Spotlight on Mr. Hoosteen

Special Feature 6/12/2021
Mr. Hoosteen

Meet Mr. Hoosteen: From the mind of a New York based producer/graphic designer, Mr. Hoosteen draws heavy inspiration from disco and its descendants and reincarnations (because you simply cannot kill disco, it’s just not possible). Since his debut in 2015 on the OMEAC label, Mr. Hoosteen has sought to create an ethereal and sometimes flamboyant landscape of sounds and calling back to various styles of house music and disco including French touch and nu-disco… and visuals inspired by Studio 54, New York City, and pop art. Source: About Mr. Hoosteen, Spotify.

My Kind of Music, with Mr. Hoosteen.

NO TIME 2 LOSE, He’s Already LIGHTYEARS Ahead!

Today New York is premiering on my blog with a multi-talented artist: Mr. Hoosteen. I can say we basically ‘met’ at Discoholic’s weekly stream on Twitch, where I also for the first time heard a couple of his tracks. Since Discoholic himself was recommending Mr. Hoosteen’s music to us, I thought it only right to give him a fair chance. Isn’t it just so very nice to share music and find some treasures along the way? Oh Heck Yeah, It Is. Though I always try to be quick about things, it’s definitely not my forte as you all well know, so it still took me some time to get to it really, with all other Spotlights going on. It was all the more hilarious to find out the title of Mr. Hoosteen’s latest album:

And so it happened One Day – the 18th of May – I checked out Mr. Hoosteen’s discography on Spotify. Starting with the title song, the album got me in the right mood straight away, since I ‘m a sucker for that basic disco beat and a funky bassline. The obvious driving house vibe is just adding to the fun, I do love me some house. Winning! I always think it’s important to let any artist know I am appreciating their stuff, which I did, by sharing his music profile and tagging the – until then – fairly unknown to me, Mr. Hoosteen.

It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later we actually got to talk a bit, after I read he was apparently feeling a bit down, and I told him I thought he should have his own Spotlight, whenever he would be ready. I try to not have any Illusions about the Spotlight section in general, but even more specifically when it comes down to approaching artists. NOT because they’re not willing, really, until now every single one of them reacted with enthusiasm! No, it’s more the following through that might lead to a bit of a disappointment, as I’ve mentioned earlier. Fortunately for me and you, Mr. Hoosteen was more ready than I expected.

Talking with Mr. Hoosteen was as easy as if we’d known each other for years, at least that’s how it felt to me. He comes across as a genuinely nice guy and he seemed really surprised I offered to do a Spotlight on him. Why? He told me he was never interviewed before – like most of his predecessors really, which I told him – and also because, I quote: ‘I’m still rather low profile so all of this is so new to me’. I get that, I do, but it is one of the main reasons why I am looking for those ‘smaller’ names in the scene. If their music speaks to my soul, then I will most likely feel compelled to get them in the Spotlights. I am a firm believer, they deserve a much bigger audience.

Now if you’re paying attention, the above cover pic was taken from Mr. Hoosteen’s SoundCloud. He has been releasing music there since about 5 years ago and here you can find some really cool house tracks/re-mixes which aren’t available on Spotify. The same goes for Bandcamp where you could also check out his discog and show a little real support! Any which way, Mr. Hoosteen thoroughly appreciates his work is getting more attention, I quote: ‘It means a lot though that like a lot of the work I’m doing is slowly getting noticed after so long…’  and so it should! His music is blowing disco straight into the future.

Mr. Hoosteen’s Twitter bio might be mentioning, I quote: ‘Hopeful electronic disco icon of the 2020s’, but I daresay he’s got that covered, though we will have to hear what he has to say about that for himself later. The album is one of those ‘the-more-you-listen-the-more-you’ll-even-love-it’ kind of musical experience. My imagination is running wild while listening to it, feeling definite Dua Lipa vibes radiating from this track and you cannot convince me otherwise.

