From Boston to New York City, the singer-songwriter, producer, and versatile recording artist Haelphon releases his debut 4-track EP entitled 'In Transit.'
The experimental pop artist reflects the likes of his inspirations Calvin Harris and Mac Miller. Haelphon gained commercial success by producing music for prominent networks and brands like Bravo's Below Deck, Victoria's Secret, Delta, and more. After moving to New York during the pandemic, Haelphon jumped headfirst into his journey as a rising artist in the world's entertainment capital.
Co-produced by AJ Pillette, Haelphon's debut EP 'In Transit' kicks off with the introductory track, "Stretch My Legs (feat. Annie Moffitt)." The song opens like a modern and contemporary jazz tune with fluttery piano melodies, a smooth bassline, airy drum breaks, and celestial background pads. As Haelphon and Annie Moffitt make their unison vocal appearance, they begin to expand on an innate calling they hold that leads them to explore the ins and outs of the entertainment capital, New York City. If the EP tracks someone's artistic journey, this song acts as their ride into the city, wide-eyed, optimistic, and somewhat naive.
Moving into track number two, "Stranded," this is where we feel a more emotional and reflective atmosphere grace our speakers as Haelphon opens the song with a reverbed electric guitar melody and his sole vocal. While feeling stranded in a new city with so much to do and so little time, Haelphon jumps straight into the exhilarating hook that crashes our speakers with lively acoustic guitar melodies, upbeat drum breaks, and a cinematic synth melody. As Haelphon expands on feeling stranded on his own, he questions what it takes to be free during the pandemic's day and age while reminding us to hold hope for a clearer day.
As the samples of rain flow through our speakers, the next track, "Picture Perfect (feat. Paris Heart)," smoothly opens. As an eerie organ melody begins seeping through our speakers, we're met with a hip-hop drum arrangement and Haelphon's warm vocal delivery that brings us into a dreamy state of mind. Not to mention the refreshing feature of emo artist Paris Heart, he offers this deeply emotional and introspective lyrical element that maintains the song's emotional and thought-provoking approach. We love the haunting and chilling feel of this track, as it depicts the young artist navigating his way through life and his career in the busy streets of NYC.
Reaching our final stop with "Cold Carolina," this song opens with a calm and heartfelt acoustic guitar melody and Haelphon's warm vocal stylings. As the tender piano melody beings raining down from above, Haelphon drifts into the deeply reflective lyrical content of missing someone long after their relationship ran its course. As the pulsating synths begin to expand in the background, Haelphon takes us to the foot-stomping hook, where he drenches us in a transcendent electronic soundscape that melts with minor chords and tones while leaving us feeling a bounty of chills. As Haelphon closes the entire project, he leaves us feeling refreshed with his honest lyricism and dynamic sonic arrangements.
Don't miss out on the honest, conceptual, and relatable body of work that is Haelphon's debut EP, 'In Transit,' available on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Haelphon, and congratulations on the release of your brilliant and conceptual debut EP, 'In Transit." When did you begin feeling inspired to create this EP? Did your move to New York inspire this project?
Thank you very much! I appreciate your kind words. It’s great to be back talking to BuzzMusic after such a long two years. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the last time we spoke, I was just starting to form my plans to move to New York City and now I’ve been here for over a year! The move has definitely been the biggest inspiration behind this release. ‘In Transit’ is all about me going from being a recent college graduate to being a true indie artist trying to build a music career in the most notorious entertainment scene in the world. Everything down to the cover art is symbolic of the journey so far. Shoutout to my friend Claire Schneider for that one.
What drew you to work with Annie Moffitt and Paris Heart on your EP, 'In Transit?' Why did you want to feature their vocal stylings within the project?
One of the biggest things my previous releases have lacked has been collaboration and diversity. At a certain point, I felt it necessary to bring in other artists to help me tell my stories. Paris Heart’s emo-rap style is absolutely killer and I was hooked on his stuff after my first listen. It was a must-have feature for me. When he came into the studio to do his verse for ‘Picture Perfect’, he blew it out of the water. Annie Moffitt is a good friend of mine and we were trying for so long to get a project together that we were jazzed about. One day, we took a lil trip to Brooklyn to catch a break and that’s where the concept for ‘Stretch My Legs’ came from. It’s literally that day encompassed in a song. Her voice is so beautiful and I am ecstatic to have her on this because our sounds blend so well together, similar to our friendship.
What sort of sound or genre(s) were you aiming to achieve with the production and instrumentation within 'In Transit?'
While writing In Transit, I found myself particularly inspired by some of my favorite fringe songwriters like Chelsea Cutler and Mac Miller. They create(d) music in such authentic ways and I wanted to incorporate more of that into my new projects. One of the things I’ve learned from them as a fan is that pushing the boundaries on how I produce and write is really the best way to keep forging my own sound. The genre that I love to make the most right now is art-pop. It’s a very open-ended category of music with a lot of fusion which allows me to make way more of what I want it to. For me, going with the flow and trusting my creativity has opened up my music to new possibilities. At the end of the day, I’m just trying to make stuff that I would personally listen to.
Is there a song within 'In Transit' that's your personal favorite, and why?
Off the rip, I want to say that I am so in love with how each of the four songs came out and I’m really excited for everyone to hear my new stuff. I’m particularly proud of the duet Annie and I get into on Stretch My Legs, but if I had to name a single favorite, I’d say Stranded, because of what it stands for. It pretty much kicked off the next stage of my career because it’s how I met my engineer, co-producer, and friend AJ Pillette. He jammed with the Stranded demo so well that he asked to help create a studio version at our now regular spot, The Buddy Project, in Queens. Now, we’re working on a full-length album for the fall and it’s set to be the best work I’ve ever made. A couple of fun facts about Stranded, by the way: it was the first time I had ever stepped foot in a recording booth as an artist and it’s the only song I have coming out that I wrote during the pandemic lockdown.
What did you hope to make the listener feel and experience after listening to 'In Transit?' What sort of thoughts or emotions did you want to bring out in your audience?
My hope is that In Transit can help people better connect with their own journeys. Life is full of peaks and valleys of good times and bad times, but both can be instrumental in shaping you into who you want to be. If the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that while existence is unpredictable, it’s really something quite beautiful. It sounds cliché, but I firmly believe it. Acknowledge where you came from but never lose sight of where you’re going. Understand your losses, celebrate even your smallest wins, and shoot your shot. Things may not land right away, but the more you move towards what you want, the more you realize that you’re going to get there. Time is limited, but there is plenty of life out there for every one of us.