In a constantly changing industry often defined by trends, Hosini stands apart from the crowd with his timeless and meticulously detailed breed of deep melodic house. A kind, humble and hard working individual, his passion for music runs parallel to his thirst for knowledge, and both with a highly respectable level of success. Two bachelors degrees, a masters degree and a career in machine learning on the one hand and an EP on the coveted Anjunadeep, a release on Gorge Hewek and Izhevski’s Shanti Moscow Imprint, and DJ support from Hernan Cattaneo to Guy J to Pete Tong to Nic Fanciulli to Tiesto. With an incredibly bright future ahead of him no matter the chosen path, it is very exciting for us to be exhibiting the intricate, sophisticated and mature sound of Hosini with his Soul Search EP, released today on XYZ. In welcoming him to the XYZ family, we sat down with Rebin Hosini, AKA Hosini, to introduce him to you a bit more in depth and discuss influences, background and the role of information technology and artificial intelligence in today’s electronic music industry.
WWD: Rebin, thanks for sitting down with us! We couldn’t be more excited to have you on XYZ.
Hosini: Thank you for having me 🙂
WWD: As we noted, you are clearly a very focused academic, already with bachelor’s degrees in both economics and statistics as well as a master’s in machine learning. How did you get into music production and did you ever see yourself pursuing music in a more full time, professional setting?
Hosini: Growing up I did not have anyone around me working with music so for me I never thought that I could work with music full time, especially since I did not have a musical background. This was something I realized a couple of years later. Despite not growing up In a musical family, we strangely had an old electrical keyboard in our basement where you just plugged it in the power outlet and you could loop really horrible beats and play your melodies over it. I think someone just came by our house one day and just gave it to us and since it was in the basement, no one really bothered throwing it out, I guess it did not really disturb anyone. I started going down to the basement and playing around with beats and adding melodies after school and subconsciously used that as a platform to express my emotions, not really something I reflected about back then. When I was around 15 I got an acoustic guitar and learned to play some melodies. Music production came years later. I remember listening to the radio on my way to school hearing a sound where I could not recognize the instrument. I started researching what instrument it was and found out that you could make these sounds just using software. This opened up a new world for me.
WWD: How do you manage to balance your work in machine learning with music?
Hosini: Usually it’s not a issue of balancing work with music, it’s rather balancing sleep with music. I make music by night and have to sacrifice a lot of sleep. I used to try not sleeping but that’s not an advice I would give since the next day would be a nightmare. Of course it would be optimal to work with music full time but I see work as an opportunity to reboot and gain inspiration by doing something completely different.
WWD: What kind of things do you do in machine learning?
Hosini: It is a really broad field but essentially it is about building and training algorithms that can learn from data and hopefully output business value for the end consumer. Machine learning is applied to everything from self driving cars, image recognition to fraud detection and search engines. I think an interesting application area for the future is the medical sector and I am excited to see how it will be applied.
WWD: What kind of role do you see IT and AI playing in the music industry over the coming decades?
Hosini: We have already seen companies such as LANDR who apply deep learning to master your tracks. I think this area will continue to improve. Another interesting area is collaboration and I am rooting for this area so that it will become easier collaborate on music. I know there are some solutions out there but I think we are just getting started in this field. Generally, Its really hard to predict coming decades since we have learned from history that future is quite unpredictable.
WWD: How do you feel advancements in technology have impacted/changed the way we make music?
Hosini: I would have to say I am lucky to have started producing not long ago. It would probably require much more effort, money and skill for people to start making music back in the day. Nowadays, you would just need a laptop and your set to go, probably a good pair of headphones as well. Since it is so accessible, it has resulted in a lot of upcoming talent that wouldn’t be in the industry if it weren’t for the advancements in technology. This is something I see as positive thing!
WWD: What is the house and techno scene like in Stockholm?
Hosini: I think the scene has existed for a while but the problem has been communication and knowing where to go to find good music. Nowadays we can use social media to find events that relate to what you like. In addition, a lot of new places in Stockholm have opened which are more underground oriented. 2018 has been a really good year here and a lot of great artists have visited. I really hope this positive trend continues and making more people involved in the scene.
WWD: You work a lot in ambient music and film scoring. What kind of impact has cinema had on your music?
Hosini: I remember the first movie that really got me emotional as a child and it was The Lion King. I later in my life realized that it was the story together with the music that made it emotional. I heard they are releasing a new version of this movie next year as well, hope it does not disappoint. Generally, I think the impact of cinema on my music comes from the fact that good film scoring increases the impact of the visuals. I usually choose a background or a video and try to add a piece of music that matches that visual. When I go to see a movie, I usually check the composers before heading into the cinema.
WWD: You mentioned to us a while ago that you are most inspired by art that seems to have an absence of human presence. Why is that?
