UTG INTERVIEW: Harts Discusses Upcoming Debut, Recording Solo, and Jamming with Prince (Yes, THAT Prince)


It’s always heartwarming and amazing to hear about rookie artists meeting the legends who’ve inspired them. Typically, this usually happens when the artist is touring the country and the legend happens to be in attendance or even when the two happen to share the stage at some sort of a festival. However, in the case of Melbourne’s Darren Hart (aka Harts), things were a little more unorthodox when he was actually given a personal invitation to fly halfway around the world after the one and only Prince had seen his performance videos gracing the net.

This isn’t the first time we’ve praised the efforts of this funk mulch-instrumentalist. Earlier this month, we introduced you to Harts by sharing his recently released single, “Angels Walk Below,” and after realizing just how much we’ve genuinely dug his music, we knew immediately that we had to set up an interview to see just what makes him tick.

Regardless of whatever genre of music you prefer, the appeal of Harts is truly universal. With a full-length sitting on the shelf, ready to be released, and a slew of singles already available online, it’s not impossible to imagine seeing this Aussie treading through the US festival circuit by this time next year. Follow us below to step into the world of Harts; your ear buds will thank you.

So how’s your debut album coming along?

It’s all done and ready to go! I’m excited to put it out.

Your third single “Angels Walk Below” has just been released and it seems like people love it! Can you tell us more about the song?

It’s great and very encouraging to see such a positive response to it. It was actually the oldest song that I had written when I was deciding and putting together songs for the album. I doubted it a lot when I compared it to all the other songs. But it’s funny, because now it’s one of my favourites.

What inspired your decision to go solo as Harts?

It was just a natural thing that happened. I played in some pretty cool indie rock bands before I went solo, but I wanted to start writing, recording and performing things on my own just to see what it would sound like. I really wanted to explore playing more instruments by myself and creating my own music.

So tell me more about your recent visit to Minneapolis! How did this invite from Prince come along?

It was amazing. Prince had heard my music and seen some of my live videos on YouTube. He really liked what I was doing and wanted to meet me and give me the opportunity to play with him and some of his musicians.

Though I can imagine there must have been a lot to learn from him, can you name the most important lesson learned from the whole experience?

There was so much to learn, there always is. He really taught me many things about jamming and playing with other musicians. He unloaded a lot of his knowledge on me that I’m truly grateful for. Everything from making records to playing live. But man, just playing with musicians of that caliber…that was the awesome lesson and experience.

As a solo artist, do you find it to be easier or more difficult to write music?

I find it easier. Sometimes making all the big decisions yourself can be a little overbearing and I do question myself a lot, but ultimately I like the control.

Do you remember the first funk artist you listened to? Who was it?

When I started going from rock to funk I listened to a lot of compilation type CDs. So it was a range of different artists. I don’t know if I can’t remember one, but the biggest ones I liked early on when I was getting into funk was probably Earth, Wind & Fire and Prince.

Let’s make that topic a little more current: There’s been a lot of love going out to the disco resurgence of today. Where do you see the future of this genre going?

I hope it progresses, but I don’t really know. I admit I’m a little out of touch with what’s going on these days in music. From what I’ve heard, I hear a lot of these artists that are doing disco a little too revivalist (if that’s the right word?). As in, they are not really helping the genre progress, but just doing it in the same way it has always been done. If that continues, the future will be the same as the past, which isn’t necessarily bad, but you know…it would be good to hear new additions musically to the genre and to see that progression if it continues.

What lies ahead of the rest of 2014? Is there anything else that you’d like to share?

Album release! Then hopefully it does well and I get to tour it and perform live in places I haven’t played before. Also I’m already back working on new tracks for another release. Thanks for the support, Under the Gun team.

Harts’ music can be streamed through Spotify or purchased on iTunes.

Interview by Adrian Garza (Follow him on Twitter)

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  • Suzy Six.5

    VERY talented young man! I wouldnt have known about him if Prince hadnt Tweeted his video. Good stuff I wish him all he deserves

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