Every year, April rolls around and music-lovers from all over the world conjoin in California for one thing: Coachella. This year however, the vibes are immaculate, and it seems people are looking more forward to the activities happening outside of the festival than anything.
Insert Earry Hall, the sonic healer disguised as a DJ. Hailing from Southside Chicago, Hall always knew there was a bigger purpose for him, one he steps into proudly as he continues to naturally make long-lasting impressions and all those he crosses paths with.
In describing himself, Hall states, “I’m a friend, I’m a social scientist. Super obsessed with the mental and physical health benefits of friendship.”
Hall is also the brainchild behind SEE YOU SOON, a brand that hosts the most epic, turnt up parties all around the world, including FIND YOUR FRIENDS and THANK GOD IT’S MONDAY (which sell out in less 24 hours everytime). And while the turn up is always fun, Hall prides himself in the safe environment he creates, for others to create, connect, bond, and make long-lasting memories.
This year for Coachella, SEE YOU SOON hosted their highly-anticipated, three-day pop-up in the desert, titled See You Soon Presents: See You in the Desert. The micro DJ festival reels in the hottest collective of Black DJs, taking place at The Good House — a Black-owned hot spring on an energy vortex. The only one in the country.
AllHipHop spoke with Earry Hall to discuss his roots, how he started DJing, starting See You Soon, the epic 3-day pop-up for Coachella weekend, and more!
AllHipHop: Being from Southside Chicago, what was that like growing up?
Earry Hall: It’s interesting, because Chicago is such a beautiful place, but also very segregated. As I got older, I realized the environments were engineered for segregation. Coming into the space that I’m in now, understanding that if we’re intentional enough with the moments that we’re designing, they can really be engineered for connectivity and friendship. Chicago is the beginning of that learning, and also understanding what my calling is.
AllHipHop: What is your calling?
Earry Hall: For sure to make it easy and fun for people to find each other, In a really cool way. Living in New York, moving here. I moved here for Nike, doing sportswear packaging. I was designing for 11 years with Nike, also Beats by Dre as their global product collaboration designer. Having trouble finding community. Because I’d go out to clubs where my friends are DJing, in those spaces, bottle service at those clubs, they’re built for social segregation.
At the time, I was having trouble finding my friends. So I went to therapy, understanding that I wanted to pay closer attention to my mental health, especially during that time. My therapist suggested that I need to concentrate on my tribe, on building my tribe. She sent me a TED Talk talking about the people that live the longest on the planet. How it’s not about what they eat or how they exercise, it’s really about who’s in their lives.
AllHipHop: I realized that recently, your whole life is built off connections.
Earry Hall: Absolutely. That’s how we’re designed as humans, biologically. One of the things I study is the chemicals that our bodies generate, because of each other. For example, if you’re at a concert singing one of your favorite songs, somebody that knows that song too with a stranger. Or at a party, singing that song that you never hear out, with somebody you don’t know.
In that moment, what our bodies are doing is remarkable. We’re exercising our lungs in a way that we usually don’t. We’re putting oxygen into our bodies, which makes it difficult for disease to live. We’re strengthening our immune system, because our bodies create this chemical called immunoglobulins. When we sing together, it’s wild. It’s crazy. But I realized there’s all this medicine and all these benefits of friendship that’s triggered through community really. Figuring out how to be really intentional about spaces, so we can access all the healthy things that live inside of our community.
AllHipHop: How’d you get into DJing?
Earry Hall: I started See You Soon as a mental and physical health initiative, disguised as a party. That concept even started as a case study. Coming from the design world, I love color theory. What the mind and the body does, you see certain colors. I’d strategically light the room in certain colors, changing colors, choosing to be really intentional about the aesthetics of the room. I’ll book the DJ, and the DJs usually would be more interested in what they wanted to hear. Not what would connect everybody. It was very much about them, to them.
For me, we should be using music as a tool to connect everybody in the room. To convince people that they’re with family, not strangers, by the end of the night. One of my best friends, DJ M.O.S who’s also a legendary DJ, one day him and his wife, DJ Kiss who’s also a legendary DJ, they suggested I start DJing. Because of my music taste. They were at my place, listening to music. They suggested, “hey, why don’t you start DJing?” That put the bug in my ear. One of my really good friends, my brother La’Tron, he brought up all about all this DJ equipment over. Showed me how to use it, operate it. One of my other brothers, my good friend Derrick Jones, he’d come over and help me practice. Show me things. Even in that was a community activity, I access my community to learn a new skill that’d ultimately connect more people with each other.
From there, I was really interested in making everybody sing together. For three hours, after I realized all the health benefits. That’s really how I started. The goal was never to DJ though, it was always about social science. My experience in brands, as a designer, as a marketer, as an advertiser, I know how to build a world around a brand. For the first time, I did it for something that I care about independently. For myself as a DJ, whose goal is really to help people access all these healing properties.
AllHipHop: What does it mean to be a sonic healer?
Earry Hall: It’s all about intention. It’s also about the knowledge we have around what certain soundwaves do, what frequencies do, what certain parts do. Using those things intentionally to heal, to help people.
