Hello once again readers! Since we’ve been getting a lot more readers lately, we’re just gonna skip the spiel and go straight to the good stuff – the interview! Our next interviewee has been making waves in Europe and North America for his distinct production style and sound. Having worked with the likes of artists like Drake and Mad Clown, our next guest has really made a name for himself. Without further ado, here is our interview with French producer Hazel!
Yannick Beaucaine (better known as Hazel, born in 1983) is a French producer, currently based out of Melbourne, Australia. Globetrotting and spending time in the studio working on tracks for artists from all over the world, as well as managing his own studio Patty Cakes, Hazel has long been on the forefront for indie hip-hop and soul releases. Having recently relocated from his home base in Paris, Hazel took some time away from the studio to answer some questions for us. Enjoy!
I go by the name of Häzel, I’m a French award-nominated performing producer, influenced by the music of Jay Dee and the sounds of Detroit.
How long have you been doing music for?
I have been doing this for about 12 years, 8 years professionally.
What kind of artist/producer do you consider yourself?
I don’t know man, I would say…self-thought everything type of artist?
As far as music is concerned, who gives you your inspiration?
Everyone and everything inspires me, sometimes to do cool things and other times to avoid the wack shit. I can go through every genre or style .
You recently moved your base of operations from your home in Paris to Melbourne, Australia. How did this decision come to be made? And what has been the biggest change for you since relocating, other than the locale?
Well, it wasn’t easy. First there’s the scare of change, then comes the culture, the food, the people. You never really know where you’re going and what to expect until you actually live there. For me, I travel quite a bit and there’s some places where you can just “feel” it. Melbourne is one of those places.
There’s an actual space here for newness and people are open to pretty much everything. I came here for 2 weeks first. Loved it. Moved my things here. I don’t really question myself too much, I like to just do things! I have opened a studio here called “Patty Cakes” and I’m just starting to release material from artists I love. This is all I ever wanted to do. Also they have great coffee here.
You’ve worked with many artists, but there are two that stand out that I want to talk about today. You produced tracks for Canadian
rapper Drake and Korean rapper Mad Clown. How did you link up with those artists originally? And can you talk about the tracks you made for them, and the inspiration behind them?
Drake was recording his first album and was doing a mixtape a little before. He was doing some stuff with my long time friend Slakah in Toronto. He heard some of my beats with him and emailed me the same day. I sent him some stuff he chose over the phone while we were just chatting about our love for Jay Dee’s music and how our music would sound. Drake is a genuine person and has always been a good friend to me, even today. His success is also mine because I’m just proud to see him where he is. That’s inspiring to me.
Mad Clown is a great artist man, he just hit me up on my email and requested for beats. When I’m not interested or just too busy, I just don’t even reply sometimes. But Mad Clown caught my attention and caught me at the right time. It’s beautiful how this music can travel through different countries and culture and you can always find yourself even in the unknown. I really want to go to Korea and rock a show with Mad Clown, so promoters…you know what to do!
Would you like to work with them again in the future?
Absolutely! I already am, now it’s just a matter of time. The only thing I can’t really control.
Any plans for more original material to be released soon?
I have a couple of EPs coming this year. I’m releasing Tfox’s album on Patty Cakes label. He is the most inspiring artist to me at the moment and I’m really looking forward to this. I’ll be announcing everything pretty soon before this summer on my Twitter. Just organising things at the moment.
I’ll be in North America in October this year with an all-new show and music. Hopefully promoters will get at me on time so that I can start announcing. Haven’t really planned 2014 since I’ve been mostly in the studio this year. But I hope so. I’m looking forward to touring in Asia this year too.
You’ve been a key player in the music industry as a producer for some time. Where do you see music tastes going in the near future, based on your previous work with various artists?
I wish I could answer that. I think that the only thing I can say is that we will still have 808 sounds for the next 100 years.
What are your five most played songs currently?
Tfox – Awakening, Tfox – 1000 Brittle Houses, Slakah the beatchild – Dear Lucy, Kendrick Lamar – Bitch don’t kill my vibe, Nathaniel – Ooh Wah
Who are some of your favourite artists/producers currently?
JAY DEE, TFOX, 14KT, ONRA, JOANNA BORROMEO, SPEKWON
Name any artist you would like to collaborate with, and why.
I really want to work with Spekwon at the moment, a rapper/singer from Toronto. Dude came to visit the city here, then seen him in Toronto…love his style, and he’s such an AMAZING artist. There’s nothing like meeting an artist in the flesh.
I use Native Instruments gear and software and live instruments. Their stuff is solid!
When you have spare time, what do you do for fun?
I wouldn’t know where to start! I like to be random, but lately I’ve been skateboarding a little bit. I also go hunt for records, that’s my main shit.
Name one thing that fans may not already know about you.
I have so much love for my fans, and I’m really thankful for their support, so I’d ask them to ask me whatever they want to know, I reply to everyone as much as I can.
Any advice for aspiring producers?
Just be yourself. I can’t distinguish who’s been doing what lately. I used to be able to do that.
Any final words for the readers? Where can fans keep in touch with you?
Take risks! You can talk to me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hazeldizzyfanpage. Peace!
Big thanks to Hazel for answering our questions! We look forward to his future releases, and until next time, this has been a rhythm.connection exclusive!