First world problems you will say – but it is incredibly hard to sit on a great interview and wait for a right time to publish it. It been a few anxious weeks but the wait is finally over! HUSK`s new single “Feeling Heat” is dropping on November 1st, with funky lo-fi video to accompany it, and we can only tell you to get your dancing shoes on – we are going to a proper party!
We spoke with Alfie Austin about his music, a single that may turn him into a proper pop star, artists that inspired him and where he sees himself in five years time. Despite being incredibly talented singer and song writer, he remains grounded and even humble, looking at his music in practical ways. It is such a welcoming change from all the adrenaline pumped ladsy bands with egos and arrogance bigger than the Beetham Tower. And a stark reminder that is not the hype that makes an artist – but a talent and hard work.
But we digress. Its Monday and we have an amazing singer, song producer and musician to introduce!
Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.
Alfie Austin: I’m HUSK, I’ve been dubbed as “the outsider pop star we’ve all been waiting for” and “pretty darn good” by BBC 6 Music. I describe myself as the ”love-child of 80’s synth nostalgia and fresh leftfield pop”.
Where are you based and who is in the band?
Alfie Austin: It’s just me. I`m from Manchester, UK. I work with a lot of talent because it takes a village to make music happen!
Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve to date?
Alfie Austin: Since releasing my first EP in 2018, I’ve had some really cool stuff come my way. Being played on BBC 6 Music and BBC Introducing Manchester is definitely a highlight, as well as playing the revered Manchester International Festival this summer and to 15,000 at Pride in Hull. I’m so excited to be releasing my next single “Feeling Heat” on 1st Nov via really cool label AnalogueTrash, that’s already being played in Australia and the UK.
What inspires you? What artists or genres had the biggest influence on you?
Alfie Austin: I’m a hairbrush diva at heart, and grew up on a diet of melody centred Pop, with the likes of Madonna and Girls Aloud and I’m an avid Eurovision fan. In recent years though, the rich, imperfect vocals of Northern Soul and intelligent Pop with smart production and New Wave has influenced me with artists like Prince, Eurythmics, Robyn and Little Dragon.
I’m really influenced by queer culture too. Most queer parties are full of love and expression, and I want to create that good mood in my music, whilst talking about real issues that aren’t just dancing and/or love.
Naturally, I love artist like CHVRCHES & Christine & The Queens but I can’t replicate what they do – I have my own writing style.
It`s all about the music – and we want to hear your tunes and how they have been written.
Alfie Austin: When writing a new track, I will sing melodies and if they get stuck in my head, I know they’re a keeper. Next, I tend to create the bones of the track, including most of the synths and beats. I then take it into the studio and turn it into something really special. I’ve been working with producers Sugar House Music (Viola Beach/ Pale Waves/ Larkins), who are incredibly good at making things sound polished but interesting and work you hard to get the best out of you.
Name your best song. Is there a story behind it?
Alfie Austin: It’s definitely the new one “Feeling Heat”. It’s got really strong 80’s vibes, which I just can’t get enough of. I was having a time where everything I wrote I absolutely hated and I was feeling really under pressure to come up with something in my really busy schedule. “Feeling Heat” is about that! And then once we got it into the studio, everything we tried just clicked – we finished it in a matter of hours.
How do you create your unique sound? What gear are you using?
Alfie Austin: My main tools are my Arturia Microbrute synth and Propellerhead’s Reason. I use a lot of layers. There’s always like 4 snares and 2 kicks, 5 synth sounds playing the lead melody and 2 bass synths. Sugar House also used a really creepy vocoder for vocal harmonies on my EP that we have used ever since.
Squad goals – where do you want to see the band in five years time?
Alfie Austin: I’m not going to lie, it would be really nice if I was signed to Virgin EMI and had a shit hot manager that keeps me in check, filling arenas. But if I’m still making music that people enjoy, and I’m not going hungry, I’ll be okay. I have a few specific goals for this next single “Feeling Heat”, and now that AnalogueTrash are on board, that’s one goal ticked off. Every little piece written about HUSK is still really exciting though.
If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?
Imagine you can record an album with any producer, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?
Alfie Austin: Totally self-indulgent but Brian Higgins/Xenomania featuring a Nadine Coyle vocal would be a dream! Xenomania have such an amazing repertoire of innovative pop and I think it would make for a really great record. I’d also love, love, love a collab with Janelle Monae. She’s just and all round great artist!
You can follow HUSK on social media:
We have absolutely adore HUSK and his music – you can expect that we will welcome him again in the future on our blog.
All the best Husk and we hope that in five years time you will be playing arenas.