Hysta is one of the rising stars in the hardcore scene. This year she released her first track on the Third Movement, ‘My Secret’. Fierce, contemporary, yet using elements from the past in a creative way. We can assure you that a lot more bangers will follow, for her star is on the rise. Time to get to know Hysta a little better!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hello everyone, my name is Thaïs but you might know me under the name of Hysta! It’s actually my real name in reverse Thais -> Is-Tha – Hysta. I’m French, but I lived in many different places: South America, Switzerland or Czech Republic. I’m 23 and I’ve been dedicating my life to hardcore for 6 years now.
2. When you grew up, was there music at home (parents, brother, sister?)
Not that much to be honest. I specifically remember listening to the same five music tapes when I was travelling on my sailing boat with my little sister. In the middle of the Atlantic we were blasting some Akon and Vanessa Paradis songs that we knew by heart of course! Then in South America it was mostly Reggaeton/Dancehall music like Popcaan or Vybz Kartel but it was not my cup of tea to be honest. When I got my first computer I discovered different genres of music and I got into US rap and rock music, like Eminem, Green Day or Pink. At that time I didn’t even know what electronic music was, so how could I have imagined that I would become such a huge hardcore music fan!
3. How did you get into hardcore?
This journey started after I came back to France, around when I was 14, in middle school. I had a hard time adjusting to the European lifestyle. I wasn’t used to the cold weather, I never had a TV before and I was always out of trend. I became really shy and uncomfortable communicating with others, so I spent most of my time on my computer or drawing. Then some friends took me to a rave, it was a hardcore only line-up and it was love at first sight! This music helped me to reconnect with myself and the world around me, because it was something that we could share together. That night I thought “I want to dedicate myself to this music”, so that I could spread it around me and bring some happiness and energy to people, as it does for me. So I started to organize my own illegal raves at 16 with my crew. We started from nothing: besides school, I had to work in the weekends/holidays to be able to buy my first turntables and vinyl. In 2017, I started to get booked in clubs in France and I shared line-ups with artists like Le Bask or Dr.Peacock. In the meantime, I launched my own radio, organized my own events and worked as co-manager with Handkcuf Records, a Swiss Hardcore Label.
4. France always has had a unique place within hardcore music, especially the more alternative side, with icons like Manu le Malin and Laurent Ho. Why do you think that is?
When I started, around 2014, it was mostly illegal raves, ‘free parties’ to be exact. So my experience comes from a very underground culture. For those who don’t know that much about this specific scene, I would suggest to check Spiral Tribe’s or Heretik’s history. At this moment I wasn’t really aware of the hardcore scene, I discovered it much later during my trips in Europe. For me, it’s two different worlds, even if hardcore has a place in both of them. Even back in the days, the French government used to oppress electronic music events, so the only option for ravers was to live their passion in this illegal way and that’s how it became underground. But today I see more and more hardcore organizations in France, and the government is starting to allow more events, which is a really good thing for the fans and artists. I truly believe in a brighter future for the hardcore scene in France, because there is definitely a huge fanbase and amazing artists.
5. How did you end up at TTM?
My story with TTM started with a vinyl I got when I was 16: ‘Escape from the Hostile’, with the legendary Promo remix of ‘Demons’. I remember playing it in my first ‘studio’, which was a caravan in my dad’s garden. At that time my set was 80% composed of TTM records.
Years after that, I met Promo at a gig in Switzerland and, I’ll be honest: I was such a fangirl! I even cried, haha. I set a goal for myself: I wanted to release a track on the label, so in 2020 I sent the demo of ‘Gabber Madness’ to Sebastian. Though he refused it because it didn’t fit the image of the label, it became a huge hit on the German label Dequinox. I guess it helped him to see my potential, because after the release he wrote me back saying he regretted not taking the song and that he wanted to work with me. That’s how I joined the TTM family as an artist!
6. Which are essential TTM releases, according to you?
I’m a huge oldschool lover so tracks like ‘Vicious Circle’, ‘Up Yours’ or ‘I come Correct’ are unmissable classics. They have unique sonorities, dark, deep, perfect recipe for LEGENDARY TRACKS! I played them so many times during my first years as a DJ and the reactions were always amazing.
7. On your Instagram you can be seen with a lot of vinyls, especially millennium hardcore. What’s special for you, about that period in hardcore?
First of all, I’m a big vinyl lover. I learnt mixing with vinyl, with millennium & early records.
When I was a teenager, I was often sad and felt like life was unfair, but these tracks helped me to acknowledge my anger and accept it. Thanks to this passion, I found a way to transform it into something meaningful, that could express perfectly this feeling through a specific genre.
8. Let’s talk about production. What’s your inspiration in making music?
It really depends if it’s a collab or my own tracks, because the process is different. When it’s a collab, the inspiration comes from the discussions with the other artist. When it’s my own tracks it’s a little harder sometimes because a lot depends on me. Usually I start from a theme I want to tackle that comes from my own experiences in life and I work with my family to find good lyrics. Then begins an endless journey of finding a vocalist that can really convey the atmosphere I want for the song. Once I have this solid base, making the music is the easiest and the most natural for me. I think the difficulty is that you have to have a clear vision of what you want in the end so you can choose the different elements wisely to build the final result. When I’m lacking inspiration, I go through my little notebook that I always take with me to write all my ideas. I usually find something interesting that I have written in a hurry, in an airport waiting for my plane and already forgot about, haha.
