Interview: Ahc talks new single ‘Freeze’, Charli XCX and Grand Theft Auto

Earlier this month, we were treated to the rich textures of Ahc’s latest single, Freeze. 

An exercise in sonic diversity, the pulsating track drew from an eclectic palette of house music, hyper-pop and jazz fusion, while still leaving room for hip-hop cadences and electronic flairs. 

So complex was the single’s production, that we simply had to catch up with the Kentucky musician to find out exactly how she pulled off such a genre-hopping feat.

Ahc interview

Below, Ahc (known offstage as Annahelen Croce) dives deep into the genesis and creation of Freeze, the early influence of Charli XCX, and her steadfast intention to keep making bangers “regardless of whether people are tuning in or not.” 

Catch our full interview with Ahc below, and scroll down to listen to her latest single Freeze. 

HAPPY: What are you up to today?

AHC: Today looked like most of my days recently. During the day, I work as a substitute teacher at a preschool. Although it’s not music related, it’s a good gig and I have fun doing it.

Once I get home, I work on all things music; whether it’s producing a new beat, or recording a feature for a collaboration. I do everything on my laptop— except for my music videos, I shoot and edit those just on my phone.

Right now I am working on a collab album with my friend who is an artist in korea, I hope my listeners look forward to it as they have enjoyed our collaborations in the past

HAPPY: Tell us about where you are from? What’s the scene like in your neck of the woods?

AHC: I’m from Louisville, Kentucky, and the music scene here is exponentially growing. There are many events held here, some I have gotten to perform at and connect with people. 

Ahc interview

HAPPY: Describe an average day?

AHC: My average day looks like going to teach at school, and coming home to work on whatever project I am doing, I am always working on something.

HAPPY: Can you share more about your musical journey and what inspired you to start creating music in 2020?

AHC: I have always loved everything about music. Growing up I played piano, some guitar, and percussion; but I didn’t start creating my own music until later. Before I started producing, I was into making videos.

I have been making videos since I can remember. Mainly videos to my favorite songs, since I didn’t have my own music at the time.

In my first year at college, I met my professor Dr Polashek, and took his class about music technology where we got to play around with Pro Tools and other DAWs.

In 2019 I wrote and produced my first ever song called Catch Me after being inspired by Charli XCX’s Vroom Vroom.

I also shot my first official music video for that song and it actually ended up making it in Charli XCX’s music video for her song forever. Since that song, I haven’t stopped creating.

HAPPY: Freeze marks a genreless shift in your sound. What motivated this evolution, and how do you approach incorporating diverse genres into your music?

AHC: Before creating freeze, I had been working on several songs with different genres (mainly house and hyperpop). But I have come to a conclusion recently in my career that I want to savor things more.

In the past Ive release 2 sometimes 3 albums a year, back to back. I’m always moving on the next thing too quickly that there’s no time to savor and appreciate all the work I put into it.

I have just released an album, “percolating” in May of this year, and realized I shouldn’t rush to try and put out another one just yet. I decided to just do a single, which usually are instant earworms or high energy bangers.

But freeze had to grow on me a little, which is why I wanted to release it. I listen to a lot of different artists like Azealia Banks, DPR Live, Kali Uchis, Travis Scott, and I’m really into NewJeans lately.

I had been listening new music, specifically Workin Hard by Fujii Kaze. I’m a very high energy girl when it comes go my playlists, but I loved the way this song pumped me up but calmed me at the same time. 

Although I don’t consider myself a rapper, a lot my production is influenced by hip hop. It’s a little mainstream, but I love the song Big Poppa and that analog synth sound. I’m also influenced by the music my parents listen to, which my mom loves JAY-Z.

HAPPY: Can you elaborate on how Grand Theft Auto played a role in shaping Freeze?

AHC: When I was younger, I played a lot of Grand Theft Auto (which I probably should not have been doing at that age considering the themes and premise of that game) And I am huge fan of Super Mario, so I have always love video game music.

A lot of my music makes references to those games. When I was making this beat, I was pulling from deep parts of my memories trying to look for something different and I suddenly came up with the melody, and just built from there.

Ahc interview

HAPPY: As a self-produced single, Freeze showcases your ability to build and execute a flawless track. Can you share some insights into your creative process when working on a self-produced project?

AHC: Personally, I like to produce everything from scratch. I don’t use samples or loops, I like to compose all the parts myself and how I hear it in my head.

Although I would like to get into sampling in the future. Some days, I’ll be so tapped in that I create a whole song in a few hours and even start recording that day.

But others, I feel burnt out and like I’ll never be able to make anything good again (I’m a little dramatic) but something always comes around.

I made freeze after making what felt like my 10th Uk garage beat that just wasn’t doing it for me. When making music, I always start with the production, then the fun and easy part is recording my top line melody for it.

I think what takes me the most time is writing my lyrics to fit into my melody, and of course…mixing. That’s probably many producer’s least favorite part. 


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HAPPY: With an impressive 53 releases since 2020, what drives your prolific output, and how do you maintain both quality and a sense of adventure in your music?

AHC: Making music is my favorite thing in the world. Regardless whether people are tuning in or not, I’ll still be making it because I love it

HAPPY: Lastly, what makes you happy?

AHC: Not to be cliche, but other than music, being with my family and friends makes me the happiest.