A year ago, people began talking about a Miami producer and DJ known as Henrix. From making one of the most iconic records on Size Records called “Hit It” with Digital Lab and GTA to touring non stop across the world, Pedro Henriques continues to turn heads and garner attention with his production prowess and tenacious ambition, Henrix has made a distinctively Miami sound he wants to share with the world. During Miami Music Week, I got a chance to sit down with him at the Surfcomber on South Beach and he shared his insight on his origins, the current state of hip-hop, and future projects the world will see unraveled throughout 2015.
Make sure to also catch his latest tune out on Mixmash Records “Alright” alongside producer Bream and singer Zashanell out now. You can also make sure to catch Henrix at his next shows at Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles April 25th and at The Lights in Las Vegas April 29th.
Although you were raised and continue to live in Miami, where were you born and where were your parents from?
My parents are from Brazil. I’m from Brazil actually; my whole family is. I got here [Miami] when I was five years old but I was raised in Miami. I’m 29 now so that would mean I’ve been here 24 years now.
During your childhood what music were you exposed to? Do you still listen to those genres today?
Growing up, I listened to a lot of classic rock because my father was like a hippy [chuckles]. I was exposed to a lot of Brazilian music too in the household. And in my teen years I really got into hip-hop. It was my main thing.
What classic rock bands were you into?
Pink Floyd is my favorite band. Pink Floyd, Queen, Led Zeppelin.
How about with hip-hop?
From the mid 90’s to the early 2000’s are my like really big thing. The Jay-Z, Biggie [The Notorious B.I.G.], Tupac, the N.W.A. times, Nas, stuff like that.
Did you have other interests(i.e. video games, sports, etc.)? If so, which were your particular favorites?
With video games, I was always sporadic as far as playing them. I never got really deep into them. But with sports, I really was into soccer and basketball, especially basketball. People who see my tweets online sometimes know I’m a very big Miami Heat fan. When I was young, I wanted to be an NBA player. I got to a point in high school where I stopped growing, so it didn’t happen.
What positions did you play?
I played guard. Depending on my teams, I would play point guard too.
At what point did you realize that you wanted to pursue a life making music? Was this an easy or a difficult decision?
It’s actually pretty late for me, to be honest. I graduated high school. I have always been into music, but not to the point of “oh I need to make music for a living.” I have a funny story about that. In high school, in my senior or junior year, I signed up for a music production class thinking it was something else. I really needed more to get a credit. I got there and in the first week, I dropped it. I thought to myself, “What the hell am I doing? I don’t want to do this.” But after high school, I went to a Tiësto concert in January of 2006 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. I will never forget it. It just blew me away. At the time he was still playing trance and I had seen stuff from videos that my friends posted like his song “Adagio For Strings”, but when I was there it was like Wow, you know? After that, I started attending the underground parties in Miami. All these people came to see these DJs and I had never seen that. With the hip-hop community with an open format, you don’t go for the DJ unless it’s guys like DJ AM. You go for the party. I saw this and I thought, “Wow, all these people came to see the DJ” and I told myself, “This is what I want to do.” I bought myself some cheap equipment and started DJing to my window for a year and a few months later I decided and knew that I couldn’t make it anywhere in this business without making music. So I got a cracked FL Studio, at the time. I didn’t have the money to actually buy FL Studio and I started messing around with it. My computer was so bad that I couldn’t even produce everything on FL Studio. I would have to spilt them between FL Studio and Acid Pro. So I would make my loops in FL Studio, render them out, and then lay them out on Acid Pro. I did that for a while.
Yeah! [laughs] Eventually, things started happening and I had been perfecting my craft. I got my first gig at my friends birthday party which I did well. At my first club gig, there was about five people, all my friends. [laughs] Everyone has to go through this experience, you know?
Since the end of December, you have released four singles on labels such as Cr2, Flamingo, and Harem Records within a span of three months. Will we continue to see this pattern throughout 2015 of a single or two a month?
