New For '19
We're shining a spotlight on the best up and coming New Zealand artists set to dominate 2019. Meet Auckland vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist HIGH HØØPS.
Ticketmaster New Music is your one-stop destination to discover the best emerging live acts before they explode. These are the artists we’re expecting to make waves in the live music scene, and we want you to know about them first.
You may know him from bands like Kids of 88 and Leisure, but it’s through his solo-project HIGH HØØPS that Auckland-based vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist Jordan Arts truly shines. Smooth vocals and dreamy, grooving production are what you’ll get here, with influences spanning ’70s funk, ’80s disco, ’90s R&B, and 2000s dance music combining to create something that sounds new and fresh.
The end of 2018 finally saw the release of his debut album Seasons on Planet Earth after years of making and releasing solo music on the side of his band projects and as a video director – having worked with the likes of Broods, Matthew Young, and MAALA behind the camera. He’s also lent his vocals to tracks by SWIDT, High Beams, Roland Tings, and Moods.
Seasons on Planet Earth is the complete HIGH HØØPS story, with Jordan taking on writing, producing, engineering, and mixing duties as well as playing every instrument you’ll hear. 2019 is the year of HIGH HØØPS, it’s time to get acquainted.
From the beginning
“I started playing on pots and pans when I was 8, and for my 10th birthday my parents gave me a drum kit. The rest was a long history of annoying the neighbours in various rock bands until I was 15. I then found a love for production, that’s where it really took shape and I was able to manipulate my ideas the most. That still stands with me now, although I can make-do with bass guitar and vocals now as an extra creative layer. My main existence with music has been becoming comfortable with myself and learning how to express that.”
What you’ll hear
“When I had figured out that my strongest creative license was making whatever I wanted to for myself and that it would still sound like ‘HIGH HØØPS’ everything had unlocked. The sound is mostly born out of disco, R&B, and blue-eyed soul but wrapped up in groove-based pop forms.”
Influences & inspiration
“I go through cycles, I like to dig deep on old collections. The real gangster stuff never reached the public Top 40 heights. At the moment it’s Dexter Wansel, Jennifer Lara, and The Supreme Jubilees. I really dig Californian modernism architecture too, as a sense of space and structure for my mind to dwell in. Escapism seems to run thick when I create – I recently wrote something with the pool scene from Boogie Nightslooping in the background. Having a visual or cinematic space to transport to helps me paint the stereo scene better.”
For the love of music
“I love the visual, sonic and emotional trifecta. In a creation scenario, it’s reconnecting with the frequencies and being able to express myself as an individual. In a live scenario, it’s the energy when you’re in a space with people or a person.”
“My biggest achievement has been putting out my full-length record Seasons on Planet Earth. See next answer for more info.”
The hard yards
“Finishing a body of creative work had been a mountain of time, and creative and emotional energy. It was the first time making something solely myself. Playing everything on the record, engineering, producing, pushing my vocals to a new level. I am my own nemesis when it comes to getting something I can hear in my head onto the speakers, and because I’m completely self-taught with many bad habits and limitations – the record sounds a certain way for a reason. A lot of the time scientifically and sonically, I had no idea what I was doing. It just had to feel right – that was a huge obstacle.”
The year ahead
“More shows, more music. The world is crazy out there, so I prefer to take each week as it comes. Make some things I dig. Be inspired, and go from there.”
HIGH HØØPS – Body
“It must have gone through at least five different phases before it was wrangled. I was meticulous with every little detail as it would be the first ‘single’ off the record. Some songs come easy, others make you work for it. It’s my favourite for that reason.”
HIGH HØØPS – Blue Eyes
“Sometimes I make things at 4am in a smoked-out room and things get hazy. I hadn’t tuned my bass guitar, and it was the first element I’d recorded in so the whole song is a semitone out. It wasn’t until live rehearsals recently that my guitarist Matt said, ‘Hey bro, what key is this in? Everything I play sounds out of tune,’ – it’s in the key of cooked.”
HIGH HØØPS – Heatwave
“This is the oldest song on the record at about four years old. I’d mixed it through the MacBook speakers at the time and when it came time to properly mix it, some of the project file was missing so we just mastered the .WAV file and let the universe take care of the rest.”
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