Out Now Magazine Spotlight series featuring H.S. Botha Productions for an exclusive interview
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in South Africa. I now live in Sydney, Australia.
When did you start making music?
1987 and I never stopped. I only took a break when I went to University in South Africa between 1996 and 2000. I never stopped making music during that time, it just wasn’t a main priority. I went back to my music full-time again in 2011. At this time I was already living in Australia and I made it my life’s mission to become a full-time musician and artist.
How do you describe your music?
Immersive and intense. In addition, I find that a lot my work now leans very much into the cosmology and physics realms.
Favorite moment from your career?
I don’t have one favourite moment, it seems as if all the small wins have become the driving forces towards where I am now. Getting my Doctorate in Music & Critical Analysis was definitely a big moment. A favorite moment definitely includes when I won Best Soundtrack for a short film at the Reale Festival in Italy in February of 2021.
Another great moment was when Rise As Fire enjoyed being on the Top 40 Underground Repostexchange playlist for 7 days in a row. (This of course happened in the last 6 weeks.)
Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
It is difficult to name one musical inspiration. I think the work of Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, and the spectralists are definitely by three biggest influences.
What is your producing software?
What other things do you do besides making music?
I read as much as I can. Reading Star Wars books have been a main focus and then of course, I’ve read a lot around trauma and the neurosciences. In addition, learning physics in my spare time has proven to be a great way to spend my time. Of course physical exercise is a must so that my brain can keep making new work.
What is your favorite track of all time?
“Rivers of your eyes, which is now available on Spotify and all other major streaming platforms. Some of the pieces I make can be emotional and intense. When I made Rivers of your eyes, I was definitely on a journey of discovery and it always pulls at my heart strings.”
What is your best-producing tip?
Listen to the music you’ve already created to learn what worked, what can be better, and to identify your strengths. There are no mistakes in making music, it is the imperfections which makes the music perfect.
Why did you start making music?
This is a tricky one, I think I was always a creative soul. I think the big thing for me is, music is my main language, life would not make sense to me without it. My music is where my emotions live, where stories come to life. The words are secondary, sound is the primary source of inspiration. Any form of music is my happy place and I want to be in that space every day.
What are your goals for the future?
I am working on two film scripts at the moment, while I am looking for licensing opportunities for my music in film and other forms of media. The goal is to make a couple of films and create extraordinary music for other filmmakers.
Of course, the ultimate goal is to work with Lucasfilm. (Yes, I know a lot of die-hard Star Wars fans probably say the same thing as well. In my case, I have a couple of projects which needs the skills and technology of Lucasfilm to come to life).
What advice can you give for young music producers/DJs?
Practice, practice, and practice some more. When you get tired, practice again, when you want to give up, practice some more. When it feels like you are not being heard, keep going, practice your art, keep writing, keep creating. The world needs your creative mind, your passion, and message. Remember, creating music is a marathon, not a race.
Please write a message to your fans.
What makes my day is opening my SoundCloud account to see what is happening with my statistics. The words of encouragement, honest feedback, and engagement with the music makes my heart jump for joy. It is a wonderful way to start the day. Thank you for listening and for coming back to listen again.
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