Hanibl X Dante are the perfect example of practice makes perfect. Giving most of their time to their production, these twins have quickly mastered their style and become highly respected within the Leeds hip hop scene.
How long have you guys been going as Hanibl X Dante? and what made you start producing hip hop?
Alex: We’ve been making music together under Hanibl X Dante for about 6 months. We’ve both been into hip hop for a long while and have been in bands for the last 10 years, so it was more an experiment than anything. I was in a band with a producer called Jack Wolff; he taught me a lot about hip-hop and then started teaching Lewis production.
Lewis: The mindset of creativity and work ethic was one of the most potent things he taught me. I bought an SP 404 and got into making old school boom bap. Over the last 6 months or so this has evolved with the help of a few different producers (Clerk 37 & MOGLI) into a more experimental and contemporary style of production. Having a strong base in the fundamentals of hip hop taught by Jack is something I will be eternally grateful for.
From listening to your beat tapes it seems your sounds are changing and evolving quite fast, why is this and what influences it?
L: I think the quite drastic and rapid change in our sound mainly comes down to how far we think we can push ourselves and the music we make. It’s been great now settling on a sound that works for both of us and really gets our personalities across. Being able to express ourselves and our influences has taken some time but the result has been worth it.
A: Not really being too concerned with our music being strictly hip -hop has been a big aspect of growth. It’s easy to become complacent with the style you create in. Experimenting with the more electronic side of production has really freed up the way we work and fits perfectly with the music we write.
How do you work together on tracks?
A: We search for a base idea to build off, which might be a sample or a drum break, and then I start to build more rhythms and counter rhythms over it.
L: Meanwhile, I normally focus on the melody and sound design side of things. And then we repeat and repeat that process until we’ve got a finished track!
A: As i’m originally a drummer and Lewis is a bassist, I guess we just utilise the skills that the other doesn’t have till we get a result were both happy with.
What inspired your artist names?
L: They’re both pretty stupid, to be honest. Mine (Hanibl) comes from the main dude in the A team. I thought the show was so big that there would be loads of samples of people saying “Hanibl’ but that’s literally it.
A: ‘Dante’ comes from the book ‘Dante’s Inferno’ because I’m well pretentious.
What’s coming up for Hanibl X Dante?
A: We’ve got an EP coming out on 8MANA in the next few months which we’re really excited to put out. It’s been a labour of love and has given us the opportunity to work with some amazing artists and producers. Alongside that, we’ll be putting out some tracks that we’ve produced with/for other Leeds artists; we’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing vocalists Roe Green, B-Ahwe & Jack Zealey
L: Also , we have our weekly residency at Headrow House (every Thursday) and our monthly radio show over on KMAH Radio. All the details are on our facebook page.