HELENA is one of EDM’s many rising stars at the moment, and her work rate seems to be running at an ever increasing pace. Now based in the US, she is on the cusp of an incredibly busy summer season of DJing and producing. Now bringing her effortless sound to ULTRA, ‘Levity’ was released on March 30th. The track is one of the most exhilarating combinations of euphoric house and pumping electro I’ve heard in a while and the addition of the esteemed Shawnee Taylor on vocals, this is a sure-fire festival anthem. We spoke to HELENA about the release and what else is in the pipeline this year.
How did the collaboration with Shawnee Taylor come about? Had you always been a fan?
I have always been a fan of Shawnee’s tracks – ‘Live Your Life’, ‘Stronger’ and ‘Where Are You Now’ are some of my favourite House vocals, alongside older classics such as ‘Austin’s Groove’, she is incredibly talented. With ‘Levity’, I wanted to create that classic House vibe, something that you could picture on a terrace in Ibiza or pool party in Miami. When thinking of a vocalist, Shawnee was the first thought that came into my head. There was no one else I wanted for this track; it needed to be a strong woman’s uplifting vocal and her voice to me is just that. I demanded to my manager “Get me Shawnee Taylor!” and being the boss he is, he delivered.
As did Shawnee – I sent her the track and a week later she sent me the demo vocal. I just melted, it was perfect and I loved it.
Your work seems to tease a number of different styles. What are your current musical influences?
I do cross genres and so my production will always reflect that. I love the big hard tracks; dirty electro, uplifting vocals and progressive stuff. My influences include Steve Angello, Hardwell, Dannic, Nicky Romero, Deniz Koyu and W&W, so I think that reflects back into the music I make. I want to deliver strong instrumental hard tracks such as ‘Legend’, but also big vocal progressive like ‘Levity’ … my next track is a big filthy acid number!
Could you sum up ‘Levity’ in three words?
Summer, House, Uplifting.
How long did it take you write and produce the track?
The track itself from start to finish took about 2 months and most of that time was spent on the perfecting the minor details, rather than the track itself. I wanted the synths to sound more “in your face” and ended up tweaking a few other minor things. I am a perfectionist so every little thing had to be right! I work with the great Steve Scanlon in Melbourne who mixes and masters my stuff and bless him, we went back and forth with about twelve versions of the mix, getting it exactly how I wanted it. He has a lot of patience…
What are you most looking forward to over the next few months?
There are some really big announcements to be made over the next month, including a big new residency and a festival show but I can’t say where yet! But i’m really looking forward to both those. There are lots of cool gigs in this summer including a huge arena show in Manila with Alesso and Deniz Koyu which will be nuts, and then a 2 week Asia tour after. I also have a few tours of Europe this summer which will be great. Besides that, busy working on lots of new music. You’ll be hearing a lot from me this year!
Thanks to HELENA for the chat, and I strongly suggest you purchase a copy of ‘Levity’ now.