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It’s normal for kids in high school to purse an extracurricular activity. Most settle for the basics like sports or debate team, but one local teen decided he was going to head down a different path — electronic music.
Hunter Isenhath, aka Hizen, is a 17-year-old electronic music producer. The young artist sat down with City Pulse to chat about musical influences, chasing his dreams and falling in love with electronic music.
Tell us a little about yourself? Can you describe your sound and when you started playing music?
Growing up, I’ve always felt like I enjoyed music on a level that other kids were not on. I hadn’t learned a lot about electronic music until my freshman year in high school. It may sound odd but the movie “Tron: Legacy” was what first really introduced me into the electronic music scene and its history. I remember listening to the soundtrack, produced by Daft Punk, as soon as I got home. From there, it’s honestly been nothing but falling deeper in love with electronic music and my productions.
What does it mean for to play hometown shows in Lansing?
It’s always real fun. I never really feel too nervous here in Lansing, so the set is usually more personal and comfortable. We’re all just celebrating life together.
Have you always wanted to pursue music?
Yeah. Growing up you’re told to do this and that, and so many people try and get you to go down “the right path,” but I’ve really solidified my decision with chasing music the last year or so. I feel like a life doing something else would be a life wasted. Music just takes me to a place that I can’t find anywhere else.
What inspired the name Hizen?
(Laughs) I actually get this a lot. I really just wanted a stage name that would incorporate my actual name. Take the “H” from Hunter and “Isen” from Isenhath, put them together, and I changed the “s” to a “z” to make it cooler.
Do you have any pre-show or after show traditions?
Nothing too crazy. I always have a post-show Shirley Temple!
What musical acts inspire you?
Empire of the Sun — those guys are very unique and the emotion they create in their work is what I am trying to shoot for. Riff Raff because of the way he carries himself. He helped me a lot when it came to not caring about other’s opinions and just being myself.
Nature is a huge influence in my creative process. Certain environments and sights can trigger emotions that are indescribable.
What are some artists you’re currently listening to?
Lately I’ve been finding new music that’s really helping my own music grow. Artists like Yuksek, Amtrac, and Roosevelt have been playing through my speakers when I’m not working on my own music.
What do you look forward to when you play a show?
Seeing people enjoy music as much as I do. There’s this feeling I get when I see people react to my music that’s out of this world. It’s just very fulfilling and satisfying.
In five years, what do you hope to have accomplished?
Living off my music, spreading my message throughout the world and just enjoying life. I really think if I keep my momentum going, that goal isn’t that far away.
If there were one thing you wanted someone to know about Hizen, what would it be?
The reason I’m chasing this career in music: to spark emotion in people. I want to make people feel alive and help them realize that this is the only life you got, so you better go all out. No one knows you better than yourself. Identify what you truly want in this life and chase it with everything you’ve got. Sounds pretty cliché, but with this new virtual world we are living in, I feel like it’s very easy to lose yourself and forget what you really want in life.
With Kerbo Raines and Beasley
8:30 p.m. Saturday March 25
414 E. Michigan Ave (517) 913-0103, theloftlansing.com