Introducing I Love Ugly x HashFinger: The Mixtape. In collaboration with UK Producer HashFinger we’ve compiled a seven track discography of the Bradford-based beatmakers work to date, including a yet-to-be-released taste of what to expect from Hash in 2017.
With what started as an innocent borrowing of his track “Low Down” a while back we kept in touch and sat down with Hash to discuss the mixtape, where his sound comes from and what to expect from him in the future. Enjoy.
ILU: First off, massive congrats on your successes to date. When we used a cut of your track “Low Down” for our Newmarket Vid we’d already been following your sound for a minute, loving that raw, sample-fuelled Hip-Hop vibe. So where are you from, and how did the name HashFinger come about?
HF: Respect! I’m from a town called Bradford, which is in the North of England (West Yorkshire). My name is actually a bit of an accident – I was watching an old black and white Batman film and thought I heard that one of the bad characters was called Hash Finger. It turns out that I was just hearing things, but I liked the name a lot so I used it anyway!
ILU: How were you first introduced to Hip-Hop, and the idea of creating your own music?
HF: I come from a musical background – I learnt to play a few instruments when I was a kid and especially fell in love with playing the drums but I didn’t really get into hip-hop until pretty late on. A friend of mine started to show me a lot of 90’s rap and beats as well as some of the golden UK Hip-Hop from low-life records and early blah and boot records. All of that really inspired me to learn and discover all of the stuff I had missed, and to try and make some music myself.
ILU: Where do your predominant influential elements come from, and how would you describe your own sound and approach to making music?
HF: I’m massively inspired by a lot of 90’s rap that I heard early on, Duck Down releases by Heltah Skeltah, Smiff-n-Wessun and Black Moon and loads of Indie Rap that I enjoyed finding out about. Beat makers like DJ Muggs and Nik Wiz really inspired me with the simple sample-driven, heavy drum break style really caught my ear too.
My own approach is a lot about discovering the stuff I sample, I love the music that I cut up and to unearth it and pick it apart is so much fun for me.
ILU: So what does the ‘I Love Ugly x HashFinger: The Mixtape’ contain, a mix between recent and unreleased sounds?
HF: Yeah the mixtape has a whole range of tracks from my releases over the past few years as well as a sneaky exclusive from my next release, which will be coming out early 2017. The idea was to give I Love Ugly heads a rough guide to what I’m about – when I first started I was releasing monthly beat tapes for free which gave me a massive boost and set me on my way. So the mixtape has some tracks from my early beat tapes right through my recent releases into my newest one which isn’t even out!
ILU: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
HF: Good question! I think I would most likely be working in a dead-end job so massively thankful to everyone and anyone who has supported me to keep me making music and doing what I love full-time. I do like to be creative and draw so I’d like to think I’d maybe be doing something else creative if music hadn’t kicked off.
ILU: Where do you see yourself in two years?
HF: The last two years have been crazy for me, putting out my first vinyl releases and performing my music in places I could never imagine visiting, so things are building for me. I see myself full time releasing music and travelling around the world to perform my music, it’s hard to describe how happy it makes me being able to do that. It’s only in the last few months that I have quit my 9-5 and tried to make a go of music, if I can make it happen and run my studio who knows where it could take me!
ILU: If you were to pick a few artists you’d love to collaborate with, who would they be?
HF: I would love to work with a lot of rappers that really inspire me since I first started like Jehst and Kashmere – pioneers of UK rap. Recently I have been listening to a lot of Adrian Younge – he has really captured a vintage sound and his use of instruments is incredible. I would love to work on a release with him.
ILU: I Love Ugly has a strong connection with music as most of us here have come from musical backgrounds and continue to dabble. Can you offer any words of wisdom for the aspiring musician out there?
HF: I think the most important thing for me was just to make a lot of music. When I first started I knew that the first hundred or two hundred beats I made were going to be pretty terrible, so I just wanted to get through that stage of learning different techniques to progress and make things sound better. Part of that is enjoying what you do though, it’s a long process and if you’re not having fun it’s going to become more of a job to churn out countless beats.
ILU: Thanks again for taking the time to answer a few questions. What’s next for HashFinger? Any new releases on the horizon to keep our eyes out for?
HF: Yeah I have a new full length LP called ELSEWHERE which will be available January 2017 (you heard it here first haha!) Which is full of samples following on from my LESSONS and KITES LP’s.
I have also been making so much music over the last year, but not releasing any of it! So I’m really excited to show some of the different things I’ve been trying, even some more synthesized beats that don’t contain any samples which I’ve wanted to do for ages!
So 2017 should be incredibly busy for me with vinyl releases and hopefully I’ll be performing all around this rock again!
Check out the mixtape below and click on download to grab a complimentary copy.
Make sure to follow HashFinger’s journey here: