Introducing Interview: Hvmmingbyrd

Having formed back in 2016, Irish duo Hvmmingbyrd, aka Deborah Byrne and Suzette Das, have previously had their music featured on Made In Chelsea, and have just released a brand new single. Inspired by a blissful trip away to a Maltese island, ‘Gozo’ oozes a twinkling, ethereal joy; it’s a euphoric, other-worldly delight.

We caught up with the duo to find out more…

Hi Hvmmingbyrd, welcome to Gigslutz! Can you tell us a little bit about your latest musical project?
Thank you for having us! We are currently releasing our new single ‘Gozo’ which is our first new release in a year. It feels so good to have something fresh out there! Musically, the song features dreamy harmonies, shimmers of electronica, heartfelt lyrics and a summer pop feel.

How did you both meet and initially start creating music together?
Deborah had performed both as a solo singer/songwriter and with a folk band prior to the duo forming. Suzette studied music in university and performed in choirs and jazz bands. Deborah met Suzette through mutual friends in Dublin in early 2016. Suzette had been posting loop original and covers on YouTube and Deborah thought it could be an interesting collaboration and asked Suzette if she wanted to work together.

We’re loving the beautiful new single ‘Gozo’ – what’s it all about?
Deborah went on holiday to a beautiful island called Gozo and was inspired by her time there – we wanted to bring this feeling of space into the song that matched the euphoria of feeling really free and alive by being in the moment.

And what generally inspires you to write songs?
Often we begin a song with a feeling, experience or a story and then it usually turns into something totally different by the end of the process. It’s pretty fun to take every day joy, sadness or frustrations and to try and turn them into something a little bit lovelier than their original mundane form.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Maggie Rogers, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
We have lots of different influences from classical, orchestral music, chamber choirs and movie scores, to hip hop, folk or pop. Some of our current favourites would be Bon Iver, Daft Punk, Francis & The Lights, Vera Blue… Growing up Deborah was a massive fan of Lauryn Hill and Joni Mitchell. Suzette loved Kimbra and Laura Marling. We are both converts to electronic music, so there are splashes of electronica throughout our music too. In the past year, we both started studying production and engineering and made it a goal to produce our own music both in the studio and live onstage. We’re currently going through a phase of obsessively watching electronic musicians producing live.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
Both of us live in or close to Dublin city centre so we’re pretty spoiled for choice. There are quality gigs happening every night if you have the time or energy to go! It’s been a real joy for us getting stuck into the Dublin music community. We learn something new every time we go to see our peers perform!

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming artists or bands you’d suggest we check out?
Some of our Irish favourites include agrosoul four piece Barq, RnB trio Wyvern Lingo or singer-songwriter Sinead White.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new artists at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
Getting noticed is not without its challenges but we have been very fortunate in how we’ve been received in our home country of Ireland, and in our brief ventures beyond – we really appreciate the generosity of the Irish and UK media who gave us a chance as new artists. I think hard work, creativity, patience, determination, business savvy and support in areas you’re lacking goes a long way, just like in any business. And overall, the promotional opportunities that living in a digital era afford us as independent artists are pretty amazing and we’re thankful for that.

Finally, what does the rest of 2017 have in store for Hvmmingbyrd?
We are heading on a national tour at the end of August and have our first UK date in the works!

‘Gozo’, the new single from Hvmmingbyrd, is out now.

Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Editor, London. Likes: Kathleen Hanna, 6Music, live music in the sunshine. Dislikes: Sexism, pineapples, the misuse of apostrophes.