It’s Monday morning, day number… you can’t remember. Your list of ‘to dos’ is glaring at you – yoga, followed by a green smoothy, 30 minutes of Duolingo & mission keep yourself inspired! Light beams of sweat start appearing on your forehead when “Box Beyond the Dust” the new single from LA-base producer Hermes (Roxanne Starnik), a moody Goth Bop tune written 9 years ago after a breakup, pops up in your algorithm….
Hermes: “I wrote the bones of it nine years ago. Last year when I moved to my first and current home in LA, I came across the demo in my old iTunes library. I thought the song slapped, so I decided to give it a try with my upgraded studio setup. It’s a pretty simple track in a sense, so I didn’t have any troubles finishing it in like two sittings and was very happy with how it turned out. I got a little bit self-conscious at one point about its lack of regular song structure, but I got over it real quick after I reminded myself that I don’t think any of my songs have that. I don’t know how to play any instruments, really, so structure often tends to stunt my process. The tune was originally inspired by a breakup, but I feel like it now has transformed its meaning – it feels like the intangible but important jewels one receives when healing and transcending old patterns takes place. I think Steve’s (Steve Macadams) video interpretation of the song was very intuitively spot on in regards to what internal evolution feels like.”
How long have you been living in LA and what made you move there?
I will have been here for 2 years in April! Seasonal depression and music brought me to LA. Of course there’s a dear spot in my heart for my hometown Cleveland, Ohio but some people are truly more successful when living in a place that isn’t grey and cold for three quarters of the year! My intentions were to just have an easier and more gratifying time making music and it happened – and it happened really fast. My spirit thrives here.
What was the biggest challenge you faced whilst recording & producing your new single?
What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
While I was just trying to search my memory bank, digging deep for the most misery and tears that I could find, my mind stopped at a moment when I was about to audition for a talent show in 5th grade. I was doing a solo dance to Janet Jackson’s “Run away”. I was not very popular and CERTAINLY not very cool amongst the suburban, jazzy, cheerleader dance studio girls. I had an outfit that I thought was so great but I knew everyone was gonna make fun of me for it. That day I wore a white tank top, white pants, white tennis shoes with purple laces, white gloves that went to my elbows, a purple scarf tied around my waist with gold beads on the ends. My hair was also in a high ponytail with a purple plastic cone hair accessory at the base. I looked very strange and I just cried and cried until I was called in to audition. All these teachers were staring at me, as my face was all swollen, judging my performance that I knew wasn’t regular. I feared that I was going to be told that I’m just unacceptable. But it didn’t happen! A week later I was told that I was accepted because someone else had backed out. School was not a fun time since then but I think that that experience prepared me for not being too scared to try things in life in general. I really can’t think of any other times in my life that I’ve done something that has left me more terrified, besides other auditions – and I’m consistently horrible at them. Perhaps I’ve severely limited my experiences to being very comfortable and within a range that is bearable to my sympathetic nervous system.
What are your favorite things to do that are for free?
Smell flowers and look at plants – I sincerely doing this a lot. Everyone who knows me is aware that I cannot resist asking you to look at or smell a plant or call notice to a bird. I bet it’s pretty annoying. I also watch so many different tarot and astrologer YouTubers. I enjoy to walk. I meditate two times every day and that is the most valuable free thing ever.
Take us through what a typical day in the studio looks like for you?
Well… there isn’t much of a routine. Historically I’m not very prolific as I work on a timeline that’s very dependent on whether the creative spirit moves me, which can be frustrating. I don’t really play any instruments, so I’m not quite able to bust out a tune in a typical manner. If there’s anything that’s typical for me, it’s having 3 different beverages and a very comfortable outfit that is most likely sweats. If it’s the morning – its coffee, water and sparkling water- and if it’s the evening – it’s sparkling water and an alcoholic beverage.
What’s something that you do that helps you stay productive?
Moving to LA has made me the most productive ever. I feel that putting myself in an environment where being a musician is valid and not “cute” or considered just a hobby has been incredibly important to my productivity & producing anything in general.
What’s one of the hardest & one of most rewarding things about being a musician?
I think the hardest thing is getting people to just LISTEN and be interested in what you’re doing when you’re not super famous yet 😀 and just knowing how and what to do to get the tunes out there.
The most rewarding things are the artists I get to be intimately involved with and the mad relaxed expectation I have on myself career wise.