Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hesta Prynn: Why Everyone's Talking About Her

Hesta Prynn (or as I like to refer to her: Coolest Person Alive), is almost set to release her debut full-length record. I had a chance to get some details from her about the upcoming release. She also talks about working with Chuck Brody, Playboy, and Sara Quin.

I have to ask you about your name. I LOVE it and I've always wondered where it came from. I was discussing it with a friend who told me about The Scarlet Letter, a famous novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The main character is named Hester Prynne, is there any relation?

Yes when we decided to form Northern State I was really drunk and the first thing I said is "let's not name it something over the top feminist like Hesta Prynn" (which was me making a hip hop joke about Hester Prynne) and it stuck.

You are not signed to a label correct? Not unlike a lot of artists/bands I listen to. As long as artists are able to get fans out to shows and sell merch, such as you've been able to do, is there a need for label support?

I'm not signed to a label yet but I will be pretty soon. Even then though I really like having fans involved in my music. As an artist you really work for your fans, not your label and I like making them feel involved and part of my project because ultimately it's all for them.

On the material you released with Northern State there were political and feminist themes. What are some themes covered in your upcoming record?

My new album has political and feminist themes still but they're not as overt. I'm really experimenting musically and I think the main theme of this record is about blending genres - live drums vs programmed drums, vocals vs bass, modern vs vintage. The theme of this record is less lyrical and more musical.

The first single off your record, "Can We Go Wrong", is being called "electro pop". I'd say it's a fitting description. It's very high energy, an awesome dance track. Is this the overall feel of the record?

The record is very energetic and all of the songs have pop structure but even on that song there are live drums and lots of live instruments - even the vocal effects were done with a space echo which is a vintage analogue delay machine so even tho it sounds "electro" it's actually quite live.

Is the team that you worked with on the 'Civil Sheppard' EP the same one you worked with on the full-length?

It's basically the same group but it's expanding to include more and more people. More talented and exciting artists get in touch weekly so there's a lot of people I hope to collaborate with.

I know you and Chuck Brody have a long history. He's produced so many great records. He's worked with Ra Ra Riot, Lykke Li, You Say Party We Say Die - the list just goes on. What is it like working with him?

We basically fight and make everyone else feel awkward! Just kidding (kinda). We have similar taste but come at everything from completely opposite sides. We meet in the middle on everything and that middle ground is where all the dopest stuff comes from. Lots of bickering but we both know we've kind of found our life writing partner. I'm REALLY lucky about that even tho he drives me bananas!

Sara Quin also did production on your new record. She's mentioned that she's very meticulous and a bit of a perfectionist when approaching her own music. Was this similar to the experience you had working with her in the studio?

Sara is amazing and really fast. She doesn't have tons of comments but her comments are ALWAYS right on. She's an incredible songwriter and really a fabulous producer because of it. She can hear a song and know exactly what's missing, what needs different arrangement, what needs to go and what needs to come back in. It's pretty amazing watching her work, her talent is ridiculous.

I saw you tweet that you were working on Playboy's 'Rock the Rabbit' this year. Can you tell us anything about the project?

Yes we are designing an exclusive Hesta Prynn tshirt for Playboy. I just saw the finished version and it's amazing, my favorite piece of merch I've ever seen basically! I love the Playboy brand and have a lot of respect for them and it's really exciting that they've kind of taken me under their wing.

Now I loved the 'Civil Sheppard' EP and I love your new single and am very excited about the new record. But I also loved you as a MC- because I think what Northern State did was make hip-hop relatable to women, it was refreshing. I'm scared to ask but, are you done with hip-hop?

I think hip-hop has evolved and I've evolved with it. The best new hip-hop is really genre-blending. The days of an MC and a dj have passed in my opinion - it's been done and been done great. I prefer to bring hip-hop into what I'm doing now. I still rap a bit on this record tho.

I follow Hesta Prynn's Hot List! It's hilarious. I was wondering if you could do a little hot list right now. What are some things in entertainment you're into right now? What are some you hate?

I luv the new Tool Academy, I watched the season premiere last night at like 2am and it was dope. I was way into Jersey Shore but that's kind of passed already. I'm not really into this whole Tiger Woods thing, nor am I into the Olympics. I basically spend all of my time working and the rest of my time watching horror movies. I love Eli Roth, Joel McHale, Maz Jobrani and Ruby Rose.

No title or release date yet for Hesta's record but she says she will keep me, and therefore you, posted;)

photo by: Sara Quin
(photo on widget by: Shervin Lainez)

LINKS! Where Hesta Prynn is, you want to be: (MERCH!)


Anonymous said...

Better say nothing than nothing to the purpose. ........................................

Tran said...

Fantastic Music! Love the name, Love the beat, I can actually hear a little bit of Sara Quin's influence. Amazing