Music Monday Artist
From soothing lo-fi beats to explosive dubstep, N. Hell is a jack of all trades. Originally a saxophonist, Noah Hellman initially studied jazz legends like Coltrane and Parker, but as a teenager he began developing his style as a producer and songwriter. In 2019 he released the eclectic project Me and Only Me, the first official N. Hell album. Today he is enrolled in the Technology in Related Music and Arts (TIMARA) program at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Since starting at Oberlin, N. Hell has been featured on popular playlists like Spotify’s Halo playlist and Apple Music’s Glitch playlist, and he’s done dozens of collaborations with some of his fellow conservatory students. This Spring he released two new projects that show off his versatility as a producer and musician. These projects, among other things, will be discussed in this interview, where we will take a deeper look at this new force to be reckoned with.
N.Hell: I decided to become an artist in the broad sense, around the 6th grade. I became immersed with the 1970s German-electronic quartet, Kraftwerk. I would find myself spending hours of my time researching the group and trying to figure out how they made their music. This, combined with my fascination for computers, formed me into the "computer" musician that I am today.
IFM: Where did the name “N. Hell” come from? Any significance to it?
N.Hell: The name “N. Hell” came from my first and last name, Noah Hellman. If you say it fast enough it begins to sound like “inhale”, which is kind of cool as well.
IFM: Is “N. Hell” your only musical persona?
N.Hell: No! I also am in an indie rock band named “Slampson”, as well as a project I am working on under my real name, “Noah Hellman”.
IFM: Can you tell us a bit about the two projects you released this Spring and the concept for each?
N.Hell: Mallsoft 98 was an album spearheaded by the idea of empty, abandoned malls. This, combined with synthwave style bass lines created an otherworldly vibe to which I hope to bring to listeners. The other project, DEEP SOUNDS, is a liquid-house (if we’re talking genre’s) EP full of danceable and fun songs.
IFM: If you were allowed to collaborate with one artist who would it be?
N.Hell: I have been lucky enough to have been able to collaborate with some of my idols already! I worked on a song called “Pixie Ring” with Galen Tipton, Diana Starshine, and Junior Astronaut that fulfilled my need to collaborate for a while. This song ended up being a success and got onto the “Halo” playlist made by Spotify, and now has over 30k streams. If I could collaborate with any artist (hopefully from any era), I would certainly want to make a song with Skrillex. His Dubstep mastery is something I could most definitely learn a thing or two from.
IFM: What is your creative process like? How does N. Hell make a song?
N.Hell: Well, the beautiful thing about the musical process is that it’s different each time. It could be chords, a melody, a percussive element, really anything that gets the creative side of my brain moving. I suppose that if we’re talking DAW’s, I’m currently using Logic Pro X, and a lot of my workflow stems from the way that DAW works. It’s not that I’m dependent on the DAW, but a lot of the time what I’m doing is influenced by it (at the very least).
IFM: How has your time at Oberlin Conservatory of Music helped you evolve your sound?
N.Hell: My time at Oberlin has helped evolve my sound by forcing me to be in the same room as people 10 times, if not 100 times, better than me. Absolute musical geniuses. I feel like if you surround yourself with the right people, and you’re in the right place (ie; Oberlin), then it’s really hard to screw up. I think that in general, I’ve grown more as a person there than as a musician, but to say I didn’t learn a thing or two about music along the way would be a lie.
IFM: What can we anticipate from you this summer? Any new releases?
N.Hell: Honestly, I am not too sure what my release schedule will be like in the coming months. I have a song with two fantastic people coming out on the HyperPop Records “5th Anniversary Mixtape”, which should be out sometime in July or August. Other than that, it’s all up in the air, but be certain that at the very least, something is coming.
IFM: Where can supporters follow you and check out your music?
N.Hell: The best place to support me is on Spotify or Apple Music where I go as “N. Hell”. If you don’t have Spotify or Apple Music, the next best place to go is Instagram where you can find me as @noahhellman or @ndot.hell.
A&R Scout for Indie Flex Music.
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