If you haven’t already seen Mayhills‘ new video for In Shadow, stop what you’re doing and go watch it now. The Perth-based producer weaves hypnotic, visceral slices of electronica, and this newest release is no different.
Fresh off the video’s release, we caught up with the artist himself to chat all about it, the visual side of music, and what the future holds.
Hot off the release of his incredible new video for In Shadow, we caught up with Perth-based producer Mayhills for a chat.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
MAYHILLS: Yo! I’m good. Right now, I’m just pottering around doing miscellaneous things around the house, I just discovered that I like gardening. Stoked.
HAPPY: We’ve been loving In Shadow! How does it feel having the track out there in the world?
MAYHILLS: That’s awesome – thanks for that. I love being ‘done’ with a track – I feel like one of the biggest challenges for electronic music producers is to commit to seeing things through to an end outcome. Making the decision that the song is ‘finished’ can be tricky and I try not to overthink that. At some point, you have to call it a day and move on. I usually jam and improvise around the arrangement in a live setting anyway.
HAPPY: Could you tell us a bit about the song?
MAYHILLS: In Shadow is inspired by the idea of the shadow self – it’s a concept from Jungian psychology. Basically, we all have a shadow – a dark side to our personality that we try to repress that invariably comes out through our behaviour when something triggers us. The contrasting elements of light and shade throughout the song are a musical exploration of that.
HAPPY: The video is incredible too! Could you walk us through how this came together? Who was involved?
MAYHILLS: I remember I’d come off a Black Mirror bender and wanted to create something in that vein. A mutual friend put me in touch with Jackson (Heeley, Director / Boundless Films) – we hung out and hit it off right away. The video revolves around a single dancer, Robyn – who is amazing – but there was maybe 20 people on set doing various things. It’s actually ridiculous how much work goes into making a video happen.
HAPPY: How important is the visual side of music to you? Do you feel that visuals enhance the listening experience?
MAYHILLS: I feel like the visuals are super important, particularly if the music is instrumental. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they were more able to make meaning of the themes in the song through watching the video. I’ve definitely inspired to make music by visual arts, so I think it goes both ways – it’s a big vibey feedback loop. I use visuals in my live show, but coming off ‘In Shadow’ I’m really interested to take this further.
HAPPY: Did you find it difficult at all to create visuals that aligned thematically with the song?
There was some back and forth initially. It wasn’t so much a lack of ideas so much as it was coming up with something cool that wasn’t going to be a technical nightmare to execute. It’s easy to say ‘let’s do X’ but then someone has to actually create it. Full credit to Jarrad Russell at Boundless who slaved over the VFX for the shadow self in the video, I know that he was on the grind for weeks making that happen.
HAPPY: Are there any other artists that you’re really loving at the moment?
MAYHILLS: I like all kinds of stuff – on the electronic side of things, I’ve been really inspired by Eprom, G Jones and Mr Bill lately. They’re on a completely different level, and I’m nowhere near as technical – it’s more that they manage to draw really powerful emotions out of music which made on computers. You’ve kind of reminded me that I need to hit Spotify and discover some new stuff that inspires me.
HAPPY: What’s next for Mayhills? Any other exciting plans in the works?
MAYHILLS: I’m doing a lot of live music/soundscape stuff with some yoga and meditation studios around Perth – the next shows are at cntre space Friday, August 9th and Thursday, August 15th. My next track Get Offended will be out everywhere you listen to music on Friday, August 23. I’m gonna try and get over for some east coast dates if the opportunity arises.
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
MAYHILLS: You’re welcome.
In Shadow is available now. Watch the video above.