly doing things for himself, the way he wants to, when he wants to. “I no longer care about the popularity aspect to this industry. That brings such negative connotations to people”, seemingly in reference partly to all the end of year charts coming to light. He goes on to tell me, “the worst thing people say is that you should be glad you do something you love. Because they have no idea about the countless hours and the amount of effort you’ve just put into it all. No idea on the sacrifices you have to make in order to succeed, regardless of whether its doing something you love to do”. This very straight talking, honest approach is a refreshing one to hear from an artist. Hearing DJ’s moan about airports, or promoters, or other things and people pissing them off is nothing new – take a look to the twitters of many top DJ’s and you’ll soon find some rant associated to any one of these issues mentioned – but the notion that they and indeed anyone earning their living through creative means, shouldn’t be happy simply because they do something they love, is a fascinating one.
Its easy to imagine how all the excessive travelling that comes with touring can take its toll on a person, especially doing it unaccompanied, there will inevitably be periods of loneliness. Odds are they will end up missing an important occasion, or some other fun event with their friends and loved ones, simply because they have to play somewhere far, far away.
Whether this is a fair sacrifice to make so as to set about a career doing something you love, is no doubt a debate you could have time and again when work gets in the way of the rest of your life. For Harris never ending tours are no longer something he’s willing to commit too. Instead focussing his time on making music and subsequently taking on a select few gigs to promote said music.
This latest string of gigs he’s doing is in aid of the single he’s released with the DJ Sprinkles remix on, so I ponder as to how they met, “in Grad School I attended some lectures he was giving and I mean I’ve always been a big fan of his work. Me and Terre have similar interests outside music as well, with alternative literature and stuff, but lets not go into that now”. Its not at all surprising he and Sprinkles share similar interests. Both characters exude incredible intellect and have a sharp wit in their views on the world.
Lastly I ask him a question that can be very revealing of a person. What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done? To which I’m met at first with, “woah, umm… How do I even go about answering that?”. And following some considerable thought he gives two answers, equally cool in their own right, “probably getting to use that Sly Stone mixing desk when I was recording this album, I mean that’s pretty cool”. For those not sure who Sly Stone is, he’s most famous for his role in fronting the band, Sly and the Family stone, a band that was key in developing funk and soul in the seventies. Secondly, and after some time he tells me, “I think doing charity work and just helping out in your community anyway you can is real cool. In college I ran a community centre with friends and here in New York I’ve helped out with the Food not Bombs programme, but I never have enough time to do stuff like that here”. His final sentiment before we say goodbye is, “Those who have should help”. Leaving an honest portrayal of a man who has consistently worked hard in all that he does.
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