‘Love is the Answer’
Amsterdam producer Humphrey Dennis is getting ready to release his debut EP 'Carlo'. The EP proves you can pack an instrumental project with depth and inventiveness. The heart of Humphrey’s signature sound is the unlimited, finding, and breaking down of sounds and samples – pieces of a puzzle. From chopped vocals to using his own voice to mimic an instrument, Humphrey created a sound that has his unique fingerprint. We sat down with him and had a chat about his EP ‘Carlo’ and what is the most daring thing he has ever done
NEO: How long have you been making music?
HUMPHREY DENNIS:I have been making music since i was 6 years old. My brother was a producer and an artist so he had all the equipment in his room. I used to peak in his room to see all the things there and one day he invited me in and put me behind the machine and let me make my own beat. When I started working with artists I was like 19, working on my craft and my skills.
NEO: Do you have any up and coming projects you are working on?
HUMPHREY DENNIS: At the moment I am working on my EP, so the first track ‘Love’ is the first single and in April I'm releasing the second single and towards the end of April I will release the full EP called ‘Carlo’.
Carlo is actually my father’s name so this EP is dedicated to him and mostly to black fathers. My father came from South America and came to Holland, the struggles he went through to give us a better life. The EP is a representation of our relationship and me wanting to let go of all the negative energies and celebrate the beautiful memories. I’m in awe of the man he has become today, he has grown a lot and i am really proud of him. So ‘Carlo’ EP is an ode to my dad.
NEO: If you could pick any three artists to collaborate with (dead or alive) who would it be?
HUMPHREY DENNIS: Good one. I think the first one would be Frank Ocean because he is just so creative and he is really good at what he does. He is unique and he really thinks outside the box and does not confine himself in his music and that is something I try to do for myself. On the EP i try to bring this concept in you are not just going to hear one genre of music. Number 2 has to be Rhianna because of her tropical, Caribbean side. i think it would be interesting to mix that side of her music with what i do. The last one would be Bob Marley. With him i would try and get him and Frank Ocean in the studio and get Frank to write for Bob and let me produce it (that’s if he was still alive of course)
NEO: When experiencing a creative block, what do you do to combat it?
HUMPHREY DENNIS: To be honest I don’t think I really get a creative block. I don’t really believe in them because I feel that creativity has no limit so there is no way you can run out. I think our creativity is endless. My mind has no limitations so I do not experience this. I get inspiration from everything and anything so I really don’t experience a block. There are some speakers online talking about this topic and how to not get a creative block I think if you are a creative in a creative industry you should go and check them out
NEO: What other music genre would you like to explore
HUMPHREY DENNIS: So I already tap into all kinds of genres of music and mix big elements but if i would really make a project in a certain genre it would probably be Indie music, like really indie vulnerable music using guitars. I would definitely like to go out of my comfort zone and try something very vulnerable like that.
NEO: What was the reason behind the title of your first release ‘Love?’?
HUMPHREY DENNIS: The reason behind the title of my last release ‘Love’ is the vocal sample I used. It says ‘Love me, love you’ and I named it ‘Love?’ it was really a reflection of what is love and what love means, how do you love yourself, how do you love another. That is really what the title means to be conscious of one another and how to love one another and what it means. We all use the word love so easily sometimes but what does it really mean and what are the actions behind it. How you show the love to another and mostly how to love yourself and be conscious of when you are loving yourself and when you are not
NEO: What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
HUMPHREY DENNIS: Another good question. It would probably be moving to Aruba with my girlfriend back in 2017. We actually sold all our stuff and then we just left. We were on a mission ha! We were going to see if we can make it happen and after 7-8 months we went back because it just wasn't working out but at least we tried. My girlfriend was like I think there is going to be a lockdown in Holland, this was in November 2020, and she suggested we move to Aruba again and here we are in Aruba.
NEO: When you were younger, what did you want to be growing up?
HUMPHREY DENNIS: I didn't really have a dream of what I wanted to become. When i went to school i wanted to own my own store. I went to a retail school and I wanted to have my own sneaker store. At the time i started making music so my focus shifted and i started to want to make music and work with people who inspired me like Pharell, Kanye to name a few
NEO: What’s your favourite quote?
HUMPHREY DENNIS: ‘Love is the Answer’ I think Bob Marley may have said that actually. I don’t think I made it up. I'm sure I read it somewhere that he said it. But it is important to remember that in everything we do Love is the answer and will get you through anything. I actually just googled it and it says ‘John Lennon’ said it but i don't think i would have gotten it from him but regardless ‘Love is the Answer’
NEO: What do you hope to achieve by 50?
HUMPHREY DENNIS: Complete self love and acceptance, understanding and everything i can think of between me and my partner.
A couple of grammys also!
NEO: Let us know where to find you on social media
HUMPHREY DENNIS: @humphrey.dennis