Mr. Hoosteen said I should tell him if his answers were too long, because he can be I quote: ‘too wordy for his own good’ sometimes. Well now, that’s one thing I am never worried about! I told him I love it when an artist seemingly takes over the article and goes into details about everything that moves them. It became perfectly clear we have another thing in common, next to our taste in music: we both seem to easily overdo it in the talking department 😅. When I mention his taste in music, it’s not just about what he produces, but also what he apparently listens to and enjoys. He shared some nice stuff during the streams and not all of it was familiar to me. Winning again!

Next to producing music, Mr. Hoosteen is also a graphic designer – which always makes me nervous, because I am NOT. If I’m correct, this is what shows in the beautiful cover art – and how could I not love that? – The bold expressiveness of the colors: it’s a direct hit to my colorful soul. As much as music should have a distinct earworm, art should be eye-catching to stand out and I think Mr. Hoosteen has that down alright. You see, I can’t help myself, just as much as enticing song titles can lure me in, the cover art can hold the same attraction in my opinion. You would be surprised how many times this actually works for me when searching for new music. Might be nuts to you, it’s a delight to me.

Mr. Hoosteen also mentioned to me how easy it is to get ‘lost in the crowd’ of the house/disco, revival at the moment as an artist. It’s true. Even with how happy it makes us disco lovers, to hear all these groovy new songs from a multitude of new artists, it also makes it easier to be overlooked. Hence my comments above. You kind of Have To have a plan ready, to make yourself known to the world, which is not an easy feat, especially when you’re an extroverted introvert – me! – with which Mr. Hoosteen seem to identify himself too. Another thing we seem to have in common. It’s difficult to explain to people who are not familiar with the concept 😂. We talk a lot, without wanting to actually be in the picture. Uhuh. How does that even work in a city like New York?

Fortunately, Mr. Hoosteen’s music does a lot of talking for him too. The slightly futuristic sounds he adds to his tracks, certainly makes it feel he is Lightyears ahead of the rest. Since I am all about The Feels, I can say his music gives me an overall Happy mood. Danceable, groovy and a little bit of a mystery. Wait What? Well yeah, the way Mr. Hoosteen’s music will  work very well in the club as well as in the next dance-movie…it’s the mystery that makes one unique and attractive. Just sayin.

I love how the songs on the ‘No Time 2 Lose’ album blend in together like one mix. If you think that’s not enough yet, he finishes the album with an actual ‘No Time 2 Lose – continuous mix’, which will keep you on the dancefloor for about 68 minutes. You just get the lights up, the drinks ready and you’ve got that party covered hon.

So if you’re looking for some new tunes, I suggest you lookup Mr. Hoosteen! He is very approachable on Twitter, where he shares most of the stuff he is working on. Like any independent artist, any new follower is highly appreciated and let’s be honest, one can never have enough music. Well, I can’t anyways, you can expect Mr. Hoosteen’s songs showing up in my Some Groovy Medicine playlist starting Monday! So have you clicked on one of his songs here yet? Don’t let us down now.

For now, there’s only one thing left for me to add: Big Thank You Mr. Hoosteen! It’s been so nice meeting you and you’re music is a joy to my disco soul. I will add you as soon as possible to my Spotlight page, where you’ll stay indefinitely and I will do my best to update any new release. Where Mr. Hoosteen once got criticized when he had to write a bio for college and he was told, I quote: ‘I was asked to trim it or rewrite it..’ I assured him the opposite would be true for the interview. Don’t be shy now! The more detail, the more interesting for you, my readers. So, get yourself some popcorn and a cold beer, because he did not hold back. Here we go!

The Interview

Let’s start with the obvious: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us, who is Mr. Hoosteen? When and how did you start making music? Do you play any instruments yourself? And does your name have a special meaning?

‘Hello hello! I’m Mr. Hoosteen and I’m a nu-disco/house music producer from New York City. I’ve been toying around with production since 2011 but I didn’t formally release any of my own work until around 2014-2015. It was extremely lighthearted at first but I started to take it a little more seriously the more I figured out how things worked! It all started in trying to mess with samples emulating Daft Punk but over time I began to realize more of what I was capable of! As of right now I don’t play any music instruments but I have messed with a lot of hardware, mainly synthesizers in my free time hoping to use them in future work’.

Who were/ are your biggest influences? Where do you get your inspiration from? How would you describe your music?

‘I discovered this well into the time I started doing music more, but house music and disco seemingly was always a part of me. “One More Time” by Daft Punk and “Lady” by Modjo were two songs I faintly remember from my childhood, but it wasn’t until discovering Daft Punk around 2010 where a lot of it came back to me. It was through Daft Punk I would be introduced to so many amazing artists and sounds. Even if it was mostly new to me it was like saying hello to old friends. The Chemical Brothers, Cassius, Basement Jaxx, Justice, Modjo, and the Roulé/Crydamoure labels had a heavy impact on my music and my life as well. Even “Music Sounds Better With You” sounded so familiar! I would’ve never met the friends I have now who inspire me so much otherwise.

Despite all this, my appreciation of the sound wouldn’t be nearly as strong were it not for Madonna. Her song “Hung Up” and her whole “Confessions on a Dance Floor” album from 2005 was somewhat of a childhood soundtrack for me. I was at least 5-6 years old when it first came out. I never would’ve thought 5-10 years later upon discovering the broad world of house music that she and the production Stuart Price (Zoot Woman, Les Rythmes Digitales) did on the album would leave that much of an impact on me. It was like the sounds of disco and dance were a mainstay in my life from the get go.

As for my sound, it’s certainly all disco based, VERY flamboyant and heavy on synths and melody. Chicago House, French Touch, 70s disco and a lot of 2000s pop have been my go-to’s but I have some influence from shoegaze, breakbeat, big-beat, soul, hip-hop and the like. Funnily though I tend to notice myself aligned with a lot of future funk and vaporwave artists but I’ve never been inspired by either really. I extremely appreciate the support though!’

Though you had already released music on SoundCloud, your album ‘No Time 2 Lose’, released 5/22/2020, was the first to be released on Spotify. Can you tell us a bit about how the album came together, a little bit of background information maybe?

‘‘No Time 2 Lose’ came directly off of the heels of my first LP, ‘Anachronism’. I had been working on that pretty much since I started making music, with a lot of the ideas coming from when I was at least 12-13 years old. However as that album was being developed I had a bunch of other ideas in mind too, at least three of these ideas (Illusions, Demuth, and Neue) would make it onto this LP.

Ironically though the idea of NT2L was an afterthought as my initial idea of a second LP was vastly different! The original album two was supposed to be more deep and way more artistic, and quite a leap from my usual house work. It wasn’t until October of 2018 when I decided to change course as a result of renewing my love for disco and house. Basement Jaxx’s ‘Rooty’ and several listening sessions with friends of classic Chicago House, French Touch music pretty much led me to make an LP that was a tribute to the French Touch and disco boom of the early 2000s. The production later on proved to be bumpy in terms of completion, vocalists, and songwriting, but dabbling in the creative ideas and working with Unchained Zebra and Chello was the most fun I’ve had so far.

Usually in my albums and for some disco/pop albums I absolutely love when tracks segue into each other. The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, and The Avalanches have done this frequently, in addition to Madonna’s Confessions album. I love to be as creative and out of the box as possible in my projects so I just knew NT2L should be mixed this way rather than totally separated, ‘Anachronism’ was done this same way as well.

I’ve admittedly been late to the game in terms of streaming, and honestly the process was nerve wracking which was why I had stood away from it for years. Money was also hard to come by too but I’m glad things are different now that I was able to put the album out there! It’s been very well received since then’.

