Less than a year ago, Jimmi Jo Hueting (24) graduated from Codarts with a master degree in Jazz drums. The track Act of leaving, which he unleashed upon the world from his tiny recording studio under the artist’s name of Jo Goes Hunting, could soon be heard on radio stations all over the world. Mexico, America, Australia: music lovers everywhere appreciated his avant-garde pop sound. The song, packed with synthesizers and reverberating polyphonics, was streamed over half a million times already.
Hueting played all the music for his EP Glow, also featuring Act of leaving, himself. He has been doing so for years. He started playing the drums and creating hip-hop beats at his secondary school in Nijmegen. Soon after, he learned to play various instruments and started singing. At Codarts he would lock himself in the composition studio every week to study all the possibilities of modular synthesizers.
I like to try out everything and then translate those experiments into my music.
Says Jimmi Jo Hueting.
“I like to try out everything and then translate those experiments into my music.” He personally owns eleven analogue synthesizers and an assortment of small string instruments. He is also slightly obsessed with devices and spends almost all of his money on gadgets such as Critter and Guitari’s Organelle. “I like to record sounds with all different kinds of devices. It can be anything: from people talking on the train to an air drill used to demolish a building.”
All these sounds, devices and instruments are important links in the quest for the ultimate result. “I aim for the best. If I work for four hours on four bars of music, trying them out on all kinds of instruments, then the end result is simply better than when a guitarist lays them down in one take.”
Lately however, Hueting has been playing with a band more often. Once your name is out there it means more gigs and then you simply need a good band. “In the end, what really matters to any musician is performing live. On stage, you get down to the nitty-gritty; you can’t stand there by yourself waffling on about your album. Besides, I really enjoy it and it nicely complements my other way of working. There’s just no way to describe the energy there can be among musicians.”
Therefore Hueting has chosen not to use computers at live performances, even though he does so a lot in the studio. “That’s one of the things I learned during my Jazz study: played live, music can live, breeze and change. It may overwhelm and surprise you.” According to Hueting, this goes for both the audience and the musicians. “That’s why, for instance, we plan to improvise more on stage. I don’t want to be in a band that plays the same routine every night.”
Hueting believes it is important to never be satisfied, to keep challenging yourself and always strive for variation and a higher level. “Take the legendary Sonny Rollins as an example; the man is 86 years old and still practices on his saxophone every day. I think that’s the kind of mind-set you need to have.”