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Self-described “lazy” musician Ryan Hemsworth keeps busy

By Andy Williams, November 20 2014 —

Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth’s uncanny ability to combine southern hip hop, indie rock, j-pop and video game samples in his sets has attracted a large following.

He has remixed the work of artists like Frank Ocean, Grimes, Lorde and Mikky Ekko to much acclaim. After releasing eight EPs of original material featuring collaborators from around the world, his most recent album, Alone For The First Time, came out on Nov. 4.

If that wasn’t enough, Hemsworth manages his SoundCloud project Secret Songs, which promotes the work of undiscovered artists. With all of this going on, it’s hard to believe Hemsworth’s description of himself as lazy.

“I probably haven’t had more than a week or a week and a half home at a time in the last couple of years,” Hemsworth says. “It’s weird to get used to not being in the same place, especially for me because I’m a pretty lazy person and I like not moving or going anywhere.”

With such incredible output, it would be natural to assume the 24 year old would be the product of a strong home music scene, but Hemsworth begs to differ.

“People in Halifax didn’t really give a shit,” he says. “I kind of had to move away for anybody to actually want me to come back.”

After graduating from King’s College with a degree in journalism, Hemsworth flew to Toronto to open for Shlomo, a massive opportunity for the relatively unknown DJ. He has spent most of the time since then away from Halifax, though he recently returned to a warm reception.

“I feel like I only really had my first homecoming show at [Halifax] Pop Explosion this year, last month. It was super awesome,” he says. “I think smaller cities like that need you to leave for them to actually want to claim you and show you love.”

The eclectic nature of Hemsworth’s work reflects a talent for discovering new music. That talent hasn’t faded as he has become busier with touring, song- writing and his Secret Songs project.

“People send me shit constantly. It’s not necessarily always good, but I try to listen to everything. There’s definitely a lot of gems that I would have never found otherwise,” he says. “I’ve always just really loved the feeling of discovering an artist who has 100 followers on SoundCloud and has this amazing sound. I don’t know, it’s like the crate digging of nowadays.”

Ryan Hemsworth plays the HiFi Club on Nov. 27. Tickets are $20 and available at Sloth Records or online.

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