Piano Jam 5 (Ode to Kygo) by GH Hat
By Ron Powers
The word enigma is defined as “a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand”. It’s also an accurate description of an artist I’ve been fascinated with since he first hit the music scene back in 2016. G.H. Hat is a multi-genre producer, remixer, composer, and performer. Over the years, he has strung together one of the most interesting and unpredictable bodies of work I’ve ever seen. He’s charted on Billboard multiple times for his pop/dance club/EDM music. He’s remixed and released a Gobsmacking 290 classical compositions. Additionally, his EDM instrumentals have had a huge impact, and he’s essentially forged a new musical genre with his enthralling series of piano jams. As other reviewers have noted “G.H. Hat’s creative process has evolved into one of the most highly regarded sounds on the market” and “The way he utilizes the benefits of modern production software puts his skill on par with that of a classical composer”.
I recently was granted access to an advanced copy of GH Hat’s latest installment in his piano-jams series. The song is called “Piano Jam 5 (Ode to Kygo)” and I’m excited to share my thoughts with you about it here.
“Piano Jam 5” is an instrumental that begins with a single kick drum and crash cymbal accompanied by a reversed piano chord that swells into a solitary bass line. The bass line delivers a tough and steady feeling while dashes of lead guitar and pick slides are sprinkled in. As one writer accurately put it while referring to G.H. Hat’s music, “It’s almost impossible to listen … and not feel energized after”. Additionally, we hear a descending piano melody that shimmers and mingles with the bass and guitar. G.H. then picks up the pace by adding percussive synth notes that both increase the energy of the song and expand the song’s sonic pallet. As the percussive synth notes move forward, the guitar and piano elements are further expanded creating a compelling shape and texture in the music.
For the next section of the song, the percussive synth drops out and a buzzing yet smooth-sounding synth melody is introduced. A sweeping EQ filter is added to the synth melody. The filter starts by introducing only low frequencies and then gradually introduces the frequencies giving the music an exciting rising feeling. Guitar and bass dance around the synth while the music builds and then releases into a melancholy piano melody. Here the percussive synth sounds make another appearance creating an interesting contrast to the sad piano melody with an upbeat and positive feeling. This sort of depth and irony runs through so much of G.H. Hat’s music and I’m sure has a lot to do with why one writer said, “G.H. Hat… is on his way to becoming one of the most anticipatory acts in the EDM arena.”
G.H. Hat is a marvel in that he transitions from classical to EDM, to pop music with seemingly no effort. He exploded onto Billboard’s Dance Club chart with his first and second pop/dance club/EDM songs and, from what I’m hearing, a third pop song is on the way. A dance club newcomer, he glided onto the dance club charts outperforming and charting higher than songs by such icons as Justin Bieber, Drake, David Guetta and Cardi B. Yes, as I first said he’s an enigma. But, in the meantime, “Piano Jam 5” offers more than enough enjoyment to keep his listeners entertained. All this leads me to concur with the words of one writer when he said, “My guess is that years from now when the world looks back on this era in music, it’s likely they won’t remember any EDM artists as strongly as they’ll remember G.H. Hat…” If you’d like to learn more about G.H. Hat you can find him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you’d like to listen to Piano Jam 5 or any of G.H. Hat’s other incredible music you can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and most any other place digital music is streamed or sold.
About the Author: Ron Powers is an independent A&R specialist and music industry consultant and is constantly searching for, discovering and writing about new talent.