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Scott Hardkiss is one of electronic dance music’s most innovative & enigmatic artists. he’s created his own bizarre, funky, surreal, and uplifting fusion of psychedelic house, breakbeats, funk, rock, hip-hop, techno, disco, soul, jazz, dub, ambient, blues, Latin, classical, go-go & surf music to name just a few. Scott was born December 12th, 1973 in the bronx and grew up between NYC, DC, & Philadelphia. in the 80s he fell in love with old-school hip-hop’s “anything-goes” sound, got his first set of turntables & taught himself to dj, being further influenced in dance clubs where electronic music was blended together seamlessly with rock, pop, & new-wave. he went on to study literature & art at oxford university, living in the UK during the initial explosion of the rave & indie-dance scenes and traveling to the spanish islands to take in the diverse balearic sound. all of these experiences led him to found hardkiss as a creative outlet for his own personal style of music & art through djing, production, design & events. with his vision thus born, he set off to open heads & hearts and make booties shake by organizing & djing at some of the first raves & electronic-music multi-media dance events, beginning on the east coast and working his way out west to San Francisco.
he eventually inspired a motley crew of followers to join him in his mission, and together with his newly adopted “brothers” they founded the seminal record label, “hardkiss music” in 1992. using the name God Within for his own original solo productions, Scott became one of the true innovators of the international electronic sound of the 90’s and his ground-breaking records & musical style were embraced by djs, producers, & music-lovers worldwide. his first single “raincry,” with its sound-clash of funky breakbeats & tripped-out emotional trance, was was featured in several films, countless compilations (including sasha & digweed’s classic “northern exposure,”), the billboard dance chart, and in muzik magazine as the most collectible 12" in the world. his next trail-blazing release “the phoenix,” further innovated with its early fusion of rock and dance music. and the later “acid funk” and “crucial introspection” eps bewitched still others with their unique blends of mental acid hip-house & soulful ambient-funk vibes.
in 1995 all of the vinyl single releases were compiled in the underground classic “delusions of grandeur,” which Scott named after a series of multi-media events he produced combining music, art & film. he personally wrote his label’s provocative dadaist press releases, waged absurd underground promotional campaigns, and carefully designed the surreal, color-drenched artwork & hand-scrawled graffiti logos which packaged the records & cds. Scott has a strong background in the visual & conceptual arts with extensive studies in drawing, painting, design, & film, and his vivid art-work has received critical praise and awards and been featured in several international art & design books such as “discstyle” and “free agents: a history of dc graffiti.”
as a dj, he became one of the first Americans to tour coast-to-coast and beyond, being touted as one of dj magazine’s “top 50 djs in the world” and making journeys to spread his sound to exotic locales like London, Paris, Sydney, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Dublin, Montreal, Mexico city, Honolulu, melbourne, & panama. Scott’s performed at countless legendary clubs & events such as tribal gathering, twilo, the loft, crobar, spundae, buzz, giant, motor, the roxy, fabric, heavenly social, bedrock, big beat boutique, red rocks, ministry of sound, back-to-basics, sabresonic, full circle, the drum club & countless more. he’s released 2 successful dj mix cds: “yes,” one of the first ever to expand the form by using not just turntables but digital software, synths, effects & samplers, and mixer’s “united djs of america,” which received a rare 9/10 in spin magazine. years before it became fashionable he pushed the dj envelope by refusing to stick to simply one sound or style, constantly surprising with eclectic, bold selections, creating his own remixes of songs like Elton John’s “rocketman” for exclusive use in his sets, and incorporating live musicians and vocalists into performances.
Scott’s musical ambitions eventually grew even further and in 2000, after a decade on the “left-coast,” he returned to new york and began to shift his focus towards composing & producing score for film & tv and working even more extensively with live players. his music has been featured in major motion pictures including “kiss kiss bang bang” starring robert downey, jr. & val kilmer, richard linklater’s “bad news bears” starring billy-bob thorton, spike lee’s “he got game,” starring denzel washington & rosario dawson, “187”, starring samuel l. jackson, & “groove.” he recently composed the entire score for 4 acclaimed short films in the glamour magazine/moxie pictures “reel moments” series: “room 10” directed by jennifer aniston and starring robin wright penn & kris kristofferson (with organ & piano by wallflowers/foo fighters keyboardist rami jaffee), “orchids” directed by bryce dallas howard and starring alfred molina (for which scott wrote & arranged a classical score for string quartet & piano performed by members of the new york philharmonic), “wait” directed by trudie styler, and “good morning baby” (with sex mob’s steve bernstein on trumpet). his songs have also been used in multi-media projects including electronic arts’ best-selling game “fifa soccer” and the opening of the summer olympics, and his music has been much in demand in tv, being used in show themes, programs, and promos for mtv, vh1, comedy central & direct tv. and beginning with a levi’s ad which won time magazine’s “top 10 commercials of the year” scott has gone on to become one of madison avenue’s most sought-after composers, specializing in cutting-edge modern music for major international ad campaigns including motorola, american express, sprite, hennessey, dasani, and phat farm.
he’s also executed a diverse array of production & remixes for and with a wide range of other artists of many different genres & styles. the hardkiss mixes of elton john’s “believe” and republica’s “ready to go” hit the pop charts, and he’s produced songs with artists including p-funk legend george clinton, grandmaster flash mc melle mel, and the glide church gospel choir. scott’s epic remix of the flaming lips’ “do you realize???” was featured on the lips’ release “fight test,” which was nominated for the grammy for best alternative album, and he collaborated with dr. octagon’s kool keith on a psychedelic hip-hop track for mtv’s “amp 2.” He recently created a symphonic remix of the polyphonic spree that featured an orchestra of over 150 musicians and his club mix of “cherry,” the single for lisa shaw’s debut album, was released by naked music. he’s currently producing new material with artists including lisa, singer/songwriter j bowman, & soul-sensation bobby harden and working with large ensembles of live musicians, adding even more organic soul to his next-school electronic sounds. it’s all part of scott hardkiss’ kaleidoscopic vision of a new form of music, fusing the futuristic with the traditional, the electronic with the acoustic, and body-moving rhythms with heart-and-soul-moving melodies & songs.