What do you feel is the most fun part of producing music and which part do you consider to be the hardest? How have you grown in your creative process/producing music?

‘I’m most at my element when I can mess around and just sort of put sounds together. There’s no true rhyme or reason to what I do which is perhaps why songwriting for the LP proved to be hard. However, for the early stages like sampling and putting chords together, experimenting with all these concepts was fun because the possibilities seemed endless! 

The title track was built from a demo a friend gave to me, but finding the vocal to go with the loop and flipping it was absolutely great. ‘I Want 2 Be Your Tomorrow’ in particular was another fun one to put together as well, especially as the first song to feature any form of songwriting. It was also my first time working with Ableton (Anachronism was produced on a browser DAW) so tackling a new style of music in addition to new production techniques was exciting. ‘Lightyears’ and ‘One Day’ in particular opened my eyes to what I was capable of, but not without a little bit of help! (Thank you Ray and Chello!).

I like to believe I’ve improved in regards to lyrics and melody over time, but the hardest thing however is finding a voice to sing my words. Beca Jon is one of my closest friends in person, and Alex Wind was someone I met via another in person friend so I’m grateful both did such an amazing job’.

Your Twitter bio says, I quote: ‘Hopeful electronic disco icon of the 2020s’. How do you feel about that now that your album has been out there? Do you feel you’ve reached the goal you’ve set for yourself? Which song(s) mean the most to you and why is that?

‘I usually feel like I’m not nearly as prominent as my contemporaries even if I have been producing as long as they have, shrugged off. Even visually I sometimes feel like I might be too out there or not good enough. The aspect of the “disco icon” for me is to fight the insecurities I’ve always felt when producing, as a creative, and any I may have overall. It’s like a statement to be the best, most out there version of yourself possible. Initially it was more a for-fun thing but it’s taken on more meaning for me over time.

I was also inspired by Madonna for this mindset, but this mainly came as a result of the disco boom of last year, specifically what Jessie Ware and Róisín Murphy were doing. I admired how confident, flamboyant, stylish, and sophisticated all these artists were and I wanted to do the same for my work and myself. The album released isn’t necessarily complete, I’ll touch on that later, so I feel as Mr. Hoosteen I have a ways to go and would love to add more to the idea of a “disco icon”. Personally though I feel like I’ve nailed it among friends!

In a way ‘Demuth’ embodies this idea the most. The song was heavily inspired by ballroom culture, voguing, high fashion and design all in one bubble. A lot of these are the more unspoken inspirations of the LP but still an important aspect. The idea you could flaunt everything and be your best, most glamorous self honestly spoke to me a lot especially at a point it didn’t feel possible.

In terms of my discography along with all the NT2L songs, my older songs ‘Studio 54’ and ‘E.D.M.’ are very sentimental for me. Both songs were released fairly early in my time as a producer and carry an importance to me for that reason. ‘E.D.M.’ is regarded as my label’s “signature track”, and ‘Studio 54’ is the first sign of the flamboyance I’ve tried to display in NT2L. This, and another track I’ve done, ‘Ultimatum’ set the scene for this project’.

Your bio also mentions you’re a graphic designer, so I assume you design your own album covers? Which one came first: designing or music making? And if you’d have to choose, which one gives you the most satisfaction? Can others commission you for designs?

‘Yes I’ve designed all of my own artwork! Both production and design have an equal space in my heart and in a way influence each other. For NT2L and most musical projects I usually do the artwork before the song is finished to give me a sense of direction to how everything would look and feel together. I admired in a lot of my influence how in harmony the visuals were with the music so I wanted this to especially be the case.

At the end of the day I couldn’t choose what gives me the most satisfaction, but design itself can sometimes be easier and therapeutic for me. Of course neither aren’t without their challenges but that’s what makes it fun…for the most part at least! I should note the ‘Illusions’ artwork isn’t my face! My close friend Malik is usually my muse for some designs, and many say we look alike but we don’t see the resemblance.

