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HOKI: “We try not to set limitations, the creative process can be a mine field”

Montreal duo HOKI are on a mission to make 2021 their own. The indie electronic pair started the year on the front foot with a sublime remix compilation, which spotlighted work from tastemakers like Martin Roth, Matthias Meyer, and Alejandro Mosso. Their summer season was defined by the arrival of the thrilling EP ‘Caught Up With A Friend’. The 4-track collection, which showcased the breadth and range of emotion in their inimitable sound.

The pinnacle of 2021 is yet to come, however, as their impending ‘None Of Us Will Ever Be The Same’ album is on the horizon. With two singles released already in ‘Growing Young’ and ‘The Hardest Part To Give’, it’s clear the LP will present their signature raw, emotive, and soul-stirring sonic experience with a fresh touch.

We catch up with HOKI to get the lowdown on their upcoming release, their music-making process, talk about their chemistry, and more.

Electronic Groove: We’re very excited to hear the news that your third album ’None Of Us Will Ever Be The Same’ is coming later this year. What do you have in store for us?

Brent: We always approach the writing process the same way. Expect nothing and see what comes out. We try not to set limitations on ourselves or expect too much because the creative process can be a mine field. After a week away secluded at a chalet, we came out with something we felt was very experimental and a step forward from our last record.

Electronic Groove: Sonically, how has your sound developed since the ‘Today’ release?

Varti: Sonically and compositionally, we feel like we’ve leveled up since ‘Today’. I always have a preproduction ritual before any big project. I spent some time sorting through a lot of the sounds I usually work with and the idea was to bring forward a different experience.

Electronic Groove: Can you describe the new album to us in 3 words?

Brent: Dark, emotional, and spontaneous

Electronic Groove: Tell us about the creative process behind the record. How and when was it recorded?

Varti: Before going to the chalet, I took about 2 months to do some pre-production work. The idea is always to get in a specific headspace and try to bring out something different from us. We got together in August last year and laid down all the ideas for each track. We usually take a week off away from all distractions at Brent’s chalet. It’s always a memorable experience.

“We always approach the writing process the same way. Expect nothing and see what comes out”

Electronic Groove: ‘Growing Young’ leads the way as the first single from the album. Can you share with us the meaning and inspiration behind the track?

Brent: Most of my creative output comes from my existence and ‘Growing Young’ was no different. An indirect lesson was taught to me by a friend who saw me surrounding myself with toxic people. She told me they wouldn’t be my friends in 10 years. This was something that was hard to take in at the time but looking back, she was right.

Electronic Groove: ‘The Hardest Part To Give’ is the first-ever fully acoustic track you’ve released. What inspired that decision?

Varti: It just happened! I was sitting on the couch just playing around on my classical guitar. Not even trying to come up with something. I played the chords and we both said, let’s record this. We had no idea walking into the recording week that we’d end up with an acoustic track.

Electronic Groove: Can we expect more acoustic tracks in the future?

Brent: It’s a hard question to answer but without giving too much away, we are floating the idea of using acoustic instruments for the basis of the next record.

Electronic Groove: It’s a new milestone of achievement for you guys in what’s been a prolific relationship over the last few years. What keeps you guys in sync when it comes to working together?

Varti: We’ve always worked well together because of the understanding of each other’s process, our relationship, and knowing what we both have in and outside of HOKI. There’s a mutual understanding across the board because being in a band is quite hard. Since we both have experiences in different projects, and we both know what we want to achieve, it makes the journey easier.

“We’ve always worked well together because of the understanding of each other’s process, our relationship, and knowing what we both have in and outside of HOKI”

Electronic Groove: For any music lovers new to HOKI, what would you suggest as the ideal situation/location for listening to the new album?

Brent: Whenever I put my kids in the car, they always ask to listen to HOKI. Whether it be a short or a long-distance ride. So I’m feeling… in the car on a road trip.

Electronic Groove: What else can we expect from you in the coming months?

Varti: More music. We have a jam-packed release schedule. We’re looking to get on the road as soon as possible.

Electronic Groove: Thank you for your time guys! Hope to see you soon!

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