New Blood: Hiatus


Hiatus aka Cyrus Shahrad has been sampling away for years, going through influences of his old fathers vinyl’s to Persian singers making his first record ‘Ghost Notes’ rather deep and home-grown. Listening from ‘Black Dog’ you feel you are taking a trip through different moods of music, from the glorious voices of Persian singers to drum and bass, this truly is a classic piece of musical art that just flows. You can’t help but feel indulged in the emotion of some of the tracks such as ‘Save yourself’, you either feel connect to it or you attach your own feelings and that’s the beauty of it. Well he’s certainly charmed his way into my ears, emotive music crafting at it’s finest that’s matured like a rare wine.

So, I see you started out as a Journalist, how did you get into music?

I’ve always played music, I started playing the piano when I was five years old, and I didn’t have any lesson or anything just played by myself. I was kind of composing stuff, playing stuff by ear and messing around with chords. I didn’t actually play music live because I went to university, then I joined a band with a friend of mine. After university I started working in journalism, I still write freelance now but I started making electronic music in about 2001. A friend of mine mailed me a program called ‘Razor’ just told me to have a mess around with it and he convinced me to start making music, and I did. That was almost ten years ago; it was only really five years ago I got the blueprint for the music I now make.

I’ve heard your new single: ‘Save yourself’ it’s really beautiful and deep, what inspires you?

Well, I broke up with a girl who I’d been seeing for about six years and most out of that record came out of that period. It was about four years ago now I think the two things almost coincided. When I went to Iran I discovered all this music that I didn’t know existed, I haven’t been to Iran for twenty years and I didn’t really have any real Iranian connects at home. I travelled over there as a journalist and Iranian music is rather nostalgic, sweet and sad and it really inspired me. So I started some sampling to try and replicate the sound and then when I broke up with this girl I was sort of plunged into this nostalgic period of my life, so the two things came together I think, and ‘save yourself’ is a product of that. I wanted it to slightly inspiring, because I wanted it to be optimistic in a way.

‘Ghost Notes’ has a very chilled vibe with different moods through out, is it something you’ve been working on for a while?

I would say it was a fear running up to realising the record that it is different, most of what I hear and see in such albums that come out that gets said and I review myself there’s a always a same imbedded consistency to an album. As my album is, to emulate albums can be great but they tend not to care about the dynamics of the song, they won’t have a lot of dubstep or Drum and bass song etc. I just experiment too much, but a lot of people have said about my record that they like the diversity and that it is one style. It’s got a cinematic vibe and I defiantly like playing around with different styles.

So, how would you describe your sound?

Yeah, it’s a difficult one. There is a real need to pigeon hole music like you have to have a tag, but even if you’re just uploading music you have to some how put it as a genre. There are tracks on the album you would say is dubstep and one drum and bass tune. I’ve always called it electronic, I’ve not really known what that meant and I make it in my house, where there’s hardly any live recording equipment but also I think there’s a sample influence, which is possibly going to come back into the arts. Through Uni I was obsessed with the idea of sampling, I love the kind of aesthetics of sampling and without risk of sounding portentous the philosophy of it to. The idea of taking different parts of music culture you can kind of put them together, some people us it so cleverly. But yeah, I would say electronic music is the only real definition I have for my music.

I also read you’ve contributed tracks to documentaries and independent movies, is that the road you would like to go down? Or does your passion lie in Dj’ing and producing your own music.

I don’t do much DJ’ing, it is something I want to do more of but for years I used to DJ drum and bass, and it kind of destroyed my hearing a little bit so I’m a little wary. As for the film stuff, as a kid that is all I wanted to do and the greatest musical influences of my life came from soundtracks. Especially old movie soundtracks and I used to think god it would be the best thing in the world if I was writing music for film. I have done some of that, I’ve actually proposed music for film – I won’t say what film. The director was so controlling, he’d literally come round and say can you move that piano note, and I could just about deal with it. So that was the problem with it that you’re basically told what to do, or maybe that was just a bad experience.  In the end they didn’t even use the music, but I’m releasing it on my website soon. It is something that I may want to get into, I’m talking to directors now, but I like to have a bit more freedom.

Who are you currently listening to at the moment? Who’s your favourite artist?

Right now, I’m listening to ‘Refinement of the Decline’ by Stars of the Lid. I know that sounds really over the top, but if  I had to take one record to a desert island than that would be it, two hours of washing syths, one of the most beautiful records I’ve ever heard. I mean it’s not going to be everyone’s taste but I find it absolutely amazing. I listen to more ambient music; I’m not really up on what’s new because all I want to listen to is kind of classical music. Also I listen to a lot of white noise, because  I have this kind of mild hearing problem to try and equalize my hearing, and  I’ve actually got completely addicted to it. It’s kind of like ambient music, like drowning. But making new music is part of what I do so.

So finally, what are your plans for in 2011?

Well, I’m going to realise soundtrack it’s like an a track mini album that I did for this film that never came out and I’m actually putting that up as a free download as well. But obviously the single ‘Save yourself’ is coming out in December, and then I’m going to sit down and make another album. A huge part of getting this record out was about drawing a line under the experience of making music, as I spend ten years making some of these tracks. So I just wanted to put it together, finish it and have it out there. The main reason was so I could make new songs, instead of hanging around returning to them and changing things. None of those tracks were made for the idea that it would become an album, so that’s why most of them are different. So I just want to sit down and consciously make a record that is consistent with themes.

I think that about wraps it up, thanks again and good luck with everything.

Thank Steph, I’ll look forward to reading this.

‘Save yourself’ was realised on the 13th of December and it is now available on iTunes, as well as the rest of the album ‘Ghost notes.’ You can check out more from Hiatus here and the video for ‘Save Yourself’ is below.