Q: We here love the message that you bring through your music:
“It may not be the music that ‘changes the world,’ though it is a new expression that will change the people of the world.”
Tell us more about why you started releasing music.
THE GOLDEN HOUR: My songwriting journey began the day I stared at the void, ready to give up.
I felt alone, and no one at the time knew about what was going on in my life. Truth be told, I was too afraid and ashamed to open up to those closest to me about what I was dealing with. During those times, my biggest and only comfort was found in music. It almost felt like those songs were written specifically for me, knowing exactly what I was going through and how to give me the strength needed to get through the day.
What could have been the worst night of my life turned out to be the day I rose from the ashes.
One thought that got me to step off the ledge was the realisation of the amount of pain I could cause, which would by far exceed my own. As I laid there in bed I watched the moonlight creep through my room all the way to my guitar stand, literally stopping on it until the guitar ended up in my hands. I remember closing my eyes and letting go, the emotions began flowing unwillingly. All the words I never dared to say finally had a place to go. The Golden Hour, for me, is a proof that second chances exist.
The project was born after years of doing something that made me unhappy. With the help of my partner, who appeared in my life at the right moment, I found the strength to break free, and for once, follow my heart in every decision I made. I found purpose, realising how my own story could help those going through something similar or worse, hopefully helping them realise that they are not alone and that it is ok to ask for help. My music is a reaching hand to those in need, using my personal struggles to prove that something horrible can indeed evolve into something positive, almost magical, allowing all who listen to join me on a journey of love and self-discovery.
At some point in life, we all disconnect from that inner dreamer. My hope is that my music will help create a bridge to connect with it once more, and look at life through a new perspective.
My greatest hope is to create a place where all feel welcome and where nobody is to walk alone. I strongly believe that music has the power to achieve exactly that.
Q: Your sound is so nostalgic, what inspires you to make the music that you make?
TGH: I must admit, the sound sort of happened. I grew up playing in punk rock bands and here I am, producing nostalgia filled electronic music, who would have thought? But, to be honest, I believe it hit me when I came across the Japanese term Natsukashii (a transitioning to a state of mind of nostalgia for the past, sometimes accompanied by implications of nostalgia for a flawless past that never was), when digging deeper on the internet I came across the following sentences that made things clearer for me and where I am headed sonically: “The past, whether it’s full of joy or pain, is valuable” and that “Sharing something precious from the past can connect me, as a person, to others.”
Nostalgia, when used properly can prove to be a bridge, an incredibly powerful way of connecting with people, focusing on the positive and sort of creating, even if for a brief while, the illusion of escaping from the everyday aspects of life.
So much of who we are is in where we have been, and I for one was guilty of having lost that connection to my younger self, forgetting who I am and why I am.
I love the idea of creating a safe haven where all are welcome and are able to share a bit of what makes them who they are, and where even if briefly, we can forget about to do lists, and simply enjoy seeing life through the childlike innocent eyes of a dreamer.
Q: Do you have any live performances we can catch you at soon?
TGH: Unfortunately not yet. I’m currently working really hard on finishing an EP and the songs for my debut album (which will be sonic collage of sorts). Although, I am working on some cool ideas, stage/location wise, for a some livestreams. Now that you mention it, I am yet to try the experience of performing as a one man band. I’m really excited at the thought of what is to come and being able to finally perform these songs, both released and unreleased, and connect with the people that make this whole journey special.
Q: Tell me what your first music teacher was like. What lessons did you learn from them that you still use today?
TGH: My guitar playing journey begun with an old fashioned teacher, Giovanni was his name and hitting me on the hands with a tv antenna was the game.
He used this old tv extendable antenna to remind of the proper way to create an arc with my hand when holding the neck of the guitar, and made me play the cheesiest songs (mind you, I was living in Venezuela at the time, so I got to learn some folklore South American songs, which to this day I can still play and sing).
The greatest lesson he taught me is that when you put your heart into something, nurturing it and not rushing it, the puzzle pieces will fall into place. I was always eager to get to the next thing, failing to see the bigger picture, and enjoying the process of taking the steps that would get me to where I wanted to be. With The Golden Hour I have learned to make everything count, enjoying every experience or moment, for as small or little as it may be, to the maximum extent, and to be honest, I have never been happier or more motivated with who I am and what I do.
Q: Walk us through your creative process from start to finish.
TGH: Well I have different approaches. A song can start from a general idea or theme I want it to carry (something positive and uplifting for example), or it can start with a piece of lyric that I wrote and liked enough to convert into a song. There are times where I’m simply exercising playing the Keyboard and I start deviating from scales and create a Melody that I like and build the song around it.
Other times it can happen when talking to someone, and their story has such an impact on myself that I feel inspired to write about it. Sometimes I believe that people don’t give themselves enough credit for what they’ve managed to accomplish or get through, so this can help both them and myself to appreciate, in a nostalgic way, what led them to become who they are.
So once the idea or the melody is there, I begin to build around it, envisioning where it can go or if I want it to have a standard ABAB structure, defining both the Key and the Tempo. Once that is set I begin working the PADs creating something Lush or Dreamy (which I believe is what really gives the song it’s nostalgic feel) and then adding melodies and harmonies while slowly working in the drums (which I do have to admit is for me the most challenging part as they can make or break a song, at least for me). Ideally, if I close my eyes during playback and my mind drifts to happy memories or projections of the future, I know I’m heading in the right direction. At this point two things can happen. I can either start writing the lyrics as I go, or I can write them once the main structure of the song (the production side) is finished. Sometimes I write the lyrics to a vocal melody I have in mind or sometimes I write the melody after I have the lyrics (this is the case for a song I wrote after my best friend passed away). Once vocals are recorded and edited, I begin the mixing stage, treating all sounds and finding their place in the frequency spectrum. After all the effects have been applied, along with the automations, and I feel happy with the result (it can take a while though..) I send the song off to master. I rarely handle the mastering myself as a fresh pair of experienced ears can do wonders. I do have a general rule of thumb, I only finish songs that I can feel something from. I try to infuse all I do with as much of who I am with a specific message or emotion, so that is what guides me throughout the process. The very same principle applies to the music I listen to.
Q: What can we expect from you next?
TGH: The one thing I can tell for certain is that I will pour my heart and soul into this project, delivering better music and experiences for those who listen. I will take you on an introspective, nostalgia filled journey, where we will grow together and do our part to create a world worth living in. I am currently working on a remix of Los Angeles by The Midnight, while trying to finish writing the album and an instrumental EP which will pick up on Lucid Dream’s vibe and aesthetic, focusing on a soundscape that empowers the listener to create his dream experience.
Thank you so much for the interview, I loved every second of it.
Interviewed by Stephanie Pankewich
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