Italian producer Stiv Hey
planned on becoming a lawyer – until he started attending music production classes at night and dropped out of university, that is. Releasing his first tracks in 2012, Hey gained immediate support from superstars of minimal Richie Hawtin, Adam Beyer and Dubfire.
Dubfire’s support changed everything for the young artist. He became fast friends with the producer, who he cites as his greatest inspiration, and they soon combined forces for a European tour. Hey says Dubfire taught him 'what it meant to live the life of a DJ'. He has since released two EPs on Dubfire’s label, Sci+Tec.
At the relatively young age of 25, Hey is still studying music, still developing his sound. As you scroll down his Soundcloud page, the increasing complexity of the productions is obvious, which he attributes to the 15 hours a day he spends in the studio. In fact, in his eyes his work is improving so rapidly that the 'latest track is always my favourite'. It’s a bold claim, but one backed up by his ever-increasing following on the music-sharing platform.
Too many young producers 'focus on trying to find or create a unique ear-catching song' rather than paying attention to the structure and form of the track, says Hey. 'No one ever really creates anything new nowadays, so surrounding yourself with things that inspire you is key.'
For Hey, inspiration comes from everywhere. His samples are often from a wide range of places, from recordings of children he knows to popular internet stockpiles such as Splice. During sets, Hey layers multiple tracks to create entirely different songs, lending welcome texture to a genre that typically lacks variation. 'People feel the work you put into it,' he says. 'Sometimes I spend up to one month preparing a set for a show.' The flipside? 'When people ask for the name of the track I’m playing, it’s a rather complicated question!'