Handsome Tiger: Clawing Through the Electronic Bass Scene
There's a huge wave of electronic music progressing in the Vancouver scene, and there's a few who are downright switching it up and claiming their sound. One of these blooming artists is Handsome Tiger, which actually derives from the arabic translation of his name Hussein El Namer. Being into music since a very young age, starting with classical guitar to pursuing his indie rock band "A Name Unheard," El Namer moved to Vancouver to pursue his music and was introduced to Vancouver's burgeoning electronic scene. He fell in love with the culture, community and energy, and with 2 and a half years of focusing on music production, he's adopted a unique sound rooted in merging deep bass with organic, electronic influences.
RT: "How would you describe your sound/genre?"
HT: "I like to coin it as organic electronic bass music because I like to integrate mixing organic elements and instrumentation into my rhythms along with cinematic and sometimes unconventional trippy psychedelic synths sounds. I definitely aim to keep an essence of earthy realness to it by adding my guitar to tracks and sometimes I use my voice as an instrument along with singing. I like to use a lot of dry and organic african shakers and percussions that give it that raw kind of real feel. So definitely electronic bass music with instrumentation and organic elements into it."
RT: "What could the Vancouver scene benefit from right now?"
HT: "To start off, we're lacking space, which is really unfortunate. It’s just kind of tough especially for underground electronic music when there's not really a lot of outlets here in the city for this kind of music. We have so much fostering talent and so many people making good music but we need more space for underground and independent artists to do the events they do too."
RT: "Tell us about the inspiration behind your new EP."
HT: "Last year in September I started a goal to release a single per month to hone in on my production skills and to finish tracks to build up more repertoire. I kept this up until spring when I started working on a batch of songs that were cohesive together and I narrowed it down to four tracks outta that batch that I thought were a good representation of my sound and what I'm going for, with where I'm at right now. I locked those in 4 weeks ago and got them all mastered and ready for release."
RT: "Tells us about your Bass Coast experience."
HT: "This was my third year attending and first year playing so it's an absolute dream for sure. My set couldn’t of went any better, such an amazing experience! I fell in love with this festival when I started going a few years ago. The care that is put into every single detail of the festival and the curation of the art and music is just wonderful and the people are absolute vibes!"
RT: "Who are you currently listening to?"
HT: "To start with west coast local stuff, I love playing out Self Evidents tracks! I dug Shiny Things set at Bass Coast, also just heard some unreleased tracks from him that are banging! As well as Greazus, Myles Away, Pacha Papa, and Goopsteppa from Vancouver with productions that are always bang on point! I'd have to say for international producers I'm loving everything that Ivy Lab is putting out along with other halftime artists like Thelem and Shades who’s sets at Bass Coast were highlights! I also can’t stop listening to the newest Little Sims record such a great songwriter and super special to witness her first Canadian appearance at Bass Coast as well!"
RT: "Any other guys we should keep an eye for in the Vancouver scene?"
HT: "Keep an eye for IMUR, they have been coming up for a while now and are doing very well and deserve it, they’ve got the craziest work ethic! Myles Away is sitting on tons of awesome dubs and grime tunes that I can’t wait for him to drop! Also check out Goopsteppa, with his blend of melodic downtempo bass music that is beautiful and interesting!"
RT: "Any upcoming news?"
HT: "I'm making my Shambhala debut next month! I’ve been invited to play the Living Room stage on the Sunday from 3:00-4:30pm as part of the new "Bass on the Beach" theme they're doing! I'm doing a Shambhala after party in Nelson at *Bloom Night Club* on the Thursday August 17th and playing at The Imperial for Vancity’s official Shambhala after party by Westwood with a surprise Shambhala headliner on Friday August 18th. Also more new music and unannounced shows coming, along with a possible official release of my Bass Coast set mix!"
RT: "How would you compare your sets now to last year?"
HT: "I'd say my sets have definitely become more diverse, diversity has always been my key with DJ sets, as in tempos and genre changing. I do everything bass music, but I enjoy going through the motions and styles to mix it up in with what feels right for a dance-floor journey! So yeah I'd say I’ll continue to work on diversity as that’s a strength and continuing to become more fluent in improvising sets as well. Also I plan to continue to add more of my own productions to my DJ sets as I have and eventually morph it into a hybrid live/DJ set with guitar and my vocals!"
RT: "What insight can you give to those wanting to get into Vancouver's electronic scene?"
HT: "If you're curious about getting into the scene I’d say the main thing is to create, experiment, learn, find your style and contribute to your scene. Contributing is also a big aspect in my opinion. You could be the most amazing DJ or bedroom producer but it definitely helps if you go out and experience, network and support these events within the scene you’d like to get into. I think if you like and appreciate something that gives to your life artistically, you should try your best to give back and get out there and be part of it! Stick true to your passions, your art, have fun, work on your craft and do it 110%."
You can check out Handsome Tiger via these links:
Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/handsometiger/sets/visions-ep