As of right now I don’t have commissions as an option but I’d love to open them up in the future! I have plenty of visual artist friends online and off and they’ve inspired me to want to try to expand my horizons there. The ever so talented Instantreigen motivated me a lot in this regard, so be on the lookout for those!’

You are the Co-brain of OMEAC records, can you tell us a bit about what your role is and what the label stands for?

‘I run OMEAC Records with my partner in crime for nearly 8 years, Unchained Zebra. The label is more of a close-knit collective of friends making music than it is a functioning label but I am trying to ramp things up a bit more now! The label was inspired by both Roule and Crydamoure but less in sound but more in function. I love how informal Roule seemed to be, but I also love how visually based and how much of a family dynamic Crydamoure had. The idea of regular record labels sometimes scares me so I wanted to harbor a more fruitful, supportive, and EXTREMELY creative environment for everyone involved.

Zebra and I both have equal duties but it’s overall a lax environment in how things are run. The label’s purpose has always been to challenge some aspect of the status quo in house music, but exactly what that was changed the more we grew into it. 

We were literally just kids when we started out in late 2013, so we were admittedly too snarky and ambitious for our own good. However, it was nice to try our hand at recapturing the classic vibes of house music which is something we still try to do now. We were one of many french house inspired labels at the time, but we were really the only one to not move into the future funk/vaporwave scene. Given how frequent the move was especially in the mid-2010s, I wanted to try to continue to ride my own wave. 

Me and Zebra usually try to do our own thing as much as possible, in addition to a lot of my friends in the label too. Having this shared mindset among all of us would prove to be an important principle to the label, and what’s kept us together all these years. Even if we’ve never totally assimilated, recently we’ve been very active and hanging out with some members in the scene so it’s been pretty nice! (Shoutouts to Ankaph, Niko, Radd, Emily, Berde, Robyn, and Rixile from the OMEAC crew!)’.

What’s next for Mr. Hoosteen, what can we expect in the – near – future? Is there anything else you would like to add/share, with your fans/the readers? Anything I did not ask about maybe?

‘To touch on what I said earlier, this version of NT2L I put out isn’t complete, at least I felt after the fact it wasn’t! Admittedly as a result of the tumultuous production, pandemic, and college a lot of the finishing touches were rushed and the reach I felt was underwhelming so I wanted to give it the treatment I felt it deserved.

For the near future I wanted to release a new version of the LP with remastered songs, extra artwork, and a vocalist for One Day! I’m introducing this with some new singles, including ‘I Want 2 Be Your Tomorrow’ out this month! In addition I do have a certain remix coming soon but I don’t know if I’m allowed to speak on it right now. I wanted to resurrect an old duo I have with Zebra as well called Filtr

After the fact though I’ve had some post LP ideas, including some extra singles and LP3 ideas which will hopefully come to fruition sooner than later. I’d love to branch out beyond OMEAC for these projects hopefully!

Major shoutout to everyone on the OMEAC and Cockatiel and Montaime labels! And immense thank you to everyone who’s listened to everything I’ve put out the last few years!

Well Hot Damn. You may or may not believe this, I don’t really care 🤐, but it wasn’t until putting this post together, I realized I basically picked almost all the songs to share, which Mr. Hoosteen elaborated on in his answers. I Freakin LOVE IT when that happens. It’s not the first time if you’ve been following the Spotlights!

Again, Big Thanks to Mr. Hoosteen! I really loved your input and effort! Also, the specially made portrait of you by Instantreigen…A-Ma-Zing!!! And to you my readers, go for it and give today’s guest some love! And while you’re at it, leave a nice comment below 🌺

Follow Mr. Hoosteen on: Spotify SoundCloudBandcampOMEAC RecordsTwitterInstagram

Wishing y’all a very musical weekend, remember, there’s No Time 2 Lose, so get to it!

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