Henrix Talks Inspirations, Ultra, & Miami Music Scene [Interview]
It may be a bit difficult to gauge how rapidly the EDM scene evolved in America, especially in big dance cities such as Miami, but producer and DJ Henrix is one of the few artists that can vouch for bearing witness to the city's quick infatuation with dance music. Known for his bevy of original tracks and collaborations with artists like GTA, Digital Lab, and Wayne & Woods, Henrix is a Miami local who's gone from underground hopeful to renown musician parallel to the growth of electronic music in his home city. We recently spoke to Henrix about his inspirations, the Miami music scene, Ultra, and Winter Music Conference. Read all the details in our exclusive interview below.
EDM: You've mentioned that growing up in Miami directly impacted your music production. What types of local music influenced your production and DJing?
H: It’s crazy because Miami is multicultural. You don’t really have one genre of music dominating everything. The EDM scene is big here, and latin community is big. I’m from Brazil, so I grew up on the Brazilian side. My dad was a hippy and big on rock ‘n’ roll, so much that Pink Floyd is my favorite band.
EDM: What new inspirations fuel the production to your tracks?
H: I used to be inspired by hip-hop as a teenager. Nowadays I’m trying different things, not just songs 128 BPM and 4/4 tracks. Right now I’m doing funk/soul mixed with hip-hop track, I’m also trying out drum ‘n bass. When you stick to one sound, sometimes it gets very repetitive and becomes a job and limits your creativity. I’d like to expand and learn different genres, which also helps with making EDM.
EDM: Music scenes constantly change, and Miami seems no different. What's different about Miami's music scene now? How has it affected your production and DJing?
H: When I was a teen the scene was mostly hip-hop, the dance community was more underground. Tiesto got me into trance at a concert at the Hard Rock in Ft. Lauderdale in 2006. Miami DJs never really played trance though. I started as a tech house DJ, getting into the underground scene and marathon sets, and eventually dance become more commercial. Back then clubs and beaches like South Beach had no dance music, it was all open format and hip-hop. The last 10 years have been a major change, open format and hip-hop music is a bit rare now.
EDM: As someone who grew up in Miami, you witnessed the expansion of WMC. How did WMC help your growth as an artist?
H: It’s amazing because I live here and experience it, I’m here every year. People from out of town experiences our sets, people from Europe hear my music for the first time. WMC grew in a massive way, from an underground scene to what it is now.
EDM: How is WMC different compared to when you first started attending and playing shows? How has it remained the same?
H: WMC had a smaller community; I went to Ultra when it was way smaller with more underground and trance headliners. It’s completely changed in 10 years, went from underground scene to more commercial scene. I think the people remain the same, they remain true to the sound. WMC has always been about the appreciation for the music and coming together. It’s always been very peaceful, with that constant love for music.
EDM: Similar to WMC, Ultra Music Festival changed considerably over its lifespan. How do you think Ultra affected the development of electronic music? How has Ultra's growth altered the state of the Miami EDM scene?
H: I think Ultra was the biggest thing to affect EDM, I know that’s a bold statement (laughs), I think that when people started coming to WMC it was small. Miami residents slowly saw Ultra’s growth and it became this monstrous event, the dance community in the United States grew by seeing how great of a festival it was. The productions, the people, just love. I say that we are in the age of the living reincarnations of the hippies, in the age of love and peace.
Ultra has completely changed it, we have one of the biggest festival in the world in Miami and the growth naturally comes with it. The city wants to know the music coming up, people started looking into more and more.
EDM: How do you think Ultra helped inspire fledgling producers? Did Ultra's success inspire you in a significant way?
H: I believe it helped them by pushing people to want to be on that main stage, pushed bedroom producers to want to be there. The internet boom helped, people decided they wanted to headline the event and started to bust their ass. There was a boom of producers. When I first started I went to Ultra, I also went to Space religiously. I wanted to be that DJ behind that experience; I loved the music and a combination of both.
EDM: Where do you see electronic music heading in the next few years?
H: It’s gonna head to a point where it’s a lot of creativity, EDM is still young in the U.S. people are gonna start experiencing different sounds, seen in the trap scene. EDM has a lot of branches, lots of different sounds. It’s gonna branch out and grow.
Purchase Henrix's new single "The Underground" on Beatport.
Cover photo credit: Henrix