Houssein In The Superdry House
14th November 2018
Houssein is the social media maverick that has achieved more in his teens than we can fathom – how dare he! During his recent promotional tour, the star swung by to Regent Street for a poptastic chat about cheese sarnies and Stormzy!
How did Houssein get into music?
I used to be in the choir at school, and the teacher told my mum that he thought I was quite talented at music, and so this inspired her to encourage my music interests from a young age. My dad bought me a drum set when I was 6, which led to me listening to a lot more music as I wanted to learn how they play properly – this was further accentuated when I was given my first guitar by my mum.
First album you bought?
I bought multiple in one go: Green Day’s American Idiot, Green Day’s Nimrod, and Green Day’s Warning… I was a very big Green Day fan when I was younger…if you hadn’t guessed!
You’ve got a HUGE social media fanbase but come across very humble – IF you wanted to be a popstar to the extreme, what would be on your ‘ridiculous rider’?
Well I love tea, so I would demand that tea be presented to me within a moment’s notice, and not just any tea, oh no… my favourite tea – Harrods English Breakfast Tea. I don’t just want it in a mug, I want a tea pot, with a little pot of brown sugar cubes and small milk jug, and a perfectly sized cup and saucer. I want the tea hot, not luke warm, not pretty hot… just hot. Also a cheese and tomato sandwich, with four vertical slices of No. 4 cheese, placed on white 50/50 bread, with 4 mini plum tomatoes cut into 3 slices each, with each tomato being placed in rows of 3 along the cheese. Then the sandwich should be cut in half, and placed on a small square plate. Please.
Ever been starstruck, and if so what happened?
I met Stormzy at the BRITs and I was very excited as I love his music. Similarly, I was quite starstruck when I met Will I Am in Paris when I was about 15/16, as he was just so cool and kind, and I was a massive fan of his music. Also, I love Philip Defranco – I watch his news videos everyday, as I’m so interested in world news politics – he was really cool, and a pleasure to talk to.
For one of your recent singles Tokyo, you’re telling us it’s a synonym for euphoria rather than the literal place itself. What makes Tokyo so euphoric, and what is the song also about?
Tokyo is just so culturally different to England – so I think it’s a combination of their way of life, their architecture and various other factors that make it seem almost unreal. That’s why it’s so euphoric, as from an outsider’s perspective, it appears as this fantasy land unlike anything we have back home. The song is about looking back on a moment in time that was perfect, a truly euphoric moment. It speaks of the relatable feeling, that a lot of people experience, of wanting to go back and re-live a great memory, but knowing that it will never happen.
You’re proudly pop – do you think the genre has had a rebirth in recent years?
I think pop has become such a broad term – the general public does not exclusively listen to rock or hip hop or pop, they listen to a wide variety of genres as it’s all so easily accessible. So I feel like this has completely removed any restraints that had previously been placed on Pop, as so many genres have almost merged together to create a new era of music – one that varies in so many ways.
What stories and experiences are you currently writing about?
I just write about whatever comes to mind in the moment, if I’m thinking about something significant that has happened in my life, I may be inspired to write a song – but I also may see a good movie, and want to write about the main character’s story.
You recently visited Superdry on Regent Street – what did you pick out, and what’s your style?
Yes, thank you for having me there! I picked out a few really nice winter jackets, some button shirts, and then some simple t-shirts. I have a very simplistic style, I don’t often wear loads of colours, so a lot of the Superdry clothing really worked for my style actually!