Hayden James | 5 Minutes With

by Natalie Blain


Music September 5, 2018

Sydney’s leading producer, Hayden James, has released another summer banger, ‘Just Friends’, collaborating with Boy Matthews ahead of a highly anticipated homecoming tour across multiple sold-out venues. Hayden’s latest release has received major radio support from Community Radio, Nova and Hit networks alike as well as high rotation on Triple J. ‘Just Friends’ has already gotten over 8 million impressions globally, following on from the previous platinum-certified summer anthem, ‘Numb’ featuring GRAACE, which is a captivating arrangement of velvety vocals and crafty synthesisers.

Having signed to Future Classic Records in 2013 and amassed over 13 millions streams on Spotify to date, Hayden is known for producing some of Australia’s best feel good dance tunes. ‘Just A Lover’ and ‘Permission To Love’ to name a few, as well as ‘Something About You’, which was the track that got him a nomination for ‘Best Dance Track’ at the ARIA Awards: “It felt pretty amazing, to be nominated with artists you are inspired by feels crazy.”

The visuals for his latest video for ‘Just Friends’ is shot through a vintage summer lens, instantly transporting your mind to a sun drenched evening of partying with your friends. The video’s storyline shows two young friends navigating the ambiguous territory drifting between friendship and romance. Hayden’s driving bass lines and alluring momentum, alongside the amazing vocals of Boy Matthews, reflects the switch up of their playful flirting and development of their ‘will-they-won’t-they’ relationship. “Jay (Boy Matthews) has such amazing energy. The first session we met each other we wrote ‘Just Friends’, and it was so quick. We had an instant connection.”

The summertime setting co-insides well with Hayden’s top choice when asked where he would most like to play his music, “I’ll play anywhere that people will listen, but give me a stage on a beach any day.” He also shares his favourite memory from his two-month tour of the USA and Europe this summer, “One stand out for me was playing Gurten Festival in Bern, Switzerland. It is such a beautiful city and the festival was one of my favourite shows this summer.”

His music has obvious influences based around love, romance and relationships, “I never purposely write with that theme in mine, but it’s just the way these songs come out for me. It’s natural I guess. I’m very lucky to live very close to the beach in Sydney, so the water and the sunny weather are a big inspiration to me and influence my song writing.” Hayden is inspired by so many artists from all over the world and has made some amazing friends that have inspired him since being in the industry, “ODESZA, Rufus du Sol, Flight Facilities, Motez, and Wafia to name a few”. He also mentions some artists who come from his home country to the list of musical inspiration, “Australia has so much amazing bands and electronic producers that are doing great things at the moment – including Rufus do Sol, Panama, Winston Surfshirt and Parcels.”

It’s clear that Australia will always hold a special place in Hayden’s heart when it comes to his music, with his favourite place to play his music being at Byron Bay’s ‘Splendour in the Grass’ festival. “I played there two years ago and it was definitely my favourite show for two reasons. One, because I grew up going to this festival as a fan for many years so it was very special for me to play there; and two, it’s in Australia! You can’t beat a home crowd”. His music has also become a success in the UK, having recently played at a terrace party at STYX in Tottenham Hale, supported by Bearcubs and JAFUNK, which became a sold out event.

“From the age of six, I’ve played instruments and I have just never put them down… music is my life. It wasn’t a decision, it’s just what I do.” Hayden has toured the world numerous times, headlining his own shows across North America, support duties for the likes of Duke Dumont, OZESZA and Disclosure, as well as being crowned a festival favourite at the UK’s Glastonbury and Latitude; Copenhagen’s Roskilde; and Coachella and Lollapalooza in the US. He is now set to do a homecoming tour, starting in Melbourne on the 7th September at Melbourne’s iconic Forum Theatre and then bringing the tour to a close at Adelaide’s Bonython Hall on the 22nd of the same month. 

Summer may be coming to an end, but if you listen to the infectious rolling grooves and catchy dance tunes produced by Hayden James, you’ll instantly have that feel-good, summer time feeling that we always strive for, all year round.


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ARIA Awards Australia Boy Matthews Coachella Future Classic Gurten Festival Hayden James Just Friends Lollapalooza noctis NOCTIS MAG Roskilde