It takes a lot for artists who have established a signature sound for themselves to make a complete 180, break down their musical barriers and experiment with a new sound. There have only been a few artists who have been able to successfully pull this off- and one of those artists is HELENA LEGEND. We got a chance to sit down with the lovely, talented and versatile chart-topping Aussie, who is planning on taking the world by storm with her ground-breaking new EP and fashion line:
Congrats on the new EP drop! You went for a different sound with this one- so tell me a little bit about it and what sparked this new musical direction:
So before, I was caught up in the EDM movement and the prime goal with my music was "is this gonna make the club go mental at 2 in the morning?!"- I wasn't really thinking of the musicality of it. I come from the club scene so the crowd's reaction to my music was just my main focus. As you know, music has gone through a huge shift, especially in the last year and a half- and along with it, my own personal tastes have changed as well.
What did they change from?
I used to live for the festival bangers! I guess as you get older, your tastes change along with the scene changing. For the first half of last year, I found myself to be a bit lost because I knew I wasn't happy with what I was making, so it was like "what do I do?". But for the second half of that year, I spent my time creating that new direction. I look up to the guys like MAJOR LAZER, THE CHAINSMOKERS and DJ SNAKE who have been able to successfully make their move into the pop world while at the same time sticking to their roots- I found that very inspiring.
With the music I was making before, I feel as though I didn't really showcase my depth as an artist and I was primarily focused on those 2AM club bangers. So, I spent countless hours locking myself in the studio until I finally came up with a direction that I feel really suited me, and for the first time, I was able to say "this is more me than anything I've ever done"- which is an amazing feeling after feeling lost with where to go with my music. I decided that the best way to showcase my new sound and make a statement that I was changing my direction was by dropping an EP.
So this EP was basically you breaking out of your shell and your comfort zone! What's the difference between Part 1 and Part 2 of the EP, and why did you decide to release it in two separate parts?
Absolutely! Originally, I wanted to do a big EP with 6 tracks on it, so I put that together and took it to Sony Music Australia, presented it to them and they absolutely loved it- but said that there were too many good tracks for it to all be on one EP, which was a very fair point. With EP's, especially when they have that many tracks on it, people tend to only listen to the first half, so that's why we decided to literally just split the EP down the middle and release it into two separate parts:
Part 1 is definitely more chill- it came out just before Christmas and features 3 tracks. For the first time ever, I'm singing on my own track, which is a big thing for me and something I always wanted to do- and that track is called "Illusion". The lead single off Part 1 is called "RU Feeling It" featuring LYRE, an incredibly talented female duo from LA. The music video for "RU Feeling It" was shot in Shanghai, which is an insane city! The theme for the video is "ego-death", and we decided to go all out for the video and do something completely different- and it's kind of just like one big acid trip. The third track is called "Getaway", which features a 19-year-old super talented Australian guy that I actually found through mutual friends on Facebook.
Part 2 of the EP (out now) is a bit more upbeat. The first track is called "Ghost Ya" featuring Sophie Hinzes, an incredibly talented singer/songwriter- and it's about guys being too clingy *laughs*. The stereotype is usually that girls are too clingy but trust me, there's guys out there that are like that as well! The second track is called "One Night" and has a bit more of a dance floor inspired beat- and for the third track, I'm sampling Dawn Penn's classic "No No No" and did a big trap-based reboot of that. It's such a good feeling playing your own tracks out and the reactions so far have been amazing!
So let's talk about your latest venture: your fashion label- I feel like it's every girls dream to own their own fashion line! Talk to me about it:
Before I got into music. it was my dream growing up; when I was a little girl, everyone would always ask me, "what do you wanna be when you grow up?" and I'd always be like, "a fashion designer!" My aunt was a famous fashion designer in Australia so she was definitely a big influence on my life. When I finished school, I went into fashion college and I was quite set on the fact that I was going to be a fashion designer- but then Ibiza came along and I just got completely sucked into the music scene.
And once you're in there, there's no going back! *laughs*
Right! I was completely head over heels for music and started promoting clubs and DJing as a hobby- I just loved the scene and then from there, my career naturally progressed. Fashion always continued to be a huge interest of mine, but I was just so consumed with music that I was never able to revisit it. Now that I finally feel like I'm in a good place with my music, I figured that it would the right time to bring the fashion element into my brand.
All the designs are mine and I'm sourcing everything myself, and it's been an amazing project for me because it inspired me to keep my passion alive. I've been doing music for a while now, so it's exciting to have a fresh new project to dip your feet into. The line is focused around my style, which is streetwear/high-quality sports luxe. I'm drawing inspiration from music, travel and performance and things that I would want to wear on stage that are cool and eye-catching.
What's the long term goal you see with your fashion line?
I've struggled as a female artist to find things that I wanted to wear on stage that stand-out, and I'm creating this line in hopes that other female artists will jump on board. Would love to see someone like Rihanna rocking it! I know I won't be DJing forever and I'd love for fashion to take over when I decide to stop touring- so eventually, I'd like to just build it into one credible, big fashion brand.
Following your EP, you also have a new single that's about to come out, right?
It's in the works! The track is called "Dose Of You" and working with Kirstin [Maldonado] has been fantastic- she's a lovely girl. So I'm hoping that'll be the follow up to the EP.
What would you say is the craziest thing to happen to you either during a set or just in life?
I had a horrible nightmare moment at a festival in front of 10,000 people last year. The guy playing before me left the decks on wide and I didn't realize- so I started my intro and it sped up like a chipmunk! I went to reset it and the deck got jammed *laughs*, it wouldn't stop playing and just went into emergency loop!
Then I started my intro again on another deck and the sound guy starts running up and pulls my USB from the other deck that was playing my new intro, and then THAT deck went into emergency loop. At that point, I got on the mic and said, "guys, we're having some technical difficulties!" It's every DJ's worst nightmare! Then my manager came running out afterwards with a big glass of tequila and was like "DRINK!" *laughs*. I actually learned a big lesson from that show- now every time I start a set, I always make sure to reset the decks.
If you had the opportunity to perform in anywhere in the world and in any type of setting (no limits), where would you choose?
I would perform in a big igloo party under the Northern Lights, and then after I would have a private party and be staring up at the stars in my own little igloo- and I'd have little penguins dancing around, that would be fantastic! Hopefully that happens before global warming ruins the whole planet. Other than that, EDC mainstage would be really cool.