Grab a Bassy Helping of Spag Heddy With This Exclusive EDC Orlando 2016 MixSpag Heddy
Like many young musicians, Spag Heddy, née Mischa Reining, traces his musical roots to his early churchgoing days. As a youngster, his family band, led by his father, sang devotional music at an Evangelical church in his native Holland. As a teenager, he dabbled in hip-hop and formed a foundation for a future in the music industry by selling beats to Dutch MCs. Now living in Spain, the self-professed pasta aficionado prefers his beats with a bit more sauce. Inspired by the likes of Feed Me and Seven Lions, Spag Heddy weaves saccharine, hands-in-the-air melodies and jaw-clenching basslines together to create a powerful brand of dubstep that his pastafarians, his nickname for his fans, gobble up by the bowlful.
Spag returned to the States recently to give Headliners two servings of his delicious beats at both Escape: Psycho Circus and the upcoming EDC Orlando this weekend. To celebrate the latter, he’s boiled up a delectably dirty mix of nasty beats and basslines. His high-energy mixing style doesn’t leave much time to rest up, so you might want to save that bowl of macaroni for after you listen.
You grew up performing music in an Evangelical church. Were your parents particularly strict about the kind of music you could listen to and the things you could do?
I grew up in an environment where there wasn’t much temptation of music or activities my parents/family wouldn’t like, so they never had to be particularly strict with me. In my teenage years, I obviously discovered “worldly” music like Limp Bizkit and Blink-182, but I wasn’t being provocative with it, and it wasn’t forbidden or something, just less appreciated.
How did they feel about you producing hip-hop? What about your choice to become an electronic music producer?
We used to have a keyboard synthesizer in the living room when I was a teenager, where I would spend hours every day on it making five-track instrumentals; my family was used to me just doing my thing. Sometimes, friends/rappers would come over for sessions, and that was all fine. It wasn’t until years later that I really chose to become a producer. I was actually into film and motion-graphic design, and I always dreamed of getting in that business. When the music started rolling, my family was supportive of it. We all do some music already, so it came naturally.
Speaking of your background in film, your short, Girl Meets Girl, is particularly striking. What’s the story behind that?
It was the graduation project for the first video design studies I did. There was this Dutch shorts series called Boy Meets Girl, which was a different story of how lovers had met [on every episode]. I wrote a script for a story just like that, and it was actually because of the interaction between two actresses at the castings that we decided to make it a lesbian story. And I think that turned out way more interesting and fun than planned.
Are there any plans for you to get back into film and perhaps direct your own music videos?
No plans. Ultimate dream? Yes.
You release music at a pretty quick rate. How important is it for you to have a lot of downtime between tours to work on tunes?
It’s only since I’ve been touring in the US that I really started appreciating any time off. Until these tours, I had oceans of time to produce, but with tours and major label releases comes traveling, planning, communication, administration, live set preparation, interviews, etc. Nowadays, I plan my downtime well, or else it’s gonna take too long to get new music out.
You have a video from way back where you complete a beat in six minutes, but your music is quite a bit more complicated now. I imagine it doesn’t come together so quickly anymore.
It really varies. In general, it does cost me more time nowadays to get tracks done, because of feedback and verification from the team and/or label and mastering, but also because of getting more exposure. It’s a psychological thing, too, that now I want things done a little more precise. However, crazy thing is that some of my best tracks still are created in like just a few hours, really. The creative process is an unpredictable one.
You’re back in the US again. What do you like most about being here?
Watching the presidential debates and Americans going ham about it—and greasy burgers. Nah, the best thing about being here is, of course, getting to play in all parts of the country and meeting fans everywhere. The show experiences and people make all the travel hours more than worth it.
What’s the best thing about returning home?
Alexander Dias eats spaghetti for breakfast. Follow him on Twitter.
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