In Conversation With: High Fidelity


‘I am an immense fan of AVA Festival and the dream would be to play that infamous Boiler Room stage in Belfast’.

I am ecstatic to showcase my first interview on project radio with one of project radio’s very own residents, High Fidelity. The Dublin based DJ and producer was so kind to share some words in relation to how he got involved in music, what motivates him and some aspirations that he will look to achieve in the future. You can expect to see more interviews with a similar aim in mind over the coming months from myself that will consist of some of the finest rising dance music artists courtesy of project radio and beyond.

When did you start to realise that you had an interest in music? Are there any influences that you would like to highlight from an early age or mention that may have had an impact on crafting your sound?

It all seems like a bit of a blur now that I think of it. It would have been around 6 or 7 years ago when I first started DJing. A friend of mine, Chris, who is now the floor manager in Jam Park used to DJ at these house parties that I’d been going to back when we were 16/17. I saw him doing that and thought yeah that’s the next thing I wanna do. He showed me the odd bit to get me started and I ended up going off then myself. I’d recommend for people starting off now that Youtube is your best friend, even now more than before with all the tutorials it’s great to get you going.

I hadn’t really even looked into music production until maybe a year or two into DJing and at the time I was kind of like I wouldn’t mind getting into that, so I got a little launchpad and midi keyboard and started cracking away at FL Studio and then moved over onto Ableton. I found it was a lot better for me and there was so much more to do with it too. I found it daunting at first, but I found again that Youtube was the best thing for me.

My first club gig was at Tomangos which was an underage disco back in the day. It would have been a well-known club in its time, and I know that my parents used to go. I started out with the underage scene and worked my way up, I ended up playing in the Wright Venue for a couple of years and eventually got into the overage events when I came of age. I’d gotten to the point where I’d be playing full Saturdays then in the main room, so it was definitely a progression over time. TWV has been a big part of my DJing career for the first few years and when that closed, I started looking more into Dublin City and expanding the music I’d listen to and music I would play as well because I felt I was very secluded to certain genres at the beginning. I suppose going to college came in around the same time, so both these new things were happening at once.

Toast Dublin would have been the first glimpse of a new style of genre and club night that I would have been introduced to in college. I’d thank Toast for a lot of my success in the early days. Charlie Garrett was a great for me and Rossa Doherty (Pagan). The two of us got in there in first year of college and we approached them from the DJ Society in DCU and we were looking to run a night in there or play even and they had an open deck night where anyone could go in with their USBs and play tunes and we took that opportunity straight away. From that we started playing Toast regularly then both of us in the different rooms, South William used to be the spot for regular student nights with a lot more disco and housier stuff. It helped craft my style in the beginning and with-it being college nights that sort of stuff went down quite well. From then I ended up playing other clubs like Button Factory and Hijinks in Tramline when that popped. It allowed us to have a bit more freedom and be a bit looser in our selections.

I’m now in final year of college and am the Chairperson of the DCU DJ Soc and I owe them a lot for my progression. It’s great for building lasting connections in the industry and how I’ve been able to evolve my sound. I played Toast Stage at Life Festival then in 2019 off the back of all the times I played Toast and that same year I played the Hijinks Stage at Higher Vision Festival too. That was a nice goal to reach because there’s only a couple of main clubs in Dublin, so I was happy to get the opportunity to play at those festivals in 2019. I suppose that was when my sound started to get a bit more underground then as 2019 progressed. I also went on trips to Glasgow and Berlin where I went to Sub Club and Tresor and that changed the whole game for me. Hearing all these new genres, sounds and styles. Those two trips helped shape what I’ve been listening to especially in terms of electro and how I’ve been making music lately in particular. These experiences outside of Ireland helped me with getting a taste of new stuff.

Where did the name High Fidelity originate from for you?

Part of it was from the Daft Punk tune called High Fidelity from their Homework album. The phrase is just something I’ve remembered over time. The other part was to do with high quality audio in production. It’s a term used in conversation about production and my aim was to make stuff that would sound as high quality as possible, and also creating music that I like and that would be suitable for being played in clubs.

What motivates you and helps further your musical interests? While, at the same time helps keep things up to date and exciting?

That’s a tricky one! In terms of DJing I was motivated by the feeling of DJing and entertaining a crowd. It’s a buzz playing tunes, seeing people dancing and having a good time and that would motivate me in that sense, it’s something I always like to do. To be able to find new tunes and drop them and see the reaction you’d get was something that motivated me on the DJ side of things for sure.

In terms of music, it was always my intention to be somewhere in a house and people would be like ‘aw you have to hear this tune’. I suppose it's always been a bit of a producer’s thing that someday you’d like that to be your tune. Going around showing people and being like ‘I’m after finding this new tune online its class you need to hear this, that sorta thing.

It’s an art form in itself and to be like I made this for other people to listen to and share them is great. It's not a popularity thing, for me it's more just being able to share stuff you’ve made that you really enjoy with other people.

It’s taken me a while to get to the point where I’m enjoying the music I make. At the beginning I’m sure most producers are the same that the stuff they make in the beginning even sometimes now that what they make, they don’t like it. Where you’ve listened to them so much and for so long that your sound may have changed, it may have improved or your processes for a cleaner sound got better but these tunes that you’ve made a while back are coming out now.

