Chase Rossner, better known as Hotwork, is a singer, songwriter, and producer who was born, bred and based in Los Angeles, California. Teaming up with Brooklyn-based songwriter/producer Harris Mac, Hotwork releases “Dracula”! Harris Mac is currently on a mission to redefine pop music with wabi sabi sonics and lyrics that are experimental and abstract. With the help of analog drums machines and synths from the 80s, Harris delivers a unique sound that is both sonically spectacular and galvanizing.
What Hotwork and Harris Mac have built with “Dracula” is a somewhat melancholic, melodically memorable pop track, that walks hand-in-hand with a mildly tropical, almost down-tempo retro aura. There’s a powerful sense of contrast between the two parts, but in the end, they’re undoubtedly sides of the same coin. That groove is hypnotic for its consistency and warmth, for the spacious yet creative web it weaves around you, and Hotwork’s vocals are equally entrancing but in a whole different way. Beautiful, powerful and memorable pop writing but with a definite edge of refreshing perspective and poetry. Similar qualities can be found in the production, and for a collaboration, “Dracula” speaks volumes on behalf of Hotwork and Harris Mac as artists. Hoping for more collabs in the future!
Listen to “Dracula” here and read our exclusive interview with Hotwork and Harris Mac below!
Welcome to BuzzMusic Chase and Harris! It’s a pleasure to chat with you. Tell us how your collaboration came to fruition?
Harris: We met in LA after being connected by our mutual friend Cathedrals. I showed up at Chase’s house just with the idea that we would hang out and jam, but didn’t know we’d be writing a track on the spot. It was a sunny day, we smoked a little weed, then started playing with sounds and immediately got real into it.
Chase: Yeaa shout out to Johnny Hwin of Cathedrals for the link up! Truly, a solid dude.
We’re loving the new single “Dracula”! What can you tell us about the songwriting process for this one?
Chase: So Harris came over to my studio and I busted out this device called the Launchpad. It helps me with limitations in my keyboard playing abilities because you can set a key and a scale and just go to town. I showed him how to use it and he came up with this killer melody that ended up being the backbone for the whole tune.
Harris: We started with the beat. Chase and I were messing around with sounds and synth patches and I starting playing out a melody and Chase quickly hopped on it and started adding drums and percussion and other accompaniment. It grew really quickly from there! After a few hours we had a beat done, and then we wrapped up. We left the session feeling really excited with the beat, we knew it was a cool fresh energetic sound. I was only visiting LA for a short while so I headed back to NYC and then we started playing with topline ideas.
Did you run into any recording or production challenges along the way? How did you overcome these problems?
Harris: For each of us it was our first time collaborating long-distance, using Splice to share sessions and stems. I was writing lyrics one night and randomly got the idea for the hook, Dracula. Then I started writing the lyrics from a point of view as if I were this strange character, a weird soundcloud-emo-rapper-Dracula. We bounced topline ideas back and forth including melodies, lyrics, adlibs, etc. We basically had the beat already done so once we got the lyrics finalized it only took a few back-and-forths to finish it up. It was overall super fast and easy working with Chase. And our first time together too!
Chase: Well, once we had the beat we knew we had something good but now we had to finish the tune. There were several different challenges along the way but the biggest one by far was that we are bi-coastal. Harris lives in Brooklyn and I’m in LA so we got on a skype session and worked out some ideas. The song went through a couple iterations before Harris scrapped the original lyrics and sent me the demo that is now “dracula”. We adjusted a few lines, I recorded a bridge and some background vox and the tune was done! All mixed and mastered in my studio apartment next to Canter’s Deli (matzo balls make me better).
This new release delivers such an individual sound! What sonic element do you think makes “Dracula” stand out the most?
Chase: That keyboard riff out the gate really makes this song stand out for me. The song is really catchy overall and I’m pretty confident that each element stripped down could stand strong on its own. I haven’t heard much latin-esque trap music circulating so I think we created a pretty dope, unique vibe with this one.
Harris: Another thing we did was record lots of random foley sounds on the spot. (Foley are any found sounds, i.e. snaps, claps, dropping a pen, closing a cigarette case.) Chase even had some kind of dough cutter on his desk for some reason, and we played with it to create different sounds. We layered a bunch of them in as percussion in the track, which really lends a quirky vibe and an interesting contrast to the trap vibe.
Both of you have been in the music industry for a while now, what has been the accomplishment you are most proud of so far?
Chase: Getting my last single “Part Time” spun on Sirius XM radio was definitely a huge accomplishment for me (shout out to You Up w/Nikki Glaser). As of lately I’m really proud of the spot I landed with Genies Inc. and Cheetos for their latest Halloween campaign.
Harris: Co-producing several Cathedrals tracks, especially “In The Dark.” Also starting my own studio in Brooklyn and becoming a full-time freelance producer, which has allowed me to support myself completely as a musician!
Thank you for catching up with us and talking about your new single “Dracula”! What’s next for you both artistically? Can we expect further collaborations?
Chase: Definitely expect more collabs from us in the future!! I think we stumbled onto something pretty good here, and it would behoove us to try to make some more fuegoooo. We should have a little video for this tune out by Thursday and I have another single dropping Friday, November 1st called “Sad Story”.
Harris: Chase and I will definitely be writing more tunes together. We definitely clicked very effortlessly and it’s rare to connect like that, so easily. I’m currently putting together a new solo-project which could best be described as Childish Gambino meets Flume. I’ll be dropping my next single within a month!