CULTED SOUNDS: HAICH BER NA TALKS ESCAPISM VS RELATABILITY & VISUALS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL SOMETHING
Haich Ber Na has always been a creative. Starting with art and drawing in his childhood, he then went on to produce and sell beats as a teen, before deciding on music as a career at 19. Crafting a sound that has been described as everything from addictive electronica to psychedelic pop, Haich’s visual presence is equally as impressive and considered: creating a unique aesthetic through niche internet references and a genuine love for the work.
We caught up with him to discuss his creative influences, where his music would be best listened to, and the work he’s most proud of.
How would you describe your sound and what makes it unique?
I don’t usually like to describe it. It’s more fun for me to just make it and see what others pick up on. For now I’m just calling it pop, since pop is just a blend of popular genres anyway. I guess what makes it unique is my personal interests and outlook on things. Young kid in a small city making rap and grime music, goes to art school gets on some super left shit then decides to make fun, but challenging pop music. I guess it’s always an artist’s personal journey that makes their sound unique.
Talk us through your background – did you always know you wanted to pursue music?
As a kid my main thing was drawing, I used to make little series of cartoons, my own little ‘projects’ comics, characters etc. I wanted to have my own animated show on Cartoon Network, that was my childhood dream. During my teens I guess making music was just cooler, and eventually I preferred spending my time doing that. Music was a hobby until I was about 19 when I thought I should give it a shot as a career. I sold beats from about age 14-18 so I knew I could make money from it, then I had to learn how to do that as an artist. So no, I wasn’t always sure I wanted to do music, but I knew I would always work in something creative.
What’s your favourite piece of work by yourself, and by another?
My favourite piece of work of my own is the new EP we’re releasing this summer ‘When We Knew Less’ I’m super proud of how far we’ve pushed sonics and song writing specifically. I find it hard to say one favorite piece of another artist’s work. I generally enjoy artists who have large bodies of work made over a long span of time, artists who shape eras rather than one cool body of work. It’s hard to give a definitive answer, but I’ve always liked Jeremy Dellers’ video work ‘Bom Boms Dream’.
Who are your creative influences? (musical or other)
Kanye, Caribou and Toro Y Moi are three of my biggest influences. Although they’re all very different, each of them has stood the test of time with careers spanning 15+ years. All three are constantly reinventing themselves with each project which is brave and admirable. There’s plenty more influences in and outside music. I mean there’s like 6-7 references in every song we make, could be a snare sound from a Nine inch nails song, a bassline from a Daft Punk deep cut and vocal idea from Spice record.
What’s one thing you want people to take away from your music?
I want people to just enjoy it, and let it take their mind off the mundane-ness of day to day life. The sound is definitely some escapism shit but at the same time we try to write super relatable lyrics so people can have a more personal connection to the songs.
Your music has created a fresh world in electronica, largely by the unparalleled blending of visual and sonic concerns. How important are the aesthetics for you?
The visual stuff is as important as the music. Most of the time I already know what the look is, and who I’d like to work with before any music is near finished. We’re in the post-MTV era – but music has always been presented alongside visuals so I just see it as standard procedure to put in that effort. I like how paring the two changes the context of how people view/ hear things. When we dropped ‘The Last Time I Saw You’ people were making all sorts of stories up about the two characters paired in the photo. When we released ‘Now We’re Strangers’ YouTube banned comments for a week because the kid was drawing an image of a cartoon smoking which was deemed as dangerous. But these kinds of responses are why the visual side is so interesting to me, people feel something.
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If you had to name the perfect setting for people to be introduced to your music, where would this be and why?
I mean… mashed at a festival, on the beach, headphones on the bus, any of these is a good place to be introduced to my stuff. But I’d probably say a long car journey. My dad would play Kanye’s first two albums super loud in the car when we were young and that heightened the attention we’d pay to lyrics and production which definitely shaped my taste in understanding of the world in later life.
Lastly, name five tracks you’re loving right now and why.
Pusha T – Let The Smokers Shine The Coupes. Push is one of my top 5 rappers. He just seems to get better, and Pharrell did a madness with this production.
RDX – Set Good. This one just has me excited for summer.
Murkage Dave – Us Lot. Proper a feel good, heartfelt record. I like what Dave is talking about in this, it feels like something a lot of young people deal with but I haven’t heard it be spoken about this way.
Charlotte Adigery & Bolis Pupul – HAHA. This whole album is so good. Sounds like they had a lot of fun making this, it’s like a joke that got taken too far and they thought “This is actually cold lets drop it”.
Rosalia – DELIRIO DE GRANDEZA. Bro Rosalia sampled Soulja Boy’s 2009 smash Delirious? Big Draco strikes again.