Nexus Meets... Artist

Nexus Meets… Hairy Penguins

Merging elements of grunge, alternative rock and melodic metal, Hairy Penguins explode onto the scene with their debut EP Triptych. We speak with singer-songwriter and producer Kevin De Souza about Triptych, discovering new music and much more!

What is the backstory to your EP Triptych?

Over the course of the last three/four years, I wrote a lot of stuff. In 2020, being stuck at home like most of the world, I decided to finally record some of them and rework others. There was an actual itch to do it, to be honest. After a couple of days demoing on my own, I asked Tristan to give it a listen. We spent a few days more recording demos via Cloud sessions shared between Glasgow and Paris. Later, we had listened to the tracks and couldn’t decide which ones to keep or bin. From there, I took it upon myself to tweak and properly release the first batch of them, which is now Triptych.

If you could change one thing about Triptych what would it be?

That’s a tricky one. My instinct would say the vocals. I’m not a fan of my own voice and I think things can definitely be improved and would probably try more things with it. I would also love to give more space to the keys/bell chimes. Most of those songs were first recorded and written without them, but I now believe they would deserve a bigger part.

What do you hope people take from the EP and your music in general?

I hope people would take our energy, our message through the lyrics, that and there’s always a form of hope for the better. If we get people moving their heads back and forth to our songs, we are happy.

How would you describe your music to a new listener?

I always struggle to describe it. My influences are pretty wide and I tend to listen to bands that people may not know, so it’s hard to give a comparison. Probably the best way to describe it is a mix of prog-rock, post-hardcore with a touch of 2000s emo and indie stuff.

Which is your favourite track and why?

It’s hard to choose. All of them have their own unique strength and I like them all. I’d probably go with ‘Drop The Anchor’. It’s the opening track but also the last one actually recorded for the EP. It is the one that defines best what our sound is and where we want to go.

What about your least favourite?

There’s none! *laughs*

What do you think is the best way to discover new music?

Going to gigs is probably high up there as a way to discover new stuff, especially that for both of us Glasgow and Paris do have a strong music scene. But, as we are still stuck in a pandemic and cultural events seem to be held back for another few months, I like to somewhat trust Spotify. By that I mean taking an artist you like, listen to the artist radio, eventually find a new similar artist that catches your attention, then go listen to their stuff and repeat the process.

What is your creative process?

It’s somewhat of organised chaos. I don’t really have a time and space to start writing; it kinda shows up randomly. However, if what I have in mind sticks for a bit I’ll start working on it and from there it follows a certain pattern. Usually, a guitar riff or drums to start, then it unfolds itself.

Lyrics and vocals are pretty much always the last part to be created. I then send it to Tristan who gives it a listen and eventually suggests changes. If needed, tracks are getting reworked until we are both happy with the final thing.

Do you have future plans?

We do! Unfortunately, some are held back due to the current world situation. We would love to hit the stage! Record-wise, we still have quite a few tracks that we are happy with and will be released in the near future. Some are already being worked on and progressing nicely, so, hopefully, before the end of the year.

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