When it comes to electronic music, there seems to be a wide range of artists taking this genre up to greater heights but nothing could come close to the accomplishments of popular duo, HONNE!
This group, which consists of James Hatcher and Andy Clutterback have recently made waves with their collaboration with Indonesian singer, NIKI on the song, “Coming Home”. We’ve had the opportunity to talk to them about working with NIKI and inspiration behind the lyrics itself.
With the amount of emotion conveyed throughout the song, be it in the lyrics or the beats, was the song dedicated to a certain someone? If not, was there anyone who inspired you to write the song?
Andy: It’s my wife. She’s the muse for every song, basically. So, we’ve been together for 14 years, if not more.
The lyrics of the song seem to be on a sombre and melancholic note with the feeling of longing encompassing the entire song. What was the thought process behind writing the lyrics?
Andy: At that time, we were out in Los Angeles and I just happened to think about being away from people and from my wife, in particular — the feeling of not being able to be there to look after her came to me. In the song, there was sort of a happy ending that we do end up coming home and that we’d always get back to see each other. That became the pay off which was a nice thing.
Since the theme of the song is oriented towards the feeling of longing towards someone, how would this relate to the current pandemic where loved ones are forced to be separated due to travel restrictions?
James: Andy wrote it about his partner and missing them. But, it has definitely taken on a whole new meaning with the pandemic, such as not being able to see our family who were in the same country. Normally, I’d see my family maybe once a month for a couple of days. Then, there was that period of 6 months where we could not see anyone at all. There are definitely people with worse situations than myself especially, with family members being in different parts of the world.
As a follow up to the previous question, in your opinion, do you think your listeners would resonate with the feeling of longing and missing someone?
Andy: I think maybe it’s happening more with things like the internet but people are connecting online more and they can use applications to connect with one another. I think it’s true that people are forming more relationships online and therefore, may not be in the same location. Therefore, they have a long distance relationship.
James: It’s not hard for someone to live in England and have a relationship with someone from Germany since it’s very easy to stay in touch online and fly to each other. The world has indeed gotten a lot smaller.
Looking back at the previous collaboration with NIKI, how did the collaboration start in the first place?
Andy: Both collaborations happened at the same time when we were back in Los Angeles. It was a complete coincidence that we were working in the same studio as NIKI and we managed to bump into each other. We both had a mutual love for each other. Well, we’ve tried to message her for a while but she had been ignoring us. But while we were there at Los Angeles, we chatted, played some music and she ended up recording her verse on “Coming Home”. On the same day, we said that we wanted to write something random and fresh hence, the verse, “I love you more than I could say” came out as well. It was a productive day.
With two different genres of music for both collaborations, in your opinion, how different was the previous collaboration and the current one? And which was the better one?
James: “More Than I Can Say” was quite the unusual one. The clip that we ended up using was the whole song that we wrote. We just have that one bit with the beat and we just messed around with that — using it at the interlude. Even if NIKI is obviously credited, we didn’t announce it because we had “Coming Home” in the bag and we knew we wanted to release that in the future.
Andy: We just put “More Than I Can Say” out and we didn’t fully announce it because we wanted “Coming Home” to have a proper moment.
What was it like working with NIKI for the second time?
Andy: Fantastic. 10/10. Highly recommended.
James: She’s really funny, knows what to do, what she wants and what she likes. She’s been really nice to deal with and it’s also nice to work with someone as committed as her.
In the era of the pandemic, how different do you think live performances will be moving forward?
James: It’s really hard to know because I went to a festival in England the other day. It looked like a normal festival, actually. Other than that, there were hand sanitisers at the toilets. Since it was outside, there isn’t much of a difference. Indoors, in England, they’ve started playing gigs again and if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you’re allowed to go and treat it like a normal gig. So, I hope at some point, we can come to a situation where it is normal and safe to have gigs worldwide.
What has been the biggest takeaway from 2021 so far?
James: For the first time since the pandemic, we played with our touring band. So, the biggest takeaway is that I actually love playing with the band. It’s really amazing being out for tour and being with our band. They are such lovely people. Friends are really important as well and they really lift me up and give me energy and a lot of happiness. So, I’d try and see as many people as I can and make the most out of socialising again after a long time staying indoors.
What do you like and respect about each other’s artistry and what have you learnt from each other throughout your music career?
James: Andy is one of the best melody and lyric writer that I’ve ever met. He’s really been able to take a feeling and write it concisely in a cute way and produce a really memorable melody.
Andy: I think James is a unique individual. Not all artists can be good creatively and be very good in things like admin work and playing stuff. He is not only an amazing musician, songwriter and producer but he has this other side where he’s determined and gets stuff done. He’s persistent in a good way and that is a winning composition.