Toronto-based artist His His drops new melancholic debut “Matador”

His His is the project of Toronto-based artist Aidan Belo. Combining delicate guitar lines with simple yet thoughtful vocals, Belo created this project as an outlet after relocating to his family’s hobby farm outside of the city, in an attempt to evoke something rural and honest.

Most easily defined by the Portuguese word saudade, a feeling of longing and melancholy, “Matador,” the debut single from His His, captures the mood that Belo felt in the barn where he recorded it one afternoon: feelings of melancholy, relative passivity, and low-spiritedness. 

Listen to “Matador” and checkout our interview below!

Can you talk to us about the inspiration behind your single, “Matador”?

Matador is a song that was inspired by leaving Toronto to go back and live on my family’s farm, and not knowing for how long. At the same time, I was reading Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway, a book about the tradition of bullfighting, which inspired the name of the song.

How do you think your community has contributed to your success?

Everyone has just been so supportive. I’ve got a lot of great friends from home, ones I’ve met at university and from playing in and around Toronto with my old band. I guess a lot of people had never heard this side of me, so to speak. The support I’ve gotten for creating something that felt a little more personal to me, has been super.

What was the first thing that got you interested in music?

One of the earliest memories I have was when I was little and listening and dancing to ABBA in my grandma’s living room. In grade 4 I remember spending hours and hours listening to Ozzy Osbourne’s Blizzard of Oz on my mom’s Walkman, and then she brought me to his concert, with Rob Zombie as the opener (my first concert) and it was all just so surreal. Funny enough, it was what got me really interested in playing music.

Describe to our audience your music-making process.

Usually I’ll have a progression or guitar part that I’ve been working on, then I’ll sit in my room and try to create the skeleton of the song. Sometimes it can be as quick as half an hour or many times I’ll hang onto an idea for weeks on end. Once the song is more or less finished, I set up a few microphones in this old open barn on my parents’ farm and sit with my guitars and try as best as I can to record it.

What advice would you give other musicians?

To try and create music that you enjoy and feel represented by. Some people prefer to write with other people, and some people don’t and that’s okay. Sometimes I found it hard to get the right balance while writing with other people, so writing music that is true to you, is something I’ve found to be important.

How did it feel when you released this new music?

I felt anxious because this song, among others to come out soon, are very personal to me. It’s almost like opening up and showing your journal to someone. I had trouble showing the songs to my best friends so having thousands of people listen to it, is pretty scary but also super encouraging given the response I’ve gotten from it.

And finally, if you could collaborate with any musician/band, who would it be? And why?

It would have to be either Linda Perhacs or Julien Baker. Although from very different eras, they’re both such incredible musicians. Both have been such an inspiration. I feel like I would have so many questions to ask, and obviously so much to learn.