If you call yourself a fan of dance music, Henrix is a name you need to know. With a residency at one of Vegas’s hottest clubs, Light, and big releases under his belt such as “Hit it” and “Jumangee,” Henrix is taking 2015 by storm. Already this year he has released a free remix of “The Hum” by Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Ummet Ozcan, adding his own brand of banging percussion to the mix. In anticipation of his forthcoming acid house track “Acid Rave Sex,” to be released on June 2, he’s also holding a contest in which one lucky fan and their +1 will be treated to a VIP Las Vegas trip on June 27th! Head to the bottom of the article for more information, and to hear his “The Hum” remix and a preview of “Acid Rave Sex.”
Access got the inside scoop on who Henrix’s favorite producers are, his problem with the future house sound, his opinion on the future of dance music, and beyond. Dive in after the break.
How did being from Miami, one of the Mecca’s of dance music, effect your development as an artist?
When I was starting 10 years ago, not many places had what Miami had with Space Miami and Ultra. Miami and New York had the most DJs coming in, and you had the trance DJs that came, that’s how I got into it, with old school Tiesto.
How did your family react to you becoming a musician?
When I first started, my dad was very supportive, he told me, “If you are going to do it, do it right, and go all in,” so I can’t complain. My mom was somewhat skeptical and would ask me when I was going back to school, or if this was really going anywhere, and it took a while, but an artist’s career isn’t so easy. It took me 7 years before I started touring, at one point I was trying to do a full time job, go to the studio, and sleep only 4 hours a night. I had to do what I had to to get to where I am today.
Where did you get your drive from to keep going?
From people telling me that I couldn’t do it. I had one friend who, I’ll never forget this, we both started DJing around the same time, and a few months in, he told me “I read up that it’s probably easier to make it into the Major Leagues than to make it as a DJ.” That drove me to say “I gotta do this.” Between him and my dad telling me to go all in, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, and I wanted to prove everybody wrong.
What do you think of the success of young DJs like Madeon or Martin Garrix?
I love it, I think it’s amazing. Madeon to me is incredible. He’s one of my favorite producers and DJs. If you really know music, you really appreciate what he does. I mean you’ve seen his pop culture mash-up, and not even a lot of technical DJs can do what he does.
Who else stands out to you as really talented?
I’d say Gessafelstein, Brodinski, M83, Flume… Gessafelstein’s sound design and music is incredible, his techno at 105-115 BPM while still being energetic is insane. But there are so many artists out there that deserve so much credit, like I think Madeon should be one of the top in the world, because what he does with his music is inspiring to me. M83 is another one that I love.
What do you think of the rise of new genres and sounds, like future house or Flume’s music?
I love it, I love when someone can create those sounds and succeed, and can say that they didn’t copy it off of anyone. I like future house too, future house is basically house music from when I started, revamped. The only thing I don’t like about future house is that a lot of the producers that are doing it now are just using the same exact sound, and I think the creativity can be better. I had a rant the other day about producers using the same exact sound, and someone Facebook messaged me saying “Hey man, I saw your post on twitter about future house, and you know there’s also a lot of good music out there.” And I responded that it’s about the sound, not the genre. For example, Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, and there are plenty of copies of the Mona Lisa, but there will only be one Mona Lisa. So instead of painting your own Mona Lisa, you are just painting a copy, and you will never be that. And the guy responded that he never saw it that way! Music is art, you know.
What do you think the new trendy sound of dance music will be?
The groovy stuff, the Kryder, Tom Staar stuff, which I love. The groovy ones are fast and upbeat, and while future house has that groove, it isn’t as fast. I think Trap, and Trap-Hip-hop, is going to be something. I always say it, Jack U is the new Swedish House Mafia. Not music-wise, and I know that’s a bold statement to say, because musically they are complete opposites, but as in how big they are as a brand. No matter where they played it’s always sold out and everyone had to go, and I think Jack U is the new version of that. And they are taking on the whole Trap-Hip-Hop thing, which I like, because it’s my roots.
Do you think we can expect any new musical directions out of you in the near future?
