Cyril Hahn and Ryan Hemsworth Dominate The Hoxton
Cyril Hahn and Ryan Hemsworth made a stop at the Hoxton as part of their North American tour on Oct. 4. With both of them playing killer sets, they proved that they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Broken beer bottles, spilt vodka, and confetti strewn across the floor – that’s what the Hoxton looked like by night’s end on Friday following the much anticipated performances of not one, but two headlining acts, Ryan Hemsworth and Cyril Hahn.
Out of all the DJ’s Embrace has booked for “Focus Fridays” this was by far the most hyped event. By 11p.m. a massive line had already formed outside, and inside it was just a matter of time until the bar would become hot, sweaty, and far too busy. And sure enough, by 12a.m., it was just that. The event was most likely oversold, which meant that there was no shortage of pushing, shoving, and eye rolling throughout the night.
However, any animosity was soon left behind as the first of the two DJ’s of the night took to the stage. First up was Mr. Ryan Hemsworth himself. The now Toronto-based DJ, who grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has reached a level of massive popularity as a result of his remixes over the last few years – a couple being Frank Ocean’s, “Thinking About You,” and Lana Del Rey’s, “Summertime Sadness.” Hemsworth has a unique and eclectic sound that’s diverse and all its own – something that was evident as he played his set at the Hoxton.
Hemsworth’s set was perfectly playful. It began with more of a melodic funky disco sound with an underlying hint of R&B. As the night progressed, his sound got a lot dirtier and grimier – with a heavy trap influence. There was plenty of bounce and energy, and the beat had everyone moving (even if that only meant moving two inches back and forth due to the sheer amount of people). It was evident mid-way through his set that Hemsworth is more than just a DJ, but a true performer. His showmanship is more than I would have expected as he hyped up the crowd, bounced, jumped, and danced on stage to his own tunes – occasionally wiping his face off with a towel. By the time his set was nearing the end he played his ever-so popular remix of “Summertime Sadness.” Hemsworth did something different, though, by mixing the song with some R&B for a more sexy and urban vibe. All I can really say about Hemsworth’s performance is that it encapsulated everything one means when they say “swag.”
Cyril Hahn proved to be just as talented as one would expect. As he began his set it was obvious that he’s reached a level of DJ stardom that not many artists get to experience. What’s crazy though is that Hahn has reached this level of popularity within just a little over a year. Fans and DJ’s alike were singing his praises following the release of his remix of Destiny Child’s, “Say My Name” on SoundCloud. The remix put him on the DJ map, so as to say. Hahn has distinguished himself as the master of transforming some of the music industry’s top pop songs into sexier, darker tracks by incorporating a layer of magical synth and distorting the vocals into something low and otherworldly.
He definitely isn’t one for showmanship, unlike Hemsworth, and simply stood on stage and mixed his music. However, someone as talented as Hahn didn’t need to do much more than that – the music speaks for itself. He proved that he’s the ultimate funk master as he busted out majestic song after song. He played all the fan favourites such as his remixes of “Sweet Talk,” “Don’t Save Me”, and “Losing You.” Just after 2a.m., Hahn played his most recent release, and original song, “Perfect Form” (feat. Shy Girls). As the song played, confetti dropped from the ceiling, and you could tell everyone was in a state of bliss as the smooth vocals and chiming melody oozed out of the speakers. Just as everyone thought the night was over, Hahn played “Say My Name.” If you’ve heard the song, and are a fan, then you can imagine how ecstatic everyone was when it came on. If you were about to leave, you ran back to the dance floor to get your groove on one last time.
Hahn and Hemsworth’s stop at the Hoxton was just one of many as the two have been on a massive North American tour. Their music was definitely worth enduring the sweating and shoving, as uncomfortable as it was. Surely, the next time these two play a show in Toronto they’ll have received even more accolades, and so, to see them both together was an absolute pleasure.