9. What makes a typical Hysta track? What element(s)?
That’s difficult to say. Truth is, I don’t want so stick to something very specific and create a ‘trademark’, because I want to have the possibility to explore other genres and sounds in my career. I think now people recognize my tracks from their mix between oldschool vibes and recents modern sounds. Fun fact : My very first production was a acidcore track.
10. My Secret has some old school gabber hardcore inspiration. Tell us a little bit about that track
It’s a secret so… but what I can say is that it’s by far my most aggressive track, because I felt I needed to convey strong thoughts. I’m also really happy of the outcome of mixing oldschool vibes, contemporary sonorities and dark vocals. And I’m even happier that the scene reacted so well to this new release! I really didn’t expect that many good reactions. It motivates me even more for my upcoming projects.
11. Why did you choose this track as your TTM debut?
I already did more mainstream and melodic tracks and I wanted to show something else for this debut track. I thought the dark vibes fitted well with the label and could show the versatility of myself.
12. Do you do everything yourself, in production?
I do! In fact, I started a long time ago, around when I was 16, whenever I had time. I would even practice late at night at my boarding school, trying not to wake up my roommates (of course I failed haha). After that, I met talented producers who taught me a lot, such as Lem-X or Invaissor, I also got a lot of help from friends. I feel really grateful for that.
13. Who would you like to do a Collab with? In or outside the scene!
I won’t be original, but legends like Angerfist, Tha Playah, Promo, Nosferatu, N-Vitral, Restrained, Ophidian, Mad dog…
14. Your DJ gigs are full of energy. How do you prepare for a gig?
When it’s in another country, I like to spend time with the locals. That’s why I don’t mind travelling alone. When I can, I try to land 2-3 days before my booking in order to have time to visit, ask questions about the culture and the hardcore scene and try the local food! When I’m back in my hotel room, I usually call my granny and make her guess where I am, she loves to hear about my trips haha. Nowadays I have more experience, but before I was so stressed before gig, I couldn’t eat a thing. And it was all I could think about! Though I still have that rush of adrenaline when I’m on the stage, I’m really glad that I can enjoy the experience now.
15. What’s a track that gets the crowd every time
I would say “FUCK 2020”, especially in France because it has French vocals with a strong meaning that people can easily identify with. I think this one is really energetic. My main goal was to help people during a hard period, and bring all of us hope of a more festive future.
You can check it here (I’ve added English subtitles) :
16. What was your favourite gig to date?
Every gig is unique to me, it’s really difficult to name just one. But if I really have to, I would say my experience in Croatia this summer. I was booked for an event on a boat. We cruised through beautiful landscapes and the audience was amazing. We did the Dropzone together and then we partied on the boat. I stayed there for almost a week and a friend that I met on YouTube when I was 10 years old joined me. We even did a tattoo together in Novalja, to celebrate our reunion. That made it an even more meaningful experience and after all this COVID shit it was almost unreal to be honest.
17. What other music do you listen to, besides core?
Lately I’m listening to a lot of Russian, Bulgarian and Czech music. But strangely, when I’m at home working, I listen to calm stuff like techno, electro, lo-fi, calm rock.. My artists of the moment are : The Blaze, Daft Punk, Stephan Bodzin, Stoto, Melih Aydogan. But when I do something that requires a high energy level, like working out or cleaning for instance, my music of choice is of course, hardcore (my neighbours love it 😉
18. You’re quite active on social media. Do you see this as a part of your artist job?
Sure it is, as much as it is important to provide quality music or performance. Building and caring about our fanbase is important because they’re the reason I achieved so many things today. So keeping them updated is the least I can do. During the lockdown it was also the only way I had left to keep in touch with them, so it’s something I developed a lot these last few years.
19. Is it hard for a young woman to get into this business, or does it open doors?
If you want to do something, whether you’re a woman or a man, you have to go all the way. I am not the kind of person to claim everywhere that I am a woman (I mean I don’t really have to anyway). If men or women have a problem with you, you just have to show them that you can do it. I used to have a lot of haters telling me I would never go anywhere (especially in France). I still get a lot of insults or inappropriate comments today. At first, it affected me. But now, I no longer pay attention to it. I just keep working to fulfil my dreams. So yes, being a woman in this environment can be complicated, but it can also be an asset knowing that girls are a minority. So there is less competition.
20. Where is the genre of hardcore moving? What will hardcore look like in the future?
New technology offers more and more possibilities. I love the oldschool sound, but we have lots a new possibilities to bring hardcore to the next level. I hope for even better sound quality, and high level tracks. Everything evolves. But, please: Keep it HARDCORE.
21. What’s your ambition?
I am not into setting too much goals for myself not to be disappointed, since I do a lot. But if I have to be honest, I’d say my biggest dream would be to play at Thunderdome. And I’m also drawn to countries where Hardcore is not very popular yet. So playing my music in those countries (like Russia, Japan or America) and talking to the local communities to know more about their scene would be very interesting. Although I already saw a lot of different scenes and people in European countries, it still amazes me how hardcore music can bring them together and being a part of that means the world to me.