AllHipHop: Talk about starting See You Soon, and growing it to what it is now.How has that journey been?
Earry Hall: So beautiful. We haven’t spent a dollar on advertising. It started from the intention of knowing that there weren’t many spaces that were welcoming for people of color. That felt safe, that felt cool. There has never been any incident in any of my events in five years, which is so beautiful. One of my favorite things about what we’re doing. Usually having a thousand people in one space, sometimes there’s this awareness that something could happen.
But in our spaces, there’s an ease. There’s a relaxness that gives us the opportunity to really enjoy ourselves, not really feel like we have to concentrate on being safe. There are rules we enforce for every person who attends comfort, it started in the basement of Hotel Figueroa. One of my good friends Louis Kaino, he owns a fashion PR company. At the time, he was trying to figure out how to activate his network. I had this concept. We partnered for the first one., and it took off from there.
AllHipHop: You’re known for your mashups. What‘s your favorite one?
Earry Hall: I do the mashup through songs. So “Knuck If You Buck” on top of the “Prototype” by Andre 3000 with the drums and percussion of “Some Cut,” which is the craziest combination because the drums are so crazy. Making something that doesn’t exist with something that exists is the most interesting thing about doing mashups. Also the nostalgia of those three songs being combined into a completely new experience.
AllHipHop: Let’s talk about the three day pop up. What’re you most excited for?
Earry Hall: There’s so much, really all of it honestly. The space is so beautiful, very intentional. Us choosing that space, it’s a minority-owned, black-owned hot spring. In the middle of the Palm desert, on top of the energy vortex. So much of what we’re doing is shaping energies. I do believe in energy having a physical experience. If we put ourselves in environments that are conducive to our energy, feeling safe, feeling welcome, I think our bodies will follow. Choosing that place was very intentional, shout out to The Good House. The lineup is so good.
AllHipHop: What’s the lineup again?
Earry Hall: The concept is we’re bringing the best parties in LA to the desert. In a way to where Coachella is such a massive machine, they don’t necessarily really know what’s happening on the ground. It’s so close to LA. As a community member, I asked my friends that are killing it as well to do this with me and come out to the desert with us. The lineup is so crazy: B-Hen, he does a block party that’s upwards of 3K people every year. My friends at All Summa, Chicago guys. They do a party that they tour, it’s so cool. I have this amazing DJ duo, one is Honeybee and one is Honeycut.
AllHipHop: I know Honeycut!
Earry Hall: That’s my sister. We’re doing a party concept shaped around them, which is so exciting. Then my thing, Find Your Friends. We usually do around 1500 people every time. We do it twice a month, so around 96 times a year. [this math makes no sense lmao] The space is so intimate that we’re really excited about that part too, because it’s a large format party in an intimate space that we ask everyone to connect. We’ll be in an environment that’s so beautiful, in the midst of so much foliage, mineral water, all these healthy things. It’s going to be the perfect environment for people to meet each other and find each other, celebrate life together. From the energy, to the music, the security and the intentional mocktail strategy we choose, comfort and ease is everything. We partnered with a minority female owned mocktail company, Coyote Eight, who has created an absolute “Free Spirit” experience. We want people to be able to have a good time without the pressure of drinking if that’s not their bag. That’s the goal.
AllHipHop: How do you prepare for something like that?
Earry Hall: Man, meditate a lot. [laughs] Find a bunch of music. Honestly, my team is so brilliant that it’s an adventure more than a challenge. My colleague and our, COO Indigo Charles, such an amazing person. My business partner, Ryan Sauter. My chosen family, just happened to be so good at what they do that we’re preparing together. When you’re building things that your friends and people you admire, it’s exciting. People leave their ego, that’s a big thing. All of us are brilliant in our own right and we respect each other so much that it’s such a beautiful exercise putting these things together.
AllHipHop: Do you guys party party?
Earry Hall: Absolutely. Our team has a team, so there’s a point in our activations where we’re allowed to let loose. Me being the creative and the DJ, I have a bit more liberty to do that. But Ryan is my business partner, he’s very buttoned up though. It takes a minute for him to feel like he can let loose, but we definitely do. Building this thing, I’m as much a part of the community as everybody else in there. It’d be a shame if we’re building this thing and these moments together, and we’re not enjoying the environment.
AllHipHop: You will be sharing your music mashups this year via SoundCloud. How and why did that come about?
Earry Hall: Realizing that in LA, you have to be here to experience what we’re doing, I wanted to create a digital footprint that was highly shareable and music is such a shareable thing. I’ll be dropping mashups every other week, sometimes every week. The priority is to consistently share, helping people reimagine the songs that we fell in love with and experienced in a new way. It’s also for the DJ community, as well. A lot of my mashups and remixes that I’ve already shared end up on DJ record pools, and I’m not sharing them with record pools. Which is such a dope stamp of approval from a community that can be like music snobs at times. It’s proof of barrier to entry, in the DJ community sometimes with the music. Looking forward to sharing more, and being a vessel for all the stuff.