Since exploding onto Soundcloud in 2014, Joe Hertz has become a darling of the bedroom pop producer generation, thanks for his knack of blending soulful electronica with upbeat R&B.
Across Spotify, Joe racks up over a million listeners per month, and has upwards of 100 million streams across his discography - his top 3 tracks have over 50 million alone.
It would be an understatement to say that he had a musical upbringing, being the son of legendary DJ Pete Tong and raised on hip-hop, jazz, and soul as well as drum 'n' bass, garage and dubstep.
We had a chat with Joe Hertz on his inspirations and sound, as well as the new album and what he's planning on doing next...
Introduce yourself and tell us something interesting about you!
"The name’s Joe Hertz; I'm an artist/producer. I like making soulful sounds and cooking tasty food."
Where are you from?
How did you start your musical journey?
"I began to make music around the time I was 15-16. I used to be obsessed with drum & bass and early dubstep at that time and would be out every weekend at the record shops digging for new sounds, then practicing mixing the records in my friend’s room in south London. This eventually led me to wanting to make my own music."
Who’s your biggest influence, either musically or in life?
"Nujabes. His ear for sampling and ability to make music that transports you to his own world is very inspiring to me."
Can you sum up your sound in one sentence?
"Electronically driven, soulful R&B influenced, nostalgic leaning, future introverted bedroom producer leaves his room and tries to make it out here type of vibe."
What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?
"It would be related to creativity still.. probably cooking."
Which artists are on your playlist that no one would expect?
What is your favourite social media platform?
"I’m more aware of the negative side effects of social media these days and would suggest using it carefully to anyone. But in terms of the ‘Transparency' of information I do have a lot of respect for Twitter."
What is your favourite place to play and your dream place to play?
"I miss playing in Tokyo at this place called Sankey's Penthouse. It's about a 200 cap venue, about 15 stories up above the Harajuku area, I just really had a great time playing there. I would love to play Glastonbury one day."
Your debut album dropped on July 17th. Tell us a little about it!
"It’s a collection of songs that represents my story over the last 2 years. Some of these songs have been released as singles but this is the complete picture of what’s been going on over that time. I have stayed true to keeping it about music that excites me/makes me feel something emotionally. Facing challenges as an artist can be stressful and cause a lot of anxiety. In the case of a solo artist, the loneliness of being on this journey can become something hard to deal with. I wanted the album to be uplifting but to also capture this feeling somehow at certain points; I feel the writing & sound captures a particular feeling within society during this period of heightened mental awareness. It's been really special to travel to Asia and to America during this process, meeting people that have come to see me in a different continent because of my music, it is a crazy thing. It’s helped me expand my vision of what I want to create and achieve as an artist."
How do you choose / narrow down tracks that make the cut for something so special?
"I would say the artwork really helped. Once I started collaborating with Liam Cobb to design animations for the singles and the cover, this really just helped me focus on what kind of feeling I wanted to achieve. I really wanted to make around 45 minutes which just takes you on a journey around these thoughts. I have made so many changes to the track listing over the last couple of months. It really came down to choosing songs that just captured a spark on those days of writing. There are many other tracks that I was really into, but it just felt like they didn’t belong on this particular project."
Do you have a favourite track and why?
"It changes every week at the moment. Probably… I Don’t Swear ft. Pip Millet or Cross My Mind ft. Sophie Faith."
What do you hope to do in the next 5 years?
"Learn the Trumpet! Spend more time travelling to new places! Produce massive bangers!"