Hosini: I think it has inspired me to make a lot of music since this type of art helps me fill in the picture with emotions. It is like having a book with just the content section and you have complete freedom to write whatever story you like within the framework of the sections.
WWD: Your artwork and branding is very abstract and mysterious. Do you enjoy avoiding the limelight and letting fans make their own conclusions about the man behind Hosini?
Hosini: When starting out, the purpose of me being abstract and mysterious was to personally separate myself from the person I am in the studio. It allowed me to see music as an escape from everything else. For a long time I kept the music for myself and no one really knew I was making music. I transferred that into social media and I guess that is just something that stuck.
WWD: How do you see yourself performing moving forward? To you resonate with the role of a DJ or are there other avenues to performance that you would like to explore?
Hosini: I think both DJ and live sets would be fun! Essentially, I would like to create a concept show where the people leaving the show should see it as an experience and not just “a good night out”. Future will tell how this concept will be shaped 🙂
WWD: What other kinds of artistic expression do you like to explore?
Hosini: Recently, I have been getting into photography and discovering some beautiful places in Stockholm. I wish I had more time for this but for the moment all my spare time is spent on producing. I guess I would need to see the photography as an inspiration for creating more music and then it will become easier for me to let go of the studio and go out and take pictures.
WWD: What/who have been your biggest musical influences growing up?
Hosini: I listened a lot to Michael Jackson growing up, Quincy Jones was amazing in getting the most out of Michaels voice by his amazing productions. Besides that, Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley were big part of my early childhood and they have all inspired my music in one way or another.
WWD: You’re a great example of someone who has been able to find widespread interest while mostly producing tunes from your bedroom – can you tell us about your beginning as a producer?
Hosini: It was hard, since I did not have anyone helping me so I had to learn everything myself. I have always been curious of how things in general work but usually I get bored when there are limitations, with music production it was different and the possibilities are endless. There is always something new to try, new sounds to design. The production felt like a natural transition from playing the guitar and piano that I mentioned earlier. I remember making a lot of music before deciding to release anything and that I made my first productions with really bad in-ear headphones. The reason for not wanting to release this was that I did not like my own tracks at the end of the productions since I have heard it so many times, I think many can relate to this. Nowadays, I try to remember the initial feeling I had when I came up with the main hook, or main idea and that keeps me going.
WWD: What are some of the challenges of making the first major step in the industry – committing to making music full time?
Hosini: The big challenge is to make everything work together. Having a full time job and producing music the same time can be time consuming and you would have to sacrifice sleep or work to make time for music. Sometimes, sacrificing work is not an option due to obvious reasons 🙂
WWD: You haven’t released any remixes yet. Is that process something that appeals to you? Who are some of the artists you would look to remix down the road?
Hosini: It is definitely something that I would do. For me to remix a track I need to feel an emotional connection to the track and an idea of how I can make it unique and different from the original while keeping some key aspects of the track. Limiting myself to this scene, I would love to remix something from Guy J. The Trees, the Sea & the Sun is one of my favourite albums. Kiasmos, Powel and Armen Miran are artist I really enjoy listening to so I would definitely remix one of their tracks. Another dream project of mine would be remixing Bonobo. Talking about remixes, I am actually releasing one early next year so keep an eye out on my pages!
WWD: You’ve already released an EP on the label giant Anjunadeep; They are known for sustaining valuable and long term relationships with their favorite producers. How has beginning on such a well known label affected your early years as an artist?
Hosini: It was really amazing to get a lot of support and nice comments from a lot of people as a result of the EP. I think it just pushes me to make more music that people enjoy. Also, It has opened up a lot of doors with contact to other amazing producers, a contact I did not have much of beforehand.
WWD: What do you look for in a potential label for your music?
Hosini: Originality, a concept and quality music that I can relate to are key points for me. Also, I would like to work with labels where I can feel a good connection with the label people. I think that the personal relationship with the label is really important.
WWD: You’ve given us three tracks, each with a unique identity, for the Soul Search EP. The release covers the spectrum of dubby, atmospheric, groovy, melodic, atmospheric, and emotive. How have you seen your style develop since you began making music?
Hosini: I am constantly looking for new production styles and love experimenting in the studio. I think my music has developed to more organically sounding elements which is something I put a lot of focus on in the studio. I am starting to record more stuff here in the Swedish nature and experiment with how to make melodic elements with non-melodic organic sounds which is cool. The title track Soul Search is a bit more darker and dubby music compared to my previous work and I felt it would be interesting throwing in something more unexpected from me which I was careful with when I started out, I usually kept those tracks for myself.
WWD: We love the EP and are big fans of you as an artist, thanks for your time Rebin!
Hosini: Thank you 🙂
Listen to/download the full EP here!