When you think of EDM, South America isn’t the first continent that comes to mind. Yet, this part of the Southern Hemisphere has its own scene, with HIIO, the duo of Ortzy and Nico Hamuy, leading the way.
Together, they’ve amassed 20 Beatport Top 100 tracks between them. However, it was their 2012 release, a remix of Chuckie’s “Who Is Ready to Jump,” that got support from top DJs and interest from international audiences.
Now, with multiple original tracks out in 2014, they’re finishing off the year with “Good Enough,” a collaboration with Luca Blanco out on Musical Freedom. Its big room sound grabs you, while punctuated electro elements keep you interested.
This track comes off releases on Big Beat, Flamingo, Kontor, and Cr2, with the latter label putting out their latest release, “Let Me See You,” a collaboration with Abel Ramos.
Yet even with all the time they’ve put in the studio, HIIO have been getting attention as performers, particularly at South America’s largest festivals like Creamfields Buenos Aires. Additionally, they’ve held prominent residencies at Pacha and Club One in Buenos Aires.
As their path looks up and winds more toward success, we caught up with Nico in an interview.
How did you guys and Luca Blanco start working together?
Lucas is a good friend of ours, as well as a DJ/Producer obviously. About a year ago, he came to us with an idea for the track and we loved it, but it still wasn’t completely for us. So we decided to do a re-work that was a bit more electro. We did a new release with the synths from “Good Enough,” and we put more of a big room style on it. The three of us sat in the studio for 1 or 2 months and we made about 3 versions before we came up with the final version, which is the “Good Enough” you can hear on Beatport now.
What was your process behind creating “Good Enough”?
We took the synths and changed them a bit, and then we built a big room instrumental section that was very strong. Then, we found this short a cappella of “Up to No Good”, which was a sample from Whodini, a Hip Hop group from the ‘80s. Because we were releasing on a big label such as Musical Freedom, we had to ensure that all the material was cleared for copyright purposes, which took some time of course.
How has it been getting support from Tiesto this past year?
In the past, we would always send our promos to Tiesto, but with “Good Enough” in particular, we sent him an email saying that we thought this track was a good fit for Musical Freedom. And so then, he played it, and apparently it went off the hook. He said yes, Musical Freedom would sign it, and so we began to work on the copyrights, and here we are!
How did both of you begin working together?
I used to go to Colombia to play shows, and a mutual friend out in Cali Colombia, where Ortzy used to live, introduced Ortzy and I. We became friends and decided to do a track together “Something About You” feat. Terri B!, which came out in 2013. We love that track, and it’s something very special for the both of us. After we made that track, we made another one, and then we played some gigs together and finally decided to create a project, now called HIIO.
How would you describe your sound?
Our sound is electro and progressive/big room house.
You’ve scored multiple high-charting hits on Beatport. How does that feel?
You just never know what’s going to happen. With “Good Enough” in particular, we’ve had a lot of expectations with this one, because of its hook, and because of Tiesto’s support, we’ve had DJs like Showtek and Tiesto playing it in their sets. So, the feedback before it was even released was already huge. And of course, we are very happy – right now it’s sitting at #4 on Beatport’s Electro House charts, which feels amazing.
For dance music, what is Buenos Aires’ scene like?
The scene in Buenos Aires is something special. It’s growing a lot. Of course it’s not at the same level as Brazil, because in Argentina, there’s not the same kind of money to make all the big bookings, so for a club to bring in a big name,
For new music, what are your plans after “Good Enough”?
We just finished a track with Thomas Gold that we are really excited about and just figuring out which label that will fit on. We’re also working on a collaboration with Chuckie. And we’ve got an original track coming out in February on Harem Records, which is the record label run by Sultan & Ned Shepard.
Which artists would you like to collaborate with in the future?
The top producers would be R3hab, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, and Calvin Harris.
After success at Creamfields, what are your plans for playing at festivals and other shows?
This Saturday, the 20th we are playing Holi Festival of Colours, which is around 8,000 people. Other than that, we don’t really have any concrete plans for festivals… that we can announce right now ;).