Join the creative minds of two musical geniuses out of South America who, combined, have over 20 tracks in the Beatport Top 100, and you’re sure to find an unstoppable duo. Columbia’s Ortzy and Argentina’s Nico Hamuy have joined forces and become the powerhouse duo HIIO (pronounced H20). HIIO gained huge recognition in the EDM world in 2012 after releasing their remix of Chuckie’s Who Is Ready To Jump, and receiving the support of major players like David Guetta, Roger Sanchez, Tiesto and more. With their latest track, Meant To Be released recently on Beatport, 2013 is off to a great start for HIIO. We had a chance to chat with the duo, check out what they have to say below.
With Nico from Argentina and Ortzy from Colombia, how did the two of you meet and begin as HIIO?
Nico – Well, I used to go to Colombia to play shows, and a mutual friend out in California, where Ortzy used to live, introduced Ortzy and I. We became friends and decided to do a track together. We loved that track, and it is something very special for the both of us. It was actually released on January 17, 2013 and is called Something About You Feat. Terri B! After we made that track, we made another one, and then we played some gigs together and finally decided to create a project together, now called HIIO.
Your first release together was a remix for Dirty Dutch boss, Chuckie, and you recently got to share the stage with him at Mysterland’s Dirty Dutch Arena. What influence has he had on your careers?
We started off making a remix together with Chuckie for Keemo Feat. Cosmo Klein – Beautiful Lie and he liked our energy in the studio. We then became friends and he gave us one of his latest tracks Who Is Ready To Jump to remix. We didn’t know that it was going to have such an impact on EDM. We are so happy with the results, and we of course keep working with him, because he likes our music. Every upcoming DJ wants to work with him, and we are happy to be chosen by him. Chuckie supports many of our tracks, which helps a lot of course. We are very grateful to have had this opportunity. So that’s how we started with Chuckie, who today, is our brother.
Speaking of Mysteryland, what was it like playing at the festival and what’s next on your touring “bucket list”?
Being at Mysterland was a dream come true, especially sharing the stage with Chuckie and the Dirty Dutch army – Mastiksoul, Gregori Klosman and Bettatraxx. It was an amazing experience. In particular, our set was insane! The crowds at a music festival are totally different than in a club. The people are so happy and full of energy and the atmosphere is something, which we never felt before. We also must say that the staff of ID&T did a great job. Everything at the festival was perfect. As for our bucket list, we are planning a tour around the USA and Canada in the next two months. Then we are hoping to head to Ibiza and Europe for our summer and winter of 2013.
In the past, you have touched on how many people are unaware of how difficult it can be for South American artists to make it internationally, describing it as a “jungle”. Can you explain what you meant by that and also comment on how you see it progressing in the next few years?
Yes, where we live now in Argentina, is the furthest Country in South America, so it is difficult to enter the industry when you are starting a new project. It is especially difficult with no booking agent when building your own tours, like we are. Also, since there are two of us, it can be difficult for promoters to pay out for two plane tickets, hotel and our fee for a new name. Regardless of all of this, we believe in what we are doing and are building our own story. An interview like this helps get us known and spreads the HIIO name to the world, so we thank you for this interview!
Of course! Describe your creative process working together. Is it much different from when you produced as individuals? Do you play off each other’s strengths/weaknesses?
Having the both of us in the studio gives us better results of course. We used to have different modes to produce and different styles. It’s definitely good to have more than one head while producing.
Strengths: Together we have more ideas, more than one style and everyday we learn from one another, as well as more time optimizing.
Weaknesses: Since we are not solo anymore, every decision has to be approved by one another. We can’t do what we want without consulting with the other. Sometimes we fight, it’s like having a wife! – hahaha.
You seem to enjoy working with vocalists on your tracks.
Yes! We both agree that vocals have more of an impact on the people. Most of the time when you are alone, you sing along when listening to tracks with vocals – when you are driving, taking a shower, hanging out, right? People can only sing along to your tracks if you put vocals in it. We try to choose an appropriate vocalist for each new project and try to explain what it is we are looking for when working on a track, to achieve what we want for the listeners. The reason we do this, is because every hit single in the world has vocals. It’s hard to find an instrumental hit.
Do you two write the lyrics? Can we expect a lot more of this in your upcoming releases?
No, we don’t, but we write out our ideas of what it is we want to transmit in a new song. We then give our ideas to the vocalist in which most of the time they are writers as well, or they have one.
Yes! You can expect a lot more of this in our upcoming releases. We have lots of new stuff coming up with amazing vocalists like Max C’, Abigail Bailey, Nalaya Brown and Giuseppe Viola to name a few.
Talk to us about your latest release, Meant To Be out on February 18 on Beatport. What can listeners expect from this track?
Meant To Be is a track we did with Italian vocalist Giuseppe Viola. It’s a very uplifting track which has simple vocals which easily get stuck in your head. We like to bring out the vocals in our tracks, because we think it helps listeners connect with the song better. The melodies on this track are big room, with explosive rhythmic sounds. It has a more of a commercial sound to it, and we can’t wait to release it out on February 18 on Beatport!
What do you have planned for 2013?
For 2013, we have plans for lots of studio time, creating some bombs! We also want to raise awareness for the HIIO brand to the world. We want to show our hard work through our music and meet new energetic crowds all over the world.
For more information on HIIO find them online:
Sarah Chiu – EDM TOR