a chat with: HYAN

Hyan is a producer, DJ and all-round creative born & bred in Gizzy but based in Tāmaki Makaurau now. His style is influenced by a wide range of genres, but predominately hip hop and dance music. Hyan’s energy and live edits are reflected in his production with recognisable vocal sampling, dancehall sections and heavy references to Kiwi culture. His main focus is always pushing good vibes thru sound and celebrating Aotearoa’s talented music & pop culture. We had a chat about where his name came from, his recent shoe release and favourite THATS A FKN WRAP moment!

Sup bro! How’s your week been so far?

The past week has been pretty fkn crazy to be honest! But I’m feeling extremely blessed!

First of all, tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Hyan, but you may know me as Uncle. I’m a Producer, DJ, Creative, Retail manager for Checks Downtown and profesional skuxx. I’m 25 living in Tāmaki Makaurau, originally from Tūranganui-a-Kiwa - Gizzy hard g.

Where did the name HYAN come from?

In 2015 I was looking to change my alias from the the one I had as a DJ in Gisborne. I was really struggling to lock a name in, everyone I came up with ended up sounding super cheesy. So after months of writing options on my whiteboard, I got the opportunity to release a song on a Slo:Wave Compilation (Alongside artists like Montell2099, T1R & LMC). The compilation album was dropping in a week so the pressure was on to pick a name, so i went with the one that had stayed on the whiteboard the longest - Hyan. At that time I was living with an islamic family who had a son with the Quranic name Iyan. I really liked this lil homie, he’d come and listen to the beats I was making and was always keen for a yarn even tho he didn’t speak english. It was derived from his name as I liked the sound and how it looked written down, I just gave it a tweak to avoid appropriation 🙂 

Most people think it means ‘High Yarn’ or is my real name lol 

Hahaha High Yarn is low-key a fire name. You recently dropped Uncle Edits Vol.2! Love it man, nothing but vibes. What’s your favourite track off it? And why? 

The Sisqó - Thong Song Remix. It’s the first finished collab with my Brother, and his first officially released piece of music. He only started producing recently and has progressed hella quick! It’s also got a tempo and genre switch in it witch is always fun to play live!

You’re from Gizzy originally, what’s it been like living in Auckland? Anything you miss?

I love living in Auckland! It defiantly took a while to get used to but I’ve been here for 8 years now and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in Aotearoa. I miss having my whanau around me for sure. The slow pace is always nice to return to and just switch off.

What inspires you to create?

My friends play a massive role in my inspiration. If I see them winning it inspires me to go get it too! I also love finding inspiration in subcultures, and going deep on something that isn’t particularly in trend, but has influenced the main stream. This is something that Japan does very well. For example, looking into and studying why a song I like sounds a certain way, and what genres influenced that sound. This is definitely the nerd in me, but I always feel inspired by stumbling upon weird and unique trends from overseas or the past. 

You’re a jack of all trades, DJing, designing, producing and so on. If you could only do one of them for the rest of your life. Which one would it be? 👀 

Oh shit hahaha praying I never have to make this decision! But I reckon I’d have to chose production. Escape, healing and expression thru music is something that has always been important to me so I can’t see myself without it. Also, I reckon I’ve found a loop hole - I could use production software to pre-make a DJ mix then fake DJ it in front of a crowd still. If I don’t actually mix any songs and just press play then pretend I’m doing shit, I’m technically not DJing right?

Ooooh shit, you've found a loophole! Hahaha. Top 3 songs you have on repeat at the moment?

- PinkPantheress - Passion (Although it’s safe to say every song of hers is getting a good amount of air time right now) 
- Leaping Tiger - Gooey
- P-rallel x Lauren Faith - Blue Denim Jeans (Nia Archives Remix)

You also recently dropped the UNCO x Hyan Dunkle Ice Hi shoes! Which did incredibly well. What was that like to do? Any pros/cons?

Thank you g! All credit to @ButtShaknShushi, the brains behind Unco, he made it such an easy process! He dealt with all the factory correspondence and tedious mahi. So working with a homie who you’re on the same wave length with was a massive pro! Another big pro is the fridge at a random little restaurant on K road with the Ice Print I referenced was removed about a year ago, I’m really stoked I got a photo of it when I did, cause otherwise the swaggy ice would have been lost forever! Honestly I can’t pick a single Con, unless we get sued by Nike down the track lmao

Yoooo shoutout to the fridge! 
Lastly, what’s your favourite “THATS A FKN WRAP” moment?

The first time I went to Thailand (that’s the start to every good yarn) I found myself at a cute little beach shack cafe in a remote part of Krabi that can only be accessed by boat. They had a bit of a different menu to the rest of the cafes, if you catch my drift. I ordered a shroom shake, thinking it’s be somewhat mellow as it cost like $3NZD and idk I was just naive I guess. Had my shake, topped it off with a little brownie. Ahh lovely, now to go relax on the beach. Nek fkn minit, I’m seeing 100ft whales jumping in the bay splashing rainbows behind them, a damn light beam was shooting out of my forehead as far as I could see, and a fear that Thai police would realise I’m tripping balls and put me in jail came over me.
THEN out of nowhere a 100 strong gang of monkeys come swinging in and start fucking shit up on the beach and in the cafes around me. It was so loud and so hectic yet so hilarious. People running everywhere, restaurant owners trying to stop the monkeys robbing them, all while I’m just frozen watching it unfold before my eyes - kinda questioning if it’s even real or not hahaha It was undoubtedly amazing, but without a question the most overwhelming experience I can remember dealing with. The final battle was then boarding this rickety little boat driven by a 9 year old, to take us thru open water, back to our hotel on the mainland. The trip was ending as I got in my room, and I just remember lying down thinking “Thank god that’s a fkn wrap!”

Holy moly, yea nah. You win this question so far hahaha. Hectic! Thanks for taking the time to chat bro! Is there anything you can tell us about upcoming projects?

Always a pleasure my g! Anything for CNRPR the goat and the That’s a FKN Wrap whanau! I’ve got a few more remixes in the works! A few local artists getting the Hyan flip treatment. Some original music in the works too. Also we’re currently planning the next instalment of Unco x Hyan goodness, so watch this space & stay up to date via the ‘Gram! Big love!

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