Festival Coverage

Hopscotch Must-Sees: Ryan Hemsworth

This is a personal artist spotlight on Ryan Hemsworth by Prism for Hopscotch.

Recently, I read New York Times pop music critic Jon Caramanica’s piece about his experiences at 2013’s Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. In the article, he makes a distinction between the first day (largely hip bread-and-butter indie rock) with the second and third day’s more electronic and experimentally focused bills. And he specifically cites 23-year old Halifax DJ Ryan Hemsworth as being responsible for finally kick[ing] this year’s edition of the Pitchfork Music Festival into gear, saying that his music made “bodies [get] to moving” for the first time that weekend.

I found this observation funny, because I had a completely similar experience with Ryan at this years’ South By Southwest music festival. After my then-underaged ass found my way into Pitchfork’s 1100 Warehouse showcase on Thursday, I caught Sky Ferreria and Zebra Katz’s sets amidst a crowd of bearded tweeting industry bros who gosh darn it were not going to dance for the effing likes of Sky Effing Ferreria. But when Hemsworth went up and immediately dropped what I think was his remix of Frank Ocean’s “Thinking About You,” the lame music crit crowd went wild for the first time, dancing for his whole set and into Disclosure, who followed him.

So while I’ve established that the man accomplishes things live, I should also mention that Ryan Hemsworth has been kicking around the internet for a few years at this point. His oeuvre includes his many diverse and amazing remixes (go YouTube his version of Craig David’s “Fill Me In” or maybe his snare-filled twist on ‘Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely’ from the Backstreet Boys) as well as a slew of originals and production he’s done for rappers such as Shady Blaze, Deniro Ferrar, and Main Attraktionz.

There’s a lot I could say about him, but I think the best thing to say is that if you enjoy dancing and contemporary sample-based electronic music, his headlining set at CAM will be where it’s at at Hopscotch. The conflict between him and Earl Sweatshirt at Lincoln will be tough for some, but I’ve seen the man live before and I know where the fun will be at. See you at CAM.

Best Songs: Frank Ocean – Thinkin Bout You (Ryan Hemsworth Bootleg)

Playing: CAM: 12:30 AM Friday night