Here’s the first of two, possibly even three interviews we’ll be posting this week!
We caught up with elusive local artist/musician (yet familiar face to some) Eddy Höek who recently released their experimental debut album ‘F**ked Jazz’ in full exclusively as an NFT (Non-Fungible Token). Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you will have seen at least something about NFT’s over the last few weeks…
However, away from the news of artists selling digital files for (what some would say) extortionate amounts and the arguments over the environmental issues regarding blockchain art, I wanted to find out more about NFT’s on a smaller/local scale. So, given the opportunity, I caught up with Eddy Höek to discuss the album, NFT’s/blockchain art, collectables and the future!
First things first… Who is Eddy Höek?
Eddy wears his heart on his sleeve. His work is an ironic spill of his human condition: an emotional study of self, detached for authentic peer review. He doesn’t take his image that seriously, but he thinks he’s a very capable composer and painter. He’s adamant his best work comes from raw feeling; rage, despair, “ooh love!”, danger, coupled with chance: to trust the initial painted mark. He’s developed a somewhat stubborn practise with chaos.
Eddy seems scary, hyper and perhaps sad, but really, he just wants you to laugh. He’s always been an artist, a different sense of self will never be an option. For him, making art is to be fearless. Eddy’s music should infiltrate your secret self, the part of you that is never shown to anyone.
Your album ‘F**ked Jazz’ was released exclusively as an NFT a few weeks back with a shortened version released to Spotify last Friday… For anyone who hasn’t heard it yet, how would you describe it?
The original album is 13 tracks with the public version only having 6. It’s a selection of music from my scrapbook projects, it’s what appears to be my first interpretation of composing jazz. It’s inspired by Fela Kuti, Coltraine and Steve Reich. Thematically, it is inspired by fear, obsession, death and integrity.
It’s an odd little thing, it goes from 100 to 0 fast. It’s creepy, eerie and melancholic, but sometimes insanely energetic and body stimulating. I find it to be an expression of how this world has really felt recently, besides any ordinary branded music that tries to describe our human shit show: this album doesn’t let you know if there’s light on the other side.
I saw your (mostly since deleted) Instagram videos in the run up to the album release and the writing process seemed quite cathartic. How do you make organised chaos sound so good?
I’m thinking about that. In hindsight my practise of intense composition started with my toddler tantrums. I was a screamer. Those family’s on that flight to Australia – hated me. My expression of great distress has only matured. Whoops-y!
I have this mission to deliver music that is as viscerally intense as humanly possible. Therefore, I think the body is the most important influence for it; it must sound like the way the torso tenses to dance, the velocity of a swinging fist; or the way you walk, talk, laugh, slump. Like all these things have a unique gravity that can be made music.
I was thinking more; repelling, dizzy, “mate, are you alright?”, “don’t think I could listen to that again”…
From the looks of things, you’ve got another album/s in the works as well?
I have many more scrapbook projects to develop, and am inspired with quite a few more album ideas for myself; there will be fucked jazz ii, iii, and so on, as well as albums based on other genres; hardcore, electronic, poem reading, and commercial folk singer-songwriter.
As I briefly mentioned before, your full album was released exclusively as an NFT. Despite their recent increase in popularity, NFT’s and blockchain technology isn’t exactly new. For anyone who’s new to NFT’s why are they important regarding digital art? What do NFT’s mean for the future of digital art/music?
An NFT is a smart contract system with crypto.
We can tokenise our art and music to sell them independently with a set royalty so the artist’s wallet address receives a percentage of every resale of the NFT. This market system will bring back value to digital music, making it collectable and valuable to own. It has made digital music/art worth having as a fan, like it used to be when you could only get music physically.
NFT’s will reform the way we own rights, create contracts, just too much to explain here.
As it’s not a widely adopted means of consuming music as of yet, does the lack of people able to listen to your full album bother you? Or does it add to the appeal that it’s more exclusive, scarcity mindset, FOMO etc?
Well, not at all. I don’t expect anyone to hear the full album for another 10 years probably.
I wanted to be a part of Phantasma’s Ghost Market for the early days, it’s fun and edgy to be selling locked content on a platform only 400 other artists are using in the world!
And with all these bands/artists jumping on board and making NFT’s “mainstream”, it’s not just a gimmick? Blockchain art is not going away any time soon?
Yeah, so, say I wanted an original press of a rare Bowie vinyl, I wouldn’t buy a pirated MP3 CD of it. You want the original mint from the artist, according to the undeniable hash of the original mint.
An NFT is stored in a crypto wallet, you can even stake your NFT’s to earn money in some cases. You wouldn’t print out an original Picasso and be able to claim it’s the original painting would you?
I am sure that NFT tokens will boom this summer, with multiple hedge funds adding projects to their portfolio, and when the bear market comes next year, the prices of these tokens will fall hard, and those many artists who began accumulating sales in Ethereum will feel scammed, sell their crypto, and the media will hail the entire thing an epic fail.
This is the wild west frontier of the new internet that will take the world by storm.
Seeing as you can pretty much convert anything to an NFT, is there anything in particular you would purchase/collect?
I do want Pepe Homer, I do want street fighter trading cards…
But seriously, I would like to collect band member trading cards, when that’s a thing… I’ll start it.
Finally, what’s in store for Eddy Höek in the future?
I might buy more silver, and a pair of Nike Dunks (although I am more inclined to leather shoes)…
An unfathomable quantity of albums and paintings. And less about myself – would be ideal. I don’t want my work to be a trophies of my ego. It is as much for me as it is for anyone else. The art should be a communication, not a plea for validation.
I’d like to thank Eddy Höek for their time! You can find the 6 track version of ‘F**ked Jazz’ on Spotify and keep up with them on social media etc via the following links: