Brazil is the latest country to cause quite a stir in electronic music circles, thanks in no small part to clubs such as D-Edge and Warung. The latest purveyor of the sound to make an impression on the global scene, however, is Hot Creations signing, HNQO. Discovered a few years back by the label’s Russ Yallop, he has since gone on to become arguably his country’s finest house music export since Gui Boratto. With his debut tracks, “Point of View” and “Pain of Love” indicative of both the artist and the label’s accomplished sound, his is a career that doesn’t look set to take a timeout any minute soon.
We caught up with the man known to his mother as plain oul’ Henrique, to discuss his new label, Playperview, the meaning behind his name, and his whirlwind past few years…
Where did you grow up in Brazil? Was there a strong electronic music scene there?
I grew up listening to hip-hop and rap while going to school and playing sports with friends here in Curitiba. I’m still only 23 and back when I was growing up I didn’t know much about the scene really. What I can see now, though, is that it’s getting bigger and most of the artists I like are coming to play here and having a freaking amazing time at our clubs! So that’s pretty amazing to see and something that makes me very happy.
And when did you begin to take the music seriously?
Music was and will always be my favourite way to express myself. It doesn’t matter whether I’m making or listening to it, but I always try and take it seriously. The difference now is that the scene here is beginning to treat me the same way!
So…what were you doing before Russ Yallop found you?
I was working the night-shift at a hostel, doing the same thing I’m doing now and sitting on my computer and making beats! I was also studying global business at the time, but had to quit once the flight schedule and the gigs became too much.
And how did that meeting come about?
My brother Fabø went to see Russ’ show in my home city, and gave him a USB with some of my tracks on it. Immediately after that things happened pretty quickly.
Has your life changed a lot then? What aspect of your new life has been the most difficult?
I’ve been away from home a lot, travelling for gigs, conferences etc. My friends are always complaining about me being so out of their lives actually, and I broke up with my girlfriend of 6 years recently. I also barely get time to see my family these days, but this is the life I always wanted and I’m happy about all the changes overall. The good part of missing my family and friends is that I’m always welcomed with a smile when I return.
What’s been the standout moment for you so far? Many influential gigs?
Right now, this very moment. But gig-wise, I’ve played at BPM with the Hot Creations crew, and have played at other great clubs such as Club Vibe, D-Edge, Space and I also have upcoming dates at Warung – not to mention great parties all around the rest of Brazil with crazy party people. I’m amazed by it all still and I want more!
What was your reaction when you found out the tracks would be signed to Hot Creations?
I wasn’t expecting it all and I was very happy to have my tracks on the same labels as Jamie Jones, Lee Foss, Russ Yallop and the whole crew, especially when videos of them playing my tracks started to pop up and I saw my music making people dance from the biggest to the smaller rooms around the world.
I believe you’ve just established your own new label, Playperview. What was the motivation behind the imprint?
As any fresh producer will tell you, you have to get your tracks out there. Plus, I also want my partner’s, Soundman Pako (Rolldabeetz) and Fabø to get their music heard. I also want to give a platform to other new artists to promote them too. A good example of this is my boy, Dake, he’s a super-talented and young producer who’s standing out with his new releases on Playperview.
What else can we look forward to from HNQO over the next few months?
I’m working on a few new tracks, an original and I’m also hoping to make a few new records for Matt Tolfrey’s Leftroom imprint. I’ll also be remixing Funky Fat with Fabø, for Playperview. I also got an invite to remix an artist for Defected too, again that’ll be together with my brother Fabø. After that, I’m looking forward to my next tour, around 23 gigs have already been confirmed over Europe and a few other locations.
Finally, can you tell us something about you that we might not know?
Eh….I’m in love with my life, and I’m thankful to every single person involved in it. I’m a cool guy!