HomeSick aka Shaun McHale is a man that wears many hats. Between curating the Percolate series at Habitat Living Sound and running the Footwork-Jungle Tumblr Blog, he also produces some of the most forward thinking bass music of our times. HomeSick was selected by the Red Bull Music Academy in Paris back in 2015 to learn from some of the best producers in the world and since that time, he has played many shows all over the world including the Sonar Music Festival in Barcelona just last year.

I got to catch up with HomeSick recently as he was preparing for the next chapter of his career, the release of his latest EP, Legendary.

Sonar 4(cred Dan Medhurst)

FREQ: Can you explain who HomeSick is?

HOMESICK: How I started Homesick was: ingredient 1, my obsession with really strange footwork. Not necessarily juke but like, battle footwork drums which were free jazz- where the snare was just out of place of where it’s expected to be. Or strange drum patterns that are used in really creative ways and that was so appealing to me coming from a background of break core where you are putting as much chaos and thought into your drum patterns and melodies.

Ingredient 2, being at an event and it’s 1:30 AM and the DJ is dipping into his folder of the wildest tracks making people lose their shit. HomeSick was originally me trying to bridge those two elements. Taking the energy from big, hype club tracks and bringing in the intricate elements of footwork, break core and jungle into a bass music arena. I think that’s what I’ve been whittling at slowly and trying to capture and bring those pure elements as cohesively as I can.

FREQ: What type of sound or vibe were you going for with for this release?

HOMESICK: I was bringing a much looser feel. I was bringing hip hop drums into a footwork arena. Taking inspirations from artists like Ivy Lab, Alix Perez and Greazus. I’m stepping a bit outside of the 160 footwork arena into 170 half time bass music, hip hop feel. It’s been so much fun.

FREQ: Can you explain to me how the track, Jumanji came to be?

HOMESICK: I was living with Jeremy (Sinistarr) at the time. I woke up in the morning and the Greazus boys were sleeping on the floor in my living room covered in mud. There is mud all over their shoes and I had no idea. They told me after that they had been playing this rave the night before. I had just woken up and they were hung over, my time was limited and the studio was right there so I started working on the new album and as soon as I started working on the Jumanji track, they immediately woke up and said, “Yo, we gotta get in on this!” Jeremy eventually woke up and we just had the entire Western Canadian bass music team on this track. Another day or two and we finished the track and it turned out really well. They’ve already taken that track all around the world.Barcelona (cred Maria Louceiro)

 

FREQ: What was it like for you to receive news that you had won a spot with Red Bull back in 2015?

HOMESICK: I was on the highway coming back from a job in Airdrie and I was checking my email like an idiot. (laughs) It said, “See you in Paris.” and I was looking at the email and looking at the road and I was lucky I didn’t get into an accident as I was shaking. (laughs) PSA, don’t check your emails while you’re driving!

 FREQ: I read that you played at Sonar in Barcelona, how was that? How was it different from when youre playing a gig at home?

HOMESICK: Being at Sonar was incredible, that was the most satisfying performance…It was mystifying to be there in the green room among the greats and you’re drinking beer and eating fancy cheese and a part of that community, to be among some of the artists that are responsible for your selection of music in the first place. There is something to be said about being in that environment, however at the same time, I don’t think I have ever had as satisfying of a performance as I did when I did my first show at Soda. It was just full of my friends and I remember just giving it my all and being able to express myself musically for the first time. I feel like my entire musical career I have just been trying to chase down and trying to top my first performance. Even now playing at home to a bunch of acquaintances and friends is amazing in its own right.

Sonar 2(cred Pere Masramon

 

FREQ: What does the night Percolate mean to you and our scene in Calgary?

HOMESICK: We wanted to be a part of the community and we wanted to introduce Calgary to new underground bass music [that we wanted] Calgary to be more familiarized with. It gave us the opportunity to become a more active member of the juke/footwork community worldwide for bringing in these artists but at the same time, we used it as a way to make a platform for our local artists here in Calgary and bring some light to their names here and worldwide.

FREQ: What is juke and footwork to you?

HOMESICK: I don’t think I got the Oxford definition but juke as I understand it came out of ghetto house music. Essentially it was just really sped up house tracks which have taken a life of their own. With footwork battle tracks, they are a beast of their own as they are honed for use in the dance battles. There is a really strong culture in Chicago, all ages are a part of it and it’s just an incredibly sophisticated and wild style of dance to watch.

Words: Vinh Hoang

Photo: Dan Medhurst

Maria Louceiro

Pere Masramon

Seclusiasis presents: Legendary EP should be available wherever digital music is sold.

You can catch HomeSick play at Percolate: Legendary Release Party hosted by Habitat Living Sound @9 pm on February 16th, 2017. For all the info for HomeSick’s Legendary release visit http://www.seclusiasis.com/legendary/

 

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