Collin Desha also known as Low Hum, grew up in Hawaii and then later on moved to LA at 17 to expand his music. He was super inspired by his peers- this made him determined to start writing, recording and producing music, he set up his own home studio. I catch up with him and chat all things strictly music.
What got you into music, what was your inspiration?
It’s always felt like a language I was taught from birth. As early as I can remember I have felt extremely comforted by music and once I started creating it, it helped me communicate my feelings. Also In Hawaii we would jam ukulele during recess at school, I always remember that time of my life being very influential to my musical development.
Can you tell us a bit about your songwriting process?
I love to start my process by making beats and different sounds in Ableton. Sort of a rough sketch of an idea with really no agenda in mind. I plant TONS of those seeds. In time they grow and evolve into song ideas. Usually I start to articulate the meaning of the song and write melodies next. Once that is born, I usually play them on my acoustic guitar to be sure they are song worthy and then complete them from there. Sometimes it takes days and sometimes it takes months.
What’s the story behind your album “Room to Breathe”? And anything about which songs mean most to you on there?
Room To Breathe is a lens into my world. It’s the reality I live in and the one I got to create. And each of the songs explore a part of this room that I’ve created. Nebraska and Crimson Cardinal are about loved ones that have passed, so I find a very deep emotional connection with those songs. But in all honesty (and without sounding cheesy) I don’t really have a favourite, it’s kinda like choosing your favourite child. There’s a little something special in all of them. Do you have creative direction behind your music videos? What types of music videos are you more interested in having promote your work?
The animation videos we have done so far we’re all done by Bryan Lee and myself. Bryan Lee was the animator and wrote the animation’s story for “Strange Love” but I directed and wrote “I don’t know me like you do”. I love animation because the viewer has a different set of rules when judging this medium. Anything goes and for me it’s such a freeing experience to work with that perspective.
Are you collaborating with anyone at the moment and have you collaborated with anyone in the past, what has this process taught you?
Right now Jules De Gasperis is my closest contributor. He mixed the record and has a good amount of influence from a production stand point. It’s tricky letting people in and it’s taught me to be very precious with the process. But I do plan to collaborate when it’s right and I love to listen to what other peers are working on.
What type of music did you grow up listening to?
Hawaiian music until I was about 13. I stumbled upon punk music through surfing videos and it was my gateway into electric guitars. Plus punk music had a message and that resonated deeply in me. The punk ideology of being outside of the norm was massively important to me feeling like a bit of an outsider growing up in Hawaii. There wasn’t much of a scene for that stuff there so I think the political and cultural identity of punk music was a big change for me.
How does your favourite song make you feel?
My favourite songs allow me to time travel to great memories. They are able to change the mood in a room. They create conversations and passion in the people who listen to them, sometimes for good and sometimes bringing up more controversial ideas. I think that’s what music is all about.
Do you prefer playing live or recording in a studio?
Both, they are their own beasts and one feeds the other. It’s kinda like asking if you prefer air or water, both are crucial for life.
What would you say are your top tips in surviving in the music industry?
Truly love what you do. There are MANY uncertainties in this business but trusting the players around you and believing in your art has always produced quality results for me.
Low Hum’s debut album ‘Room To Breathe’ is out 7th June on Last Gang Records.