In 7 short years HM Sound System have turned a friendly favor, into a creative collective that’s always the life of the party. The roster is made up of the DJ duo HM Selecta (Minh) and Amy Pham (Amy Phamous/ Nawt Phamous) as well graphic designer Andy.
What makes HM Sound System so unique, is that their talents aren’t confined to just one area of dopeness. They can be found spinnin at your favorite pop up shop, designing cutting edge digital work, or even hosting their own YouTube series. For the next part of our interview series, we invited HM Sound System to talk about parties and bullshit.
Q: You now call Los Angeles home now, but has it always been?
Minh was born in Vietnam and immigrated refugee style to the US when he was 6. Amy was born and raised in LA, about 20 min east of downtown. Andy was born in Phoenix, Arizona.
Q: When was HM Sound System founded and why?
We had been playing guitar in bands most of his life. Being a music enthusiast, he also ended up with a sizable vinyl collection. This is not because he was a hip vinyl collector, it was because our family did not have a CD player growing up. Minh actually had not intention of ever DJing and was sour that the CD releases (on Blue Note for instance) had more tracks than their vinyl counterparts. Then about 7 years ago, some friends asked Minh to spin at one of their parties. Minh responded:
“I only have to carry a couple crates of records instead of my guitar/amp (that I’d have to setup), AND I get paid?!”
And so, HM Sound System was born….
Q: Now Since Amy & Minh are siblings, is it tough for you to work so closely?
Yes and no. Of course it’s hard to have to work with anyone that closely without butting heads at some point, but after all’s said and done in the end we’re still family and nothing can break that relationship. And since we’re related, we usually are able to give each other our real opinions on things (and not worry about stepping on any toes). This is the best team we will ever work with.
Q: Explain HM Selcta’s spinnin style?
We play anything and everything that we like, from old to new, underground to pop. Lately, it’s been a lot of 90s hip hop/RnB. Playing Kanye and Empire of the Sun back to back? Yes. However, our production/remix/original material range from dirty dancehall to dreamy shoegaze.
Q: How do you feel about the current fashion scene in L.A.?
Definitely fresh. Street style in LA is the business.
Q: In the many L.A. parties you’ve attended, what has been your favorite?
Anything that our friends do. Anything we are involved with. It’s fun to go out, but always better when you are working. We would rather be at our friend’s local party than a random one at Coachella…. Unless of course, the party happens to be at Coachella!
Q: What has been your worst-ever gig?
This is actually post-gig. We went to an afterparty in a dodgy neighborhood (aren’t they all?) and our car was broken into. Our Technics bag containing laptop, serato box, headphones were taken. Funnily, the only thing they did leave was 2 crates of vinyl.
Q: In your opinions what’s one book that everyone should read?
Minh – Dune
Amy – The BFG by Roald Dahl.
Q: What do you want people to take away from HM Sound System?
Just to have a good time, be open-minded about music, and to not take things too seriously.
Q: You have a friend flying into L.A. for 24 hours only where do you take them?
Ghost-hunting near our house. Then if they survive, to In-N-Out for a celebratory meal.
Q: What have been some of your favorite moments since starting HM Sound System?
Minh – When I play something slightly obscure (like D’angelo or Prince Club) , and I see people groovin.
Amy – When everyone’s on the dance floor, having a good time, dancing, and everyone’s singing along to something like “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie.
Q: If you had define HM Sound System in 3 words what would they be?
Hard Work Ethic.
Q: Could you talk a little about your “Fashion Statement” project?
“The Fashion Statement” is a fashion show series that I currently am the host of. It’s actually a show produced by Maker Studios, a bi-coastal production house that deals mostly with internet shows (they’ve also signed Snoop Dogg and Andy Milonakis, among others). They were holding auditions for the host position and after I went in, I go the job and it’s been a fun ride ever since. “The Fashion Statement” deals with all things fashion– from style tips and inspiration to DIY projects. I try to encourage my viewers to be resourceful (you don’t need to spend $300 on pants you can get for $20 on Ebay) and to not be afraid of trying new things. But at the same time I try to show them to not take fashion too seriously, because it should be fun.
Q: Anything you want to say to your followers before we rap things up?
Thanks for following our journey and being so supportive so far– we’ve got more for you in the works and can’t wait to share it with you all soon! Please keep in touch at www.hmsoundsystem.com