By October of last year, I had been touring for seven to eight months straight. It had been very stressful for me. Don’t get me wrong, though. I love what I do, but constant touring can be stressful in that you can’t make that much music. You can’t put that much time into the craft that you love which is the music part. Touring can really take a lot out of you. The one or two days you get home from touring, you’re kinda of like exhausted. 2014 was kinda sort of a slow year and there was a lot of music I was holding. Why? I guess it I should just hold it off for a little bit. And then I was like, forget this. It’s time to put music out. It was a big back to back thing that started happening and I am going to continue doing it. I have a lot of music coming out. I have a song coming out on Kaskade‘s label Arkade. I have one called “Ravers” that we’ve waited two years on that’s coming out on Size. I have now the Mixmash one coming out. I have remixes and a couple other big ones like a collab I have with a pretty big artist right now. I can’t talk about it because it’s not even done yet.
Aside from the singles, remixes, and collaborations you have released, you also have three EPs out (one of which was free). Will the world see another Henrix EP in the future or maybe a full-blown Henrix album?
You will. You’ll definitely see one. I actually have an EP coming out this year. It won’t be free, but I definitely want to bring back the Miami Heaters thing. It was a big thing back then, before “Hit It”. I’ve been thinking a lot about bringing it back and a lot of people ask me about it. As far as the album, it’s a little complicated. With an album, I want to do something different. I’ve been venturing into different styles of music this year, starting end of last year. So, I’m not just making four-to-the-floor, 128 bpm stuff. These are just the tracks I am releasing now. I have a lot of stuff that I will be releasing like a little bit of hip-hop, some indie dance. I have one that is like soul-funk that has the feel of the old Jackson 5.
Yeah, it is and it is with a really good hip-hop artist and singer on it. Right now it sounds amazing and I can’t wait to finish it. It’s more of a radio thing. I want to venture into the radio stuff, but not in the cheesy radio stuff. We’ll see what happens.
Your latest collaboration on Mixmash with Bream and Zashanell called “Alright” come out pretty soon. How did the collaboration come together?
My PR agent Kamil also manages Bream and he linked us together. Bream showed me some of his music and I was blown away. He’s a really talented dude. So we’re like, “let’s do a collab.” We had actually started one before and we had the idea and it was almost done, but then I decided it was not good enough and my quality control is like AGHH [raises hands], you know? So we started something else. Then he sent me an idea and I liked it. We did “Alright” through Skype and we built it around there. We got Zashanell in the studio and she is just amazing and that was it.
Looking away from electronic music, what do you find yourself listening to? Do you believe that what you’re listening to has an impact on your music?
I’ve been listening to a lot of old school hip-hop. As much as a lot of people don’t like him, I listen to a lot of Kanye West. Kanye is one of my favorite artists. I believe he is one of the artists of this generation. I know that some people can get annoyed at his voice and what he has to say, but sometimes I think he says the truth about things that people wouldn’t want to say. His music is beyond amazing for me. I’ve also been listening to Kendrick Lamar. I’m really glad in the current direction of hip-hop because when it went really really mainstream in the last couple of years (and it still is this way) there a lot of garbage artists who came out. Now they’re sort of filtering out sort of like with EDM. I’ve also been listening to a lot of indie stuff. M83 and their 2011 album Hurry Up, We’re Dreming. Madeon, Porter [Robinson], those guys are right there are great. Actually my remix for “In My Mind” was inspired by that indie dance, synth-poppy vibe.
Since we’re sitting in the middle of Winter Music Conference, who are some of your DJ friends you are most excited to see?
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Luke, Kryder, Dimitri Vangelis & Wyman, there’s a few you know. I was with David Tort and Digital Lab and we actually did a back-to-back set at Club 50. It was an amazing, amazing thing. It was slammed and a lot of fun.
As more and more producers are rising and making a name for themselves, who do you believe are three individuals or acts that are gonna have a breakthrough 2015?
My friend Adrien Mesi, he’s a really good producer. I actually just finished a couple of tracks for a side-project that no one knows about. It’s going to be kind of secretive. The guy is really talented and I think he’s going to have a great year this year. I think Bream is going to do well too. Now for this third, I don’t know because there’s so much talent out there and it’s hard to keep up with everything single one. Although he already blew up, I hope Madeon has an amazing year. With what Porter did last year, I hope Madeon can go on and also have an awesome tour, as well.