Oh yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of things, I’m doing anything that I feel in the moment. I’ve been doing some trap stuff, I’ve got some side projects that I’m doing, I’m doing an old school 50s-60s funk record old Jackson 5 type thing with a really talented dude, Ricky C, he’s a hispanic artist, and his voice is perfect for this. I feel like as an artist you have to grow, if you are just making the same type of music for years, you get stuck into that one thing. And who you are as an artist 10 years ago, is not the same as the person you are now, so why are you going to make the same type of music? Even guys who have kept their same type of sound, like Eric Prydz, has evolved over the last 10 years, while staying in his musical element. He’s one of my favorite artists as far as dance music, I listen to his music and I’m in awe.
Do you have any projects you are excited about coming out in the near future?
I have a collab with Laidback Luke that’s pretty much done, I have one with Digital Lab “Drop Low” coming out on Kaskade’s label, one on SIZE, “Ravers,” that I’ve been waiting on for almost two years now, and I have one coming out on this label that’s reopening called Thrive, and it’s going to be the second release. It’s my track called “Acid Rave Sex,” I did last year during Ultra when the whole incident happened and Miami wanted to shut it down, and they were just calling our community “druggies.” The vocals I wrote for it, it’s from an old poem that meant something to me the first time I read it, it’s about the government trying to break the whole community down, and I touched it up a bit and made it my own.
What are some big songs in your sets lately?
When I drop the old school hip hop stuff people go nuts, they always have the best reactions. Also my track “Drop Low,” the one that’s coming out on Kaskade’s label. It always changes, as a DJ you have to feel your crowd out.
Is there anything people don’t know about you, that you haven’t said before?
I own other businesses besides DJing. I have a real estate investment business now, I flip houses, I have employees, but it’s not like I’m full blown into it because music is my main thing. I’m a businessman first, I believe that you can make a business out of anything. I told myself when I was struggling when I was younger, that once I have some good money, I’m never going to get to that point again. I also want to open a fashion store, hopefully by the end of the year. But before I put anything out, I want to make sure everything is 120% before anyone sees anything.
What would you recommend to producers who are just starting out?
Perfect your craft, perfect your music. Don’t put anything out that you don’t think is good enough. Before, I would produce a track and think it was done and send it out to DJs, then a week later I would listen to it and think “Damn, it wasn’t that good.” Now that DJ is probably never going to look at your email again because it wasn’t that good. So when you think a track is done, give it a week, then listen to it again. You have to be the most critical person, ever. You have to ask, “Would I play this? Would anybody else want to play this?” If you think there’s any doubt, don’t put it out. Don’t let anybody tell you you’re not good enough. Perfect your craft.
What are you grateful for?
For my life! I’m grateful that I’ve been through a lot of struggles, that I’m here today, about to headline.
What are some of your favorite venues?
Space Miami, Amnesia in Ibizia, Pacha New York, Exchange LA, Avalon, and Light, my residency in Vegas. That’s one of my favorite spots to play, and I can play whatever I want there, because I can play a little bit of hip hop, a little bit of trap; basically I can mix it up.
What is your favorite love song of all time?
Wish you were here by Pink Floyd. I grew up on classic rock: Led Zeppelin, Queen, Bob Dylan. I’m very diverse musically, I listen to Brazilian music too. But when I get writer’s block, immediately I go and I listen to some Pink Floyd. To me, writers block is when you are just forcing it, like when you are playing basketball and you are trying to force that jump shot and it’s just not going in. So you just pass the ball and let someone else do the work, and that’s how I approach music. I listen to some other music, to let something else inspire me and get past it.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
Thank you for always supporting me, especially from the beginning. Just thank you for always being there, especially the people that stuck with me since before I was Henrix and used to go by my real name.
By the way, how did you get the name Henrix?
That’s a crazy story, Tiesto gave it to me by accident. He didn’t know how to pronounce my last name, Henriques, and I sent him a bootleg and he played it on Club Life and he said “This is the new remix by Pedro Henrix.” So a few years later when I was trying to come up with a name, Digital Lab came up to me and reminded me of this story and I knew that was it.
Accompanying the release of “Acid Rave Sex” is a seriously bomb contest. Henrix is treating one lucky raver and a guest to a VIP Las Vegas trip on June 27th. The winner + 1 of the giveaway and their guest will win flights, a hotel room, VIP guest list, and the chance to party with Henrix himself backstage in the green room at Daylight Las Vegas. This is bound to be one adventure you will never forget! To enter, visit https://www.hive.co/l/8nz. “Acid Rave Sex” is set for release on Thrive Records, which has hosted some of the best names in dance music, including Paul Oakenfold, John Digweed, Deep Dish, and A-Trak.