Following the release of her ‘Obsession’ single we caught up with Helang to discuss her label Dauntless Recordings, musical influences and more!
Hi Helang, it is great to have the chance to speak with you today. First off, how are you both doing and where are the world are you?
Hi, thank you for having me! I’m doing well – I am currently based in Brooklyn, New York. I moved here from Chicago a year ago.
For those who have yet to hear your sound how would you best describe it?
My sound is pretty versatile with a focus in underground house & techno. I love combining musical elements and a grimey techno bass line into a track, I think it is to me the key in making people dance, lose themselves, find connections with others, and most importantly feel whatever they want to feel. In the end of the day I really just want to make music that I resonate with and also speaks to others.
You have just released your single ‘Obsession’ on the Dauntless Recordings imprint, can you tell us the inspiration behind the track?
They say the best songs you make are always the ones where you sit down with no expectations or limits going into, and this one was certainly the case. I was playing around with this really interesting percussion sample I found and thought it would be cool to chop it up and make into a lead- next thing I know I was turning the little verse into a minimal, techy, and bouncy 6 minute song. I’ve always been making music based on my feelings regarding life, romance, self growth- I want people to know that it’s ok to be themselves no matter what others think, and my music comes from my most bada**, sexy, and confident inner self.
What was the reason behind launching your own record label? What are the benefits?
There are 2 main reasons behind launching Dauntless Records: for one, I want to be able to add some spice to my brand by releasing music consistently- of course I have a range of dream labels I would love to see my name on, but working with them can take time, so meanwhile there is no better way to showcase my work by self releasing. My second reason is wanting to discover and connect with new talent- there are so many great producers out there and I want to build a community consisting of like-minded people who genuinely appreciate underground electronic music.
How has your musical backgrounds helped shape the sound you create today?
It’s funny because recently I came across one of those “security questions” where they ask you what your childhood dream is, and of course I put down “to be a popstar” all those years ago. Music has been a big part of my life since I was a child. I was classically trained on the piano growing up, then sang solo and in choir throughout middle school and high school. Although I didn’t become fully immersed in the dj/electronic music scene till I was in college, it really was a full circle moment when after playing my first big gig in Chicago I decided this is what I want to pursue as a career. Music production is definitely an ongoing learning experience, and my music theory knowledge definitely helps when it comes to getting inspiration.
Jumping into the studio how was the process when working on this release?
The process was fairly easy because this is one of my tracks that came together the fastest, just like that. I usually will finish the arrangement in one sitting, and come back a day or two later to work on the automations and effects along with mixing (those go hand-in-hand, in my opinion). Finally, I will send my projects off to my engineer to do a final mixdown and mastering.
Do you have any specific plug-ins or hardware that defines your sound?
I keep it simple- more is less. Some of my favorite plug-ins are Diva and Serum for crafting synths, and I absolutely cannot live without the soundtoys and fabfilter bundles. My sound is known for its techy-techno like grooves combined with haunting, sexy vocals and so I definitely love getting creative with the reverb and delays on those.
Have you had a chance to play this release out live? If so, how was the response?
The first time I played it out was actually in June at Treehouse Miami before I released the song, and the reaction I got was madness- people were jumping and dancing, and I remember hearing cheers whenever the bass would come in. It was unexpected, but I think most, if not all djs go through that, and it’s truly one of the big reasons why I love what I do.
Finally, what do you both hope to achieve going into 2024?
I am building an inventory with many unreleased tracks and I hope to get signed to some of my favorite labels such as Ellum Audio, Mood Records, Get Physical etc. On top of that, I am looking forward to releasing other artists’ music on Dauntless (announcement on the way!), and hoping to play more venues in New York along other cities like Boston, LA, Sanfran, Dallas etc. Oh, and I would love to put together an Asia tour too! 😉
Pick up a copy here or stream below.