Haelphon is the solo electronic project of Zach Ciampa, combining notable influences such as Avicii, Kygo, and Drake to create a sound that we’ve never heard before. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Haelphon uses honest songwriting and finely-calibrated production work to create soundscapes that are becoming known around the globe. Haelphon’s songs were featured in a variety of commercial projects for companies like Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom, and Contiki. Active since 2017, Haelphone has developed an impressive catalog of versatile tracks. His debut album “Haelphonics” was released in September of 2019 and truly showcases Haelphon’s vocal and production abilities in a different light.
The 12-track album “Haelphonics” is a documentation of the artist’s transition into early adulthood using authentically honest songwriting and layered soundscapes. “Black Death” is a complex and satisfying single that benefits hugely from the way that Haelphon’s voice meshes with itself to create a warm and satisfying pad of sound, which elevates the chorus to something quite delicious. The whole production of “Black Death” sounds hugely confident at every turn. This composition is also all about the vocals, and they are terrific. His voice is all his own, and“Black Death” is a warming and wonderful slice of pop that delights, has great dynamics, and is very well mixed and produced to complement his talents.
Check out “Black Death” here and read more with Haelphon below!
Hey Haelphon! We’re really enjoying bumping your album “Haelphonics”. What was the
overall concept of this project?
Thank you! This is actually my first interview and I’m so excited to be talking with y’all about the
music. Simply put, Haelphonics is a look at what it’s like navigating through the stages of young
adulthood. The album focuses a lot on topics such as the passage of time, mental health, and
(of course) love. As I continued to develop the LP, I realized that having overarching specific
themes didn’t really make sense to me, so I just went with the twelve tracks I felt would be most
authentic to both myself and my listeners and here we are!
“Black Death” is a great song! What can you tell us about the inspiration behind this
particular song? Did it turn out the way you initially thought it would when you began
I’m really thrilled that this is the song that stood out to you the most. It’s definitely one of my
strongest works so far. “Black Death” is a candid look at growing substance use problems
around the world, especially in the United States. A lot of mainstream music glorifies that kind of
thing these days, which I personally hate. I lost a friend of mine from high school about four
years ago due to an accidental fentanyl overdose, plus a family friend and some other
classmates as a result of the opioid crisis. I wanted to write something in their memories. Black
Death calls attention to the grittier side of what some seem to glamorize, taking a realistic look
at things like the opioid crisis and highlighting the systems which allowed for that to happen in
the first place. Honestly, the song turned out considerably better than I imagined it would. I
wasn’t sure I was going to get the right tone that I wanted at first, but I layered out the first
couple takes and thought to myself “wow, maybe I’m actually on to something here.” To me, it’s
a fitting tribute to those that we’ve lost, and it’s one of the best-produced songs on the record.
We know that you're a lover of integrating a variety of elements into your music. Would
you ever incorporate contrasting genres into your music, or do you think it would ruin
the type of sound you're attempting to reach?
Oh totally. Being able to put fun twists in the music is one of the most exciting parts about me
being the producer, the writer, AND the singer. My creative freedom is limitless. You can tell a
Haelphon track is made by well, me, due to how I like to layer and mix things, but each track
sounds solidly different from the last. Stylistically, I set no boundaries for genre-mashing and
that helps a lot. Sometimes I just hear elements of something in my head, be it from rock or
country, so I just toss it in the mix for the hell of it and hope for the best. Usually, it ends up
sounding pretty cool. Listeners can look forward to a lot of that in my post-debut releases,
particularly with my upcoming heartbreak song “The Author” which starts off significantly more
acoustic than I usually do and then it follows with this huge electric guitar hook. Music is a lot
like fashion these days—anything goes—so I might as well have fun with it.
Your musical catalog is beyond impressive! How do you remain on track and motivated
to continue to create music so consistently?
Well, I’m glad it appears that way! I actually get really intense writer’s block for months at a time.
When I’m on my game though, I can crank out new stuff like crazy. I will say, even if I’m
struggling to write something new, the purpose behind my music keeps me going. My main
objective is to just give my listeners a space where they can find comfort in music. You don’t
have to have just graduated from college to listen to a song of mine like Cabin Fever. Outside
the direct context in which the song was written, the message can still apply to anyone and
that’s one of the key elements of my writing style. Of course, I’m writing a lot about what I’ve
personally experienced, but my focus is on making sure those experiences translate to
something realistic and relatable for others.
It also helps that I write a lot of music for TV. When I’m stuck on something, I can just pull from
the minute-long cues that I’ve already written and use them to start something new. A lot of
times I’m creating five or six songs in a day for networks, so there are a lot of little pieces to
reuse when they’re all finished.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. What's the next move for you
artistically? Do you have any events you’d like to talk about?
It was my pleasure. Thank you for letting me gush about my album! The next move for me
artistically is actually literal. In 2020, I’ll be relocating to New York City to get more involved in
the music scene there and take what I’m doing to the next level. In the meantime, keep an eye
on my pages because there are a lot of new songs on the way, as well as some show
announcements for my remaining time here in Boston. Until next time!