Imaginary No More: HONNE Talks New Music And Old Love

Love song enthusiasts since Day 1.

We are sure to manifest the love of our life through this new HONNE single and their upcoming album.

Related: HONNE On Their Return To The Philipines And Working With RM

The best thing about making music is how life and love beautifully bleed through it, etching a lifetime picture of a story that once was, turning them into catchy melodies. This is Electronic-pop duo HONNE’s special way of freezing precious moments in their life: retelling tales into songs. 

Whatever state of love you may find yourself in, HONNE has probably created a song about it already. We’ve been growing along with them, from infatuation jitters, to realizing the magic of marriage. Finally, hit songs Day 1 and Location Unknown will finally get a big sister through their new single Imaginary, a sweet look back on moments that were once living in a lover’s dreams, into real life. 



Drawing inspiration from real life occurrences, the duo behind HONNE, Andy and James, sat down with NYLON Manila to recall sweet stories of love and incorporating them within their music, melting those into their own unique sound. Read below and engulf into the experience of crafting the music with HONNE.

What was it like getting to make the track, putting such a special story into a three minute song? How is that process like?

Andy: It’s very fulfilling, like, it’s really nice to write such personal stories in our music and we always try to do that where we possibly can. And actually this new track and new album is one of the most personal albums that we’ve ever released. It’s really, really nice for us to have that connection to the music and it’s also extremely difficult, like you said, to tell such a long story in such a short amount of time so a lot has been cut out. We just try to be as concise to the point as possible. Imaginary is a very cute, heartwarming song and it tells the story of how I met my wife, and how I imagined our lives together, and how it came true in the end. 

James: So it was almost 20 years ago at college that they met. A lot of years to cram into three minutes. 

The song is about how [Andy met his wife]. With that being said, how would you know if someone you meet is the one for you? Is there a connection, a spark? Where does that feeling come from?

Andy: You’re always going to get some sort of spark if you meet someone and you get on with them, and you have similar things going on. You just vibe with them, then you will get that spark. But I think how it will last just depends on you, the two people in the relationship and how much effort they put in. Because I’m not going to make it like a fairy tale. Being in a relationship can be hard and there are ups and there are downs. With a lot of effort and a lot of hard work, it’s certainly possible to have a long and happy [relationship]. James is in a long relationship as well! 

James: Yeah. I got married twice to the same lady last year. Once in England, once in Cambodia, ‘cause she’s Cambodian. I completely agree with Andy. The spark is there at the start, but I think you could get a spark with a lot of different people—but finding someone that you share, takes longer to see if you share real big life values and have the same ambitions and want to grow in the same direction over a long period of time. Without putting in the time to find out whether you share those kinds of common goals and common ways of living your life, I think it’s hard to know. 

Andy: And equally, there’s like elements of compromise involved. You may not completely align, but I think in order for relationships to work, one of you or both of you, at different times have to give way and just budge slightly so you can carry on. If you are butting heads all the time, then it’s just not gonna work. Anyway, that’s our relationship advice for all you listeners!

James: I feel like it’s more important than ever to talk about the reality of the work that goes into relationships as well. ‘Cause we see a lot of like TikTok and Instagram and stuff of only special moments or only kind of the best bits, but people obviously aren’t sharing the hard stuff as well. So I think it’s good to talk about that period.



A lot has happened quite recently in your lives, both professionally and personally. How would you describe this current chapter of your life so far? 

Andy: The last couple of years has been, for me personally, it’s been amazing. I’ve had two children since we last released an album. So, there’s been a lot going on. I feel like I’ve aged 10 years. It’s been brilliant, but equally, there’s been probably some of the hardest moments that I’ve had to deal with. I’m an adult now, I have adult responsibilities. And the album will tell you about all those kinds of moments that I’ve had. So there’s been ups and downs, but it’s been overall brilliant and I’m very happy generally. 

James: I also love Andy’s children, so I’ve become a surrogate father as well. 

Collaboration is quite an important part in your creative process. Are there any team collaborations you are eyeing or maybe for this upcoming album and is there any you might want to expect [someday]?

James: We did so many collaborations on our last album that we were like, we just want to go back to the first album, just the two of us. Collaborating is really fun, but collaborating with other artists can become really tricky with [aligning] schedules. We were kind of at the whim of other people’s schedules for the last album of how we wanted to release stuff. We’ve just enjoyed knuckling down the two of us for the most part and just writing. So everything on this album was written, produced and mixed by us from start to finish. There’s one feature…

Andy: I wouldn’t say who, but one surprise feature. It just happened at the last minute, a new artist.

James: You’re going to be seeing a lot more of [them] with us. 

You kind of brought back the basics of just focusing on you two with this new album. Where did you look for inspiration for your new album? 

Andy: It’s all drawn from all our personal lives. Sorry to our wives and all the people that live around us, but you are now the subject of our new album and our new music! 

James: It’s what helps us connect ourselves to the music. So when we are performing it live, it’s real, and we’re singing about real things, we can feel it. That’s how we like to do it. We don’t want to stand up on a set stage and sing songs that don’t really mean anything. Although, you know, that’s perfectly fine and that’s allowed, but we just prefer to keep it real and as honest as possible. 



Your Filipino fans are excited for your new music, new album, and for sure they want to see you live again. Is there a chance we’ll see you soon in the Philippines? 

James: Definitely, always! Our gigs in the Philippines are absolutely some of our favorite in the world. The last one we did was the last Araneta Coliseum and I think it’s the best thing—one of the best moments of our lives. Honestly, I’m not saying that to make our Filipino fans feel happy. It genuinely was. We came off stage and we were very happy. We were both like, that’s the best we’ve ever felt in our career.

Andy: I’m worried because I’m not sure if it will get any better. It was really, really great. We loved it. 

James: We’re always plotting when to come back. We’re making plans at the moment and I’m not sure it will be this year, but we’re hoping that it won’t be too long. 

Check out their new single Imaginary and manifest love with HONNE.

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