When HansSOLO, a 19-year-old producer by way of Denmark, was asked to join one of the leading collectives in modern day Hip Hop, the Pro.Era crew, it became clear he was well on his way to making a name for himself in the United States. Creating beats for the past six years and studying his craft, HansSOLO is working to become a staple among the Danish Hip Hop scene, and expand his reach across the globe through his music. How does one achieve this? By consistently creating and putting out quality pieces of music.
Whether he is producing for Joey Bada$$, CJ Fly, Dessy Hinds, CunninLynguists, or Flo Kennedy, to name a few, HansSOLO is working on mastering the art of collaboration, while also honing his ability to effortlessly bring his own signature sounds into a song.
After linking with the Michigan-based, 19-year-old emcee Sincere, HansSOLO is readying his debut project as a producer, which impressively came together through emails, phone calls and a six-hour time difference.
The two collaborators, whom have not yet met in person, came together organically by first being fans of the other’s music and impressively have since worked to create music that equally holds substance in its lyrics and bangs with a similar strength found in some of our favorite songs.
The project highlights their promise as young musicians, with a timeless grace that shows all the ways in which the two are wise beyond their years. This is exactly the type of collaborative effort that would make their influences proud, as they aspire to pay tribute to the greats that came before them such as J Dilla, Pete Rock and more, while also adding their own twists.
With a focus on curating a vibe through their music, Sincere and HansSOLO are achieving just that, with their music flowing with the times ahead and nodding back at nostalgia simultaneously.
The Source: How long have you been doing what you do? How did you get started?
HansSOLO: I’ve been experimenting with music since I was 11 or 12-years-old, but I think my first release of an actual track was in 2011. Both my brother and sister were also listening to Hip Hop during my childhood, but it really first caught on to me once I discovered all the vinyl and CDs in the basement after they moved out from my mom’s.
Being from Denmark and having a different approach towards Hip Hop than you would in the US, I quickly realized that the culture was way bigger than I ever imagined. And with the use of the internet, I started connecting with artists from the United States, sending beats back and forth, and that’s basically what brought me here today.
Sincere: I started writing raps when I was about 11-years-old. My older brothers, Meco and Abdul, had me growing up listening to The College Dropout, The Blueprint (etc.) They definitely kept me hip. Although I don’t think I got interested in wanting to record myself until maybe two years after that.
Is there an early memory you’d like to share about getting into your craft, such as when you realized this was more than just a hobby or a passion?
HansSOLO: It was definitely from the responses I have had by other artists and people in general. You obviously quickly gain a certain status when being a part of something that’s growing big. The fact that Pro.Era took me under their wings and gave me the opportunity to expose my music and meeting some of the members definitely inspired me and gave the motivation to take the whole music thing serious. Shout out the Pros.
Sincere: I started to get serious about my craft when I started to really sit and actually analyze full albums. One of the first albums I listened to front to back was Nas‘ It Was Written. S**t gave me chills the first time. That was a turning point for sure.
How do you describe your sound?
HansSOLO: My sound is always evolving and changing and I doubt that I will ever find one certain vibe or sound. I’m very versatile, but usually I keep a balance between the more traditional boombap elements and a clean new sound wrapped in a spacious and smooth-flowing feel.
Sincere: I think when you listen to my music, you’re getting more than just hardcore rap. You’re gonna hear that neo-soul influence I get from Erykah Badu; it’s more about the vibe. I want you to actually feel what I’m saying.
Who are your influences? What is some advice that has stuck with you?
HansSOLO: My influences are very various. All kinds of music I listen to, the people I’ve met throughout my life and the places I visit. I love diggin’ the music that is not on the radar and playing it in my DJ-sets. All kinds of soul, disco, jazz and hip-hop of course. New and old.
I think the best advice that has stuck with me is to keep focus on what you’re doing and pursue the things you want and not letting anybody tone it down ’cause they think differently. It sounds cliché, but it’s true.
Sincere: My major influences are Erykah Badu, Kanye West, Outkast, Nas, and Biggie. Some advice that always stuck with me came from The Alchemist [the book]. In fewer words, it said not to get so caught up in the present time that you don’t prepare for the future, and at the same time not to get so caught up in your preparation for the future that you don’t enjoy the present.
What do you hope people take away from listening to your music?
HansSOLO: As far as including lyricists on my productions, I want people to know that every sound and word that is spoken on any of my beats are by people that I feel compliments the idea of what I want it to sound like. Whether the listener just feeds off the vibe or digs into the content, I’m definitely making sure that every thing is portrayed in a sense that is very exact as far as how I imagine the song. I’m very conscious about the aesthetics in my music. You can think of each track as a painting that takes time and perfection to complete. And sometimes it’s just that one line or color wave in contrast that makes the painting a masterpiece.
Sincere: I hope people listen to my music and learn from my experiences. I just want my listeners to catch a vibe and feel where I’m coming from.
Tell us a little bit about what concepts or themes that reoccur in your new project?
HansSOLO: With this being my debut project as producer, I want to show people the base of my expression as a producer. I move sonically in different directions, but always with a red line. I think the concept of the project is more to show the current capability of us as artists and the blend is truly unique. All the beats, with very few exceptions, are tailored to Sincere’s style and personality. Any upcoming collaborative projects from my side will be handmade the same way.
What was your creative process like for this project?
Sincere: Well, being that Hans and I are literally a whole continent away from each other, we did a lot of planning over the phone. We talk like everyday—even with the six-hour time difference between Michigan and Denmark. There were many times where it’s like, I’m just waking up and Hans is the first person to call me. The songs that made the cut felt right for the type of vibe Hans and I were going for. There might be a song Hans likes that I’m not too fond of and vice versa. That’s just the process; hard work and communication.