Helena Legend has become a name uttered around music circles over the last couple of years. She's been recently signed to Ultra Music and her work has combined a mesh of tropical, bass, and house, to bring together a style that's all of her own.
We'd heard of a few of the really cool things she'd been working on recently, including a fashion line and new collabs, so we sat down with the amazing talent to learn more.
The interview has been edited for clarity.
Hey Helena, thanks for talking to us! First things first, what can we expect from you in 2017 musically?
I released the first part of my EP called No Explanations just before Christmas 2016 which has been going great, so have been pushing that. The music video for the lead single 'RU Feeling It Feat Lyre' came out this week that I shot in Shanghai, so this has been super dope!
Part 2 of the EP is out at the end of Feb, and then after that I will just be releasing singles, then maybe another EP later in the year... so just expect a lot of music from me this year! I feel I have finally found my footing with my productions. It took a while, but now I really feel I have found my place as an artist.
To go along with that, we've heard about some new music coming out with Kirstin Maldonado, singer from Pentatonix. What brought the two of you together to make music?
This is still in the works, so I don't want to say too much. But so far the track is sounding dope af... I'm very excited about it ;)
You're also working on singing in your tracks more yourself. What are the biggest challenges in producing and singing in a song?
Singing is obviously very new to me, so this is the major challenge, I have been taking lessons which has been a big help.
My track "Illusion" was the first time I have ever sung on a track, It was always something I wanted to do, but didn't have the confidence to do so, having someone say they don't like your track is fine... whatever, but to have someone say they hate your voice I feel is way more personal, but I pushed through my own barriers and did it. The response overall has been amazing, so it's given me the confidence to do more.
I have another single I am currently working on with me singing on it. I love every track on my EP but I do feel more proud of "Illusion" [because] it's [me] featuring on [my] own music, [and] that is such a great feeling. Beats1 did the premiere of the track and to have Radio 1 play your track with you singing on, I never thought something like that would happen for me, it was pretty damn cool.
We also heard that one of your passion projects is set to come alive this year. You're building a name for yourself in the fashion industry? Do you have extensive background in printmaking, sewing, or anything else? What sort of clothes are you looking to make, and what have been the biggest challenges thus far?
Yes... this is my other passion- fashion. I actually studied Fashion Design in College in the UK and was set to go into fashion, but I then left for Ibiza for the summer and that was it. I was head over heels in music from then on for my career. But fashion is still a big love of mine, my Auntie was a famous fashion designer in Australia and she was a big influence on me growing up.
The designs are all mine, as well as all the sourcing of fabrics down to the keys and linings, I am working with pattern makers to nail the patterns and a production house in Downtown LA to make it all. This also ties back in with me changing my name last year to Helena Legend, as I want to build a brand that goes beyond music and it was hard to do that under just 'Helena.'
The biggest challenges so far [have been in] perfecting the cuts. I am a perfectionist, so I need it all to be right. I am 3 samples in so far and nearly there, [on] the first one, the band on the jacket was too big, wrong zip, stuff like that, [and] now the cuffs are too loose and the dropcrotch [is] too drop haha. things like [that]!
I could do it the easy way and buy ready made shit and put my name on it, but for me there is no creativity in that. I am making stuff that is 100% me. The clothes I am making are inspired from my experience on stage and travel. I want to make cool comfy clothes that stand out and look great on stage or a night out. Sports lux that looks good to wear out, that is breathable and lightweight and comfy for stage, but is also very eye-catching and cool is my focus. DJ Snake said he loved the pants I made one weekend, which was really cool, as he has major swag. I told him I'll make him some!
Another collection I am making is called LAX LUX which is focussing on super comfy swaggy clothes that you can wear traveling in airports, planes and the likes.
For those that are looking to get into music or fashion, what advice would you give/if you could go back in time and give your younger self some advice, what would it be?
To believe in yourself and have the confidence. And not to listen to anyone telling you, you can't make it. From ex-boyfriends telling me to sell my decks as I'll never make it as a DJ, to people dissing my tracks and all the backhand compliments and misogyny in the scene along the way. Accept that no-one will support you or help you, that you are the one that will make shit happen, but that you will make it happen.