Desert Hearts has been on fire recently with the success of their first ever sold out Spring Festival and a string of proper Tech-House releases. Up next is an EP from Holt Blackheath that has been getting playtime from promo pools and the Desert Hearts guys alike. In light of the release, label boss Mikey Lion did a b2b Q&A with Holt Blackheath.
Mikey Lion: When did you know music was what you wanted to do with your life? Was there a special moment that sent you in the right direction?
Holt Blackheath: It seems like a bit of a Cliche now with how much more mainstream Ibiza seems to becoming but it was in fact a trip to the White Isle in 2010 that kicked it all off for me, a Pete Tongboat party to be precise.
ML: Where do you see yourself fitting in the global dance music community?
HB: I see most producers have a consistent sound throughout their careers but if I just sit down and write what ever feels good at the time, my productions end up being very different from one to the next . Although there is a lot of time between these two tracks if you compare “Don’t Have To Call” to “The Snake Charmer” you’ll hear what I mean. I think that my productions can appeal to a wider audience than most and are continually evolving, so to answer the above question, I think i can fit in a few different places in the global dance music community, so it’s really wherever the people decide to have me
ML: Musically and non musically, what goals would you like to have accomplished 5 years from now?
HB: 5 Years from now? Two words, Jamie Jones. Hahaha. On a serious note of course I’d love to be at his level in 10 or even 15 years from now but no-one really knows where they will end up. The dream for me has always been to go full time and adopt the amazing DJ/Producer lifestyle as a career. This is what I’m always working towards, as I’d love to have all the time in the world to just write music.
ML: How much love do you have to give?
HB: A hell of a lot! It’s essentially why I enjoy being behind those decks so much. There is no better feeling than playing out tracks that you love only to find out that hundreds of people in front of you share that same love. That feeling that something you’ve crafted from the ground up is now being simultaneously excepted and embraced by people you’ve never met, and in that moment you are all friends.
HB: Does the “Lion” in your name represent something in particular?
ML: My real last name is Leon and when I was in school I changed my name on facebook to Mikey Lion so I could hide my social media from potential future employers. But while I was studying abroad in Spain in 2009, I got booked for a gig and the promoter put my DJ name as Mikey Lion and it just kind of stuck. Pretty much manifested my own destiny with that one and became my own boss!
HB: What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
ML: My two favorite ultimate classics are “Orbital – Halcyon” and “Leftfield – Afro-Left”. I rarely get to hear them played out nowadays so when I do it’s always an incredibly special experience. It brings me back to what raving in the 90s must have felt like. So pure, so wild, and so full of love.
HB: If you could be stuck in one year’s music scene eternally, which year would it be and why?
ML: I gotta say I really love where dance music is at right now. There’s a psychedelic resurgence happening all over the world right now and my all-time favorite music is getting made by thousands upon thousands of artists. With so much uncertainty in the world, we’re about to get a healthy dose of creativity pouring out in all directions.
HB: What drove you to create a free label? Was there a specific event or was it just something you always wanted to do?
ML: Admittedly I had no idea what I was doing when I first started the label almost 3 years ago. But I knew it was the next step it taking our message of love to the far reaches of the world. Everything we do in Desert Hearts revolves around giving back to the community that has supported us from the very beginning, so making the label free was just our way of spreading the love and letting people know we’re here because of them. It fits our ethos so perfectly and we’ve seen tremendous growth in this model so far.
HB: Are there distinct milestones you want the label to accomplish over the next 2 years?
ML: I really want the label to be the catalyst for spreading our message to every part of the world. I want to bring on more international artists who align with our vibe and want to grow with our family. I’m also really starting to think about putting out my debut album on the label. I’ve been stockpiling tracks for the past year and I have some time off coming up that I’m planning on taking full advantage of. In the mean time it’s just about building up the label until it’s big enough to properly launch a full length album.