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  • Writer's pictureThe Real Ding

GET TO KNOW: The New Hippies

After following up their much-loved collection 'Wild Heart' with their recent comeback singles 'Good Love Feels Good' and 'Didn't You' earlier this year, US hip-hop collective The New Hippies are back on the grind once again with their shimmering new effort 'Wishing Well'.

Capturing more of that smooth and breezy aesthetic they have become synonymous with of late, 'Wishing Well' makes for a wonderfully warm and alluring listen. With their distinctive vocal flows layered across a sweeping production from start to finish, they are certainly looking to turn some heads with this wondrous new offering.

So with the new single out now, we sat down with them to find out more about their background and influences over the years.

What was the first band or artist you fell in love with?

Understanding: Beyoncé, for obvious reasons.

Alex: Bob Marley & the Wailers

Zane: Simple Plan. My neighbor burned me a CD and it was the beginning of an era. I’M JUST A KIIIIIIIID.

Joe: Michael Jackson. I dressed up like him for my fifth birthday party, which was not a costume party.

Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?

Understanding: Yes. Not great. A very Caucasian experience. Ask Zane.

Alex: First band I formed on my own was called Finding Autumn, and was screamo.

Zane: Understanding and I met in high school at an event called “Café Night” where people performed music, poetry, etc. That same night we met Emma, a singer/songwriter who would become our leading woman. With her on vocals and guitar, me on keys, Un on drums, and my cousins Jake on bass, we set our sights on playing a show. We learned some of Emma’s originals and a few covers (House of the Rising Sun, Cough Syrup [I believe this is the Caucasian experience Un is referring to]) and booked a show at Amoeba. It was a show. Good? Bad? Couldn’t tell you. But I can tell you that we sold more than the minimum amount of tickets, so I’d call that a success.

Joe: Don’t Look Down. Big Warped Tour vibes. Shoutout Frankie, Anthony, Chris, and even Allan at the beginning.

What has been your primary inspiration in writing music?

Understanding: Communication. I like what music can relay that words alone sometimes can’t… often can’t in my opinion.

Alex: Collaboration.

Zane: Music itself. I love the creative problem solving of transitions/voicing, navigating between chords that you find in most pop songs. I love synthesizing and tweaking sounds to my liking. I love sound and how it interacts with us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I love it all.

Joe: Connection. It’s an opportunity to create something that allows people to share a feeling, an emotion or a moment, and past that, it allows people to attach their own personal experiences to it, and I think that’s pretty special. It’s also just fun.

What is a song you wish you had written yourself?

Understanding: Every R. Kelly song. So the world would still be able to enjoy those great hits with a clear conscience.

Alex: “Bella Luna” by Jason Mraz.

Zane: Any Christmas song. My god the royalties… Also “Best Part (feat. H.E.R.)” by Daniel Caesar. I love that song.

Joe: “Take Your Time Coming Home” by Fun.

If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be?

Understanding: Nah. Moments are gone. They were good. Onto the next moment.

Alex: Taking the minibus to a park in SF and busking with the generator.

Zane: When we did that little San Francisco tour in the bus, we play a show on the top of a building. It also happened to be Pride that weekend, so while we’re wrapping up our set, a massive fireworks show starts going off behind us.

I had also taken acid from some guy in the park earlier that day, so it was especially memorable for me.

Joe: We’ve had some good ones, like playing at the Palladium in Los Angeles, or seeing “songs by The New Hippies” on TV, but I’d like to believe there are more moments on the way.

Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?

Understanding: Usher, or anyone that can dance. Would probably be pretty fun.

Alex: My late great music mentor Nate G.

Zane: Mac Miller. I miss that guy.

Joe: I’m good with my guys here. Anyone else that we meet along the way is cool too. The more the merrier.

And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well?

Understanding: Tough one. Joe Hisaishi maybe?

Alex: Natalia Lafourcade

Zane: Cortex. I can’t believe they’re still performing.

Joe: I’d like to know what it’s like to be in a studio with Jacob Collier.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Understanding: 32 years old, somewhere on Earth, and in fantastic shape. Maybe playing a superhero.

Alex: On a remote beach in Mexico.

Zane: Mixing, whether music or otherwise. Making music, money, and babies.

Joe: In five years time, we’ll have grown this little company (Beautiful Idiots LLC) into a successful multi-media production company. We’ll be making music to our hearts’ desire, and we’ll have expanded into film and television. And we’ll all be friends and we’ll be happy and healthy, enjoying our lives. All we gotta do is do it.


The New Hippies' new single 'Wishing Well' is out now. Check it out below.


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