I started my alias last year and it was because I wanted to start making heavier more abstract stuff. I wanted to have my own alias of that because like I said earlier on, I was known for playing disco and feel good stuff or playing the Wright Venue or Toast and it was a new avenue I wanted to take. I got my first gig with that alias in March last year with the Lost Dublin lads who are good mates of mine and run a really great night. They’ve had some really good acts over as well like Viers in 2019 for instance. Since then, I’ve been motivated by making unusual stuff and stuff that I like. The more this alias has developed, the more I've started making music I do like and that’s sort of motivated me and that’s why I’m putting it out. 

What goals have you set further down the line? Any type of short/medium- or long-term goals that you’d like to achieve over the coming years? (Musically and in relation to being part of the music industry itself.)

I had so many goals when I started the alias like get signed to a record label and get a track on vinyl and that’s happened for me. I feel I’ve been lucky enough, but I also worked hard for it. I solo released my first EP to get it out there and to have it live. With other tracks I’ve kinda worked on maybe on a label or to try get on bigger platforms and stuff like that too. I was lucky enough that when I shared a track with the Chokibiki lads for example they liked that tune and that one came out on vinyl and on a label so that was kind of a win-win for me.

Besides that, I’d love to do another EP and get it on some other labels that I have in mind for the future. Like the next project I’m working on is kind of my own EP because I’ve been doing a couple of VAs and stuff with some great labels and collectives but I kind of want the next thing to be a stamp of all my own work and not get lost in the noise of VAs which can happen. Lately I’m kind of loving ghetto tech and electro sound so much more I think for my next EP it’ll be ghetto tech and electro infused with my own sort of spin on it. Full of club ready tunes that I can drop inevitably when clubs open back up.

One of my bigger aspirations in terms of labels would be International Chrome. Jenson Interceptor would be one of my favourite artists and someone I’d admire. Even in terms of his demeanour he is very humble. I’ve read interviews of his and he comes across as very down to earth and he also preaches what he believes in. He’s not afraid to speak out about things or topics that are close to him and of course his sound is sick, and his label is really cool. They do a lot of things in terms of supporting causes so that would be a bigger kind of overall aim for me in the next 2 or 3 years, but of course the sooner the better. I would like to build up some nice label releases and put my own work together and that’ll be a larger kind of overall goal.

In terms of college, I’m studying marketing so something that could fit marketing and music together would be ideal in terms of a career because a lot of people don’t seem to go solo in terms of a DJ career it's kind of a really big commitment to make. I’m still studying my degree, going to finish that up and I’ll hopefully be looking for a career in marketing and something music related because I’m passionate about them both.

If you ever find yourself in a slump making music do you have any ways to cope or overcome that?

It is tough for me personally. I can procrastinate a lot and can generally struggle sometimes to sit down and just work on stuff. I go through phases I guess, sometimes I can be really productive and get a couple of tracks started and other times I might not do something for a couple of weeks.

With college at the moment, it is kind of hard but I’m hoping when I finish up that I’ll be able to dedicate a bit of time to actually sit down and just work on music. I found getting out and exercising can be really good and even with covid now, a run can be great. Stick on some tunes and you can gain influences when you’re out running in terms of layouts and transitions as well as other bits.

Something else that helps me is a general organisation like getting your samples organised or having a look through your synths and making up some new patches or stuff like that. I’d regularly go in and make a new patch on Diva for instance. I’d make a unique bassline and then come back to it another day when I actually feel like writing a track. It’s doing little bits that don't require too much brain capacity or creativity that can help save so much time when you’re in the zone with making music.

Can you name 3 artists that you’d love to collaborate with in the future.

Mell G – I really love what Mell G is doing. She seems very nice, and I love the energy she gives off in her sets. Her tracks are also unique and energetic. I feel like working on a track with her would be really cool.

Destroy – I’ve been a fan of Destroy for quite some time, after hearing his 4 track EP release on Urban. I was listening to his stuff regularly and he blew up when he collaborated with Mell G. His sound design is great, and his productions also sound rather crisp.

Aloka – Once again, a well-known name with exceptional sound design and his tracks are unbelievable too. Love what he is doing at the moment with his label Typless too and think it would be really cool to work with him.

Oh and of course Jenson Interceptor. That would be the dream! Although I was trying to keep it somewhat realistic here (chuckles)! That would be very cool to work with him too. He has a wealth of experience and knows so much about the history of electro.

Is there any DJ you would like to go B2B with would you like it to be at any particular club or festival?

In terms of festivals, I love AVA. A dream of mine would be to play at their Boiler Room stage. Personally, I’d prefer to play a more intimate stage rather than the main room. Obviously, the main room is unbelievable but if the crowd is a bit closer to you and all around you, I’d feel it’d be a bit more connected with the crowd.

In terms of an artist, I’d love to play with B2B I think Mell G would be a great shout. I think she would match my energy and we’d get on very well. She is so diverse in her sets too so it’s a win-win.

If you could describe your musical style in one sentence what would it be?

High tempo, fast paced, high energy, abstract.

Finally, are there any music bits past or present that you’d like to plug?

Breaks for Days Vol. 1 was a great project to be a part of and brought about my first Irish label release, as well as my first vinyl release. Shouts to the Chokibiki crew and all the artists for their hard work on it. Also, I’ve been part of some great VA’s too this past year from the WhatGoesUp release in support of SAMH, a Scottish charity supporting mental health to my first label release with the Milkit crew. My contribution to Wachita China’s (DJ これからの緊急災害) Hentai Dreams helped me to reach a newer audience beyond Ireland too. In terms of upcoming work, I’ve an exciting feature mix with a Berlin based collective coming soon and a new EP on the way this summer. Once I finish college it’ll be full steam ahead with music.