AN INTERVIEW WITH HALA
Ian Ruhala is a young musician from Detroit who goes under the name of 'Hala'. His easy listening tunes are now being streamed in numerous countries and he is releasing even more music for us to enjoy! His new Album " Spoonfed " drops May 13th so keep your eyes peeled! I was able to get hold of him to chat about his music career and what it was like writing and recording his upcoming Album! Here is an interview with Hala
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1. Hey! Tell us a little about Hala, who does it involve and what kinda music do you produce?
HALA is a solo project of mine that I began making music under in 2014. It’s kind of just like lo-fi singer/songwriter stuff, that I record all on my own, and I have some friends back me up when I play live. I am not really a “shredder” at any one instrument, but I am pretty decent at a few, so it just kind of made sense to do it on my own. With that being said, I like to think that every instrument you hear in my music is played by a different musician in my head. For example, the bass player in my head is a really funky dude, with long hair. But, just recently he heard Tame Impala’s
so he has been all about tone. The drummer in my head is really into R&B, and appreciates the symmetry within Rap beats; a firm snare, and not a lot of fills. I like to think he has a pretty cool
2. Do you have a noticeable style and genre that you pursue? How would you categorize your music so far?
Like I said, I believe my music is just lo-fi singer/songwriter stuff. One day, I would love to break out of this lo-fi nonsense and make just a beautiful Van Morrison-like record. But, for now, I kind of embrace the fact that my recordings are somewhat lo-fi. When recording, it puts a lot of pressure on your “performance,” when you are doing a track, because you can’t really go back and change that much when mixing, especially if you are using like one mic on a drum kit.
3. What's the music scene like where you're from? Is there a supportive AA ( All Ages ) scene?
The Detroit music scene is a strange beast. Here in the midwest, a lot of kids grew up playing metal or pop-punk or prog-like stuff, so their music nowadays reflects that. Lately we have been booking shows with bands that kind of are doing a similar thing as us, but for a while we were on bills with like really pop-punky bands and it just was strange. The Hentchmen, Five Pound Snap, Gray/Bliss, and Honeybabe, are some of my favorite bands in Detroit, and a few we have had the pleasure of playing with. There definitely is a supportive, “All Ages,” thing going on in the city. Some of the true bars though are pretty strict on being 21 to play or see a band play. Although this true, there are a lot of venues that without the college kids that live in Detroit, they would not survive. There also is a big push in the DIY direction, when it comes to venues. At the house where I live, we have been throwing shows (about once a month), and it has been extremely fun, and it has involved some extremely great bands too. We usually get a bunch of kids at our house and sometimes it can get really, really nuts. And, we just got a vending machine, so now we are legit, I would say.
4. What's your advice to youth who are interested in making music and following their musical passions?
My advice would be, to be confident in yourself. It doesn’t take fancy recording gear to make something people will like. Ultimately, if you can back it up, and you think it is cool, others will probably too.
5. How has music influenced your life?
Music is really important to me, and it influences me everyday, and sometimes in different ways. Music is really applicable to any mood or whatever that you feel. My appreciation I have for music, and for making music is something I really can’t even put into words.
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6. What are your goals for the rest of 2016?
My goals for the rest of 2016, probably are to tour and continue writing songs. Despite being really wrapped up in the whole
release, I think I already have my next record written. At the end of last year, when I was still in college, I wrote like 60 songs. Some, that ended up on
a few that I put on my release
others that will end up on the next record, and the rest that I hope nobody has to ever hear haha! But, for the rest of this year, I would like to go back to Brazil and do another tour there, and I believe we are setting some U.S. dates up with, Modern Nomad, and Bad Cop. So, that should be a good time, and I mean, ultimately, I would love just to stay busy.
7. How does it feel to know that you potentially have listeners on the other side of the world? ( ie. NZ)
It is just really crazy to me to think of the places my music has reached. A lot of kids reach out to me on Facebook and such, and say they are from like Brazil, France, New Zealand, Coolsville, and it’s just really neat. I guess that is just the magic of the internet haha!
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8. Who/what inspires you?
My friends inspire me probably the most. I tend to write a lot about the silly things the gang and I get into. I also write a lot about my past relationships, my brief time at Central Michigan University, and my parents. All of these things, especially of right now, have been influencing my music heavily.
9. What are some of your favourite tunes at the moment?
Right now I really only listen to The Kinks. In particularly,
The Village Green Preservation Society
album, that thing is nuts! “Wicked Annabella,” “Monica,” and “Do Your Remember Walter,” are currently my favourite jams off of that record. Oh, and it has to be the stereo versions, not that mono bullshit. I mean they recorded it like that for a reason haha!
10. How was creating your newest album “Spoonfed”? (coming out May 13th)
What went into making the album? How long did it take you to write?
I began writing the songs for
right after I started college. The day before I left for the university I was attending, I was on a plane back from Brazil after our first time touring over there. I was feeling all of these emotions, not really liking school, so pretty much everyday I would come back and write songs. After one semester of being at CMU, I decided it was time to leave. So, I moved into the attic of this house in Detroit that my bandmates and friends owned around Christmas time, and began recording
I pretty much just locked myself in this attic for about a month, didn’t really eat much, or do anything other than record. It was also January, so it was bitterly cold in this recording space. I remember sometimes I would have to wear a coat to do drum tracks, with tissues stuffed up my nose to stop it from running. I like to think that you can hear the coldness in the record, of this Detroit winter.
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11. Since i'm from New Zealand would you ever think of coming all this way to play? Does touring interest you?
I love doing shows, and if one day I could go to a place like New Zealand, because of music I started making in my parents storage room during high school, I would be extremely grateful for that opportunity. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!
LISTEN TO HALA