2019 was the year 21-year-old DJ Hank Korsan wiggled his way onto everyone’s radar. He carved out his niche in New York and LA, making sure his name was on line-ups for all the right club nights, often performing alongside No Vacancy Inn, a collective co-founded and run by Tremaine Emory, Acyde and his brother Brocky Marciano (all musical heavyweights).
Korsan’s latest project, a six track EP entitled LAST TO LEAVE THE PARTY, embodies his mellow, laid-back attitude. The proof is in the pudding. We hung out with Hank at The Face House, Miami in December during Art Basel and he was most definitely the last to leave the party. (Fact check: he didn’t actually leave, he took up the offer of our sofa and was most definitely the last one to conk out.)
LAST TO LEAVE THE PARTY was concocted in collaboration with British DJ Tommy Gold, whose sound has been dubbed “international fusion at its best” by Highsnobiety. It seems fitting, then, that the pair would put out a spontaneous and (in the best way) unpolished collection of songs – what better way to process the whirlwind year they’ve had?
Here Korsan chats to The Face about instant connections, moving to London, and the Safdie brothers.
Set the scene. How did you and Tommy (Gold) meet?
Tommy and I became internet friends, honestly. What I was doing in New York, he was doing in London, and I kind of noticed that. From there it was just easy. I went up to London for a month, in March/April time last year. We linked up every single day, which was cool.
Was it an instant connection?
Yeah. The first day we met, we were playing B2B. The first mix that we did together, I looked at him and I was like, ‘We just became best friends forever.’ He looked at me mad strange like, ‘What the fuck is this kid talking about?’
What led you to collaborate?
We’re both turned 21 last year, it’s very natural, you know. Honestly, we weren’t even planning on putting anything out. All of the plans that we had for New Year’s were kaput, I don’t know what happened.
That’s what always happens with New Year’s…
It always happens, right? Straight up, we locked ourselves in the house [in New York] and we’d go play at night, come back, do a lot of drugs and make a bunch of music. It’s not even some crazy story, our plans just got fucked up and it kind of just happened. It felt right. I remember it was the first day we got there, we got mad fucked up and all of a sudden I opened up my computer, we made a beat and I was like, “Shall we just make a little project right now?”
How long did it take?
Ten to 15 days. I know we’ve got a little bit of criticism on it – we take that because we are not musicians, we’re DJs. If you listen to the EP, you can tell it’s made by DJs. We both have a little experience playing guitar, piano and drums, but we’re not masters of any of that. Everything’s thrown together, it’s very rough, very raw. It’s not like a Mark Ronson track. So much love for that dude, but it’s a different vibe.
Talk me through LAST TO LEAVE THE PARTY.
[Tommy and I] were having a conversation, and I think a lot of people have crazy perceptions of people like us, who travel and play a lot. When you think about it, we are genuinely the last to leave the party. Everyone has these ideas of what goes down, but we’re just there until the last people are dancing. It kind of just summed up our 2019. Tommy was saying he had a great year, I know I had a good year. We both did the most we possibly could by being genuine about it.
You recorded the EP in London. How was that?
Yeah, it was all made in Tommy’s upstairs room. I need to move to London, I’m in love. I’d been there before, but having a friend there, it works really nice.
What’s your favourite song right now?
All the stuff I’ve been listening to recently stems from being in London. I’ve been on a big James Massiah vibe. Natural Born Killers, that’s the track right now. I just want to get back out there, I’m over New York.
Who are you backing for the 2020s?
I don’t want to give away my secrets. I know it’s such a trend right now but I’m on a big Safdie Brothers vibe. They’re crazy. They did Good Time in 2017, Uncut Gems this year, and I think it’s such a move for filmmakers and even musicians.