James Hype on his 'Ferrari' chart success and his 'surprise' at the song becoming a TikTok hit

James Hype on his 'Ferrari' chart success and his 'surprise' at the song becoming a TikTok hit
James Hype, Miggy Dela Rosa - Ferrari (Live at Freshtival)

English DJ and music producer James Hype shot onto the music scene with platinum-selling, UK Top 10 debut single "More Than Friends" in 2017 and this year he’s returned once more with one of the biggest dance tracks of the year “Ferrari”.

If you have turned on your car radio or partied in a nightclub this summer, there is no doubt you would have heard the sports car dance banger as the tune featuring Miggy Dela Rosa has racked up over 251,900,000 Spotify streams.

As a result, the song climbed up the charts in different European countries since its release back in March this year and has achieved #1 in Italy (home of Ferrari, of course), #1 in the Netherlands (don’t tell Max Verstappen), #2 in Belgium, and Top 10 in Germany.

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“It's really cool,” James told indy100. “'Ferrari' is an interesting record because shortly after it came out it became the number-one record in the Netherlands.

"Two weeks after that it was the number one record in Belgium and two weeks after that it was in one record in Italy.

“And it’s moved around Europe becoming a hit in every single place.”

Brits soon followed suit in showing some love for "Ferrari", as it reached #6 in the UK charts.

“The UK was actually one of the last places to start listening to Ferrari which is crazy because obviously I'm a British guy and signed to a British record label and all that,” the 32-year-old said.

“So it's been an interesting journey but my whole team are British so we were so grateful when we saw that the UK was catching up to Ferrari that was that was really special for us.”

He added: “Even though I love everyone who listens to my music wherever in the world they are but as a British guy when the when the Brits are listening to it, it makes me extra proud.”

For James, his love of DJing and music began as a curious teenager.

“When I was 15 years old, I remember I saw a guy standing at the back of a music video be able to use two turntables. And I was like, ‘What's he do? He looks cool.' And I realised he was DJ,” James recalled.

With that, a young James asked his mum “for ages and ages” if she could buy him some decks and ended up getting a second-hand pair of vinyl turntables where he was “mixing the new music that I bought with like the old stuff that she [James’s mum] had on her vinyl collection.

"It was probably quite a unique musical journey with some weird choices."

James Hype's track "Ferrari" hit number six in the UK music charts.CCMM

After honing his skills, James booked his first paid solo DJ gig at a bar where he “kind of progressed from there" as he improved by playing small bars and clubs around Liverpool and eventually went on to become a resident DJ.

“I was very fortunate in that I was able to make a living from what I loved from a very young age,” he said.

“I feel like people getting into DJing in very different ways and the way I did is actually quite rare. I think most people end up working a full-time job and making music on the side.”

A few years passed when James decided to make music himself because he “felt like there was music that needed to be made that I could hear in my head and it didn't exist.”

Given he was playing sets every night, the DJ producer noted how he was in a “really unique position” where he was able to make something, test it and get immediate feedback straightaway.

Making music of his own for a couple of years eventually led to James having enough hype around him (pardon the pun) to “become a real-life artist,” and he has been making music and DJing around the world ever since.

This includes remixing tracks from chart toppers Joel Corry, Clean Bandit, Mabel along with global talents such as Meduza and Bruno Mars.

Nowadays, the music charts are somewhat influenced by social media platforms such as TikTok which dictate what's on trend and this is what happened when "Ferrari" became a trending song on the video platform, with over 32,000 videos using the song - including Ferrari's official TikTok account.


Ferrari at @Lollapalooza Chicago ❤️

"I think songs can become very big very quickly, which is really exciting," James commented on music's changing landscape which he believes has "balanced out the opportunity for everybody."

"Someone can make something, put it on TikTok and it can be huge around the whole world in a week, which is just mind-blowing."

Though James initially had his doubts about his own track being a viral hit.

"I never thought it was a TikTok song," James said. "But what do I know? I don't know anything about that type of stuff."

"I just remember when it [Ferrari] came out that you've always got these people at the record label saying 'What are you going to do to make it big on TikTok?'

"When it started to move on TikTok. I was really surprised and I'm really happy as well because it's such an important platform for music nowadays."

The song's worldwide reach soon became apparent when James recently played in Asia for the first time where he said the crowd reaction had him the "most amazed."

"I didn't even know that they listened to the Ferrari there, you know, so that was probably the most special for me," the DJ and producer said.

James didn't intend to write a viral song and shared how the track came to be.

"Ferrari" stemmed from "listening to some old tunes on Spotify" which included the 2002 track "I Need a Girl (Part Two)" by P. Diddy and Ginuwine featuring Loon, Mario Winans, and Tammy Ruggieri and this is sampled in James's song.

"I just had like an idea in my head like, what if I take that guitar and turn it into a house tune and put some cool drums on it," he explained.

Miggy Dela Rosa who sings on the track as well as songwriters Josh Grimmit and Johannes Shore were in the studio with him - "We're just thinking of ideas and this thing just came so easily so fast." (At the speed of a Ferrari, one could say).

Though there was an original version of the song that "sounded very different" to the version we all now know that included verses and maybe even having rappers.

In the end, it was a remix of the record from a club set that ended up being released which already proved popular on James's YouTube lockdown streams.

So he, his manager and the record label decided to release the "Ferrari" remix viewers were "obsessed with" as the actual song.

The song is called "Ferrari," but the burning question is... why "Ferrari"?

James pointed out it was a "good rhyme," but shared how the name of the song was initially "Do you still want me?"

"I was playing this on all my streams and all of the people in the chat were like 'play the Ferrari song' because that's the word that stands out to you," and so decided it would be "crazy not to" call the song "Ferrari."

With his recent chart success, James shared some insightful advice for those looking to break into the music industry.

He encouraged artists to"keep going" with their efforts and "don't try to be perfect because that is a killer of productivity," since in his experience he's seen musicians who don't put a record out because they're scared it's not perfect.

The future looks exciting for James as he recently dropped a new single on October 14 with his girlfriend Tita Lau called "B2B" which along with "Ferrari" is available to stream now.

He also revealed he is currently working on a project with one of his musical inspirations, American DJ and music producer Diplo in a Major Lazer collaboration.

"We've been sending some files back and forth on that which is super exciting because he's one of my favourite producers," James said.

There is also the release of records, anticipated to drop later this year from his own label Stereo Hype.

Clearly, we can expect James's hype to continue...

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