Meet Hale Zero the Three Brothers Dominating the Fashion Music Industry

A story of transitioning from art college to DJing for major global events and brands. The DJ trio everyone is talking about 


Hale Zero at the Luisaviaroma x British Vogue ‘Runway Icons’ Show 2023


Music is the most universal form of artistic expression with the power to connect us all. The soundtracks within a visual contain immediate abilities to arouse feelings towards a product or place. The fashion world has witnessed a positive force of change through the sound of Hale Zero. The three brothers, Carl, Greg and Rafael Haley are transforming the fashion world’s understanding of music. Making crowds at Vogue parties jump up on their feet to Afrobeats and dance like there is no tomorrow. With the configuration of multiple genres in Hale Zero music compositions, they have framed designers such as Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton in a romantic light whilst opening a dialogue between art and music. The multidisciplinary creative manual within their projects pushes traditional understandings of music whereby listeners experience a new exchange. 

In the heart of London, the brothers welcomed us to their studio to share the road to DJing and discuss the potential of combining art with music to connect with others. 

Introduce yourself.  How did you get into DJing for the fashion world?

Carl: We’re three brothers. Same mum and dad. People are always thinking, are you really brothers?

By accident, we met someone in a recording studio, who ran a film company and saw me playing music for a friend and so we started working with him on documentaries. We would meet up for lunch, he became a business mentor guiding us to look beyond TV into the fashion industry. In the beginning, the method we used was to draw people from the fashion industry. We would draw Edward, models and tag them. The first ever work we got was from drawing stuff for brands. We connected with filmmakers in fashion because surely they need music. Alec Maxwell gave us our first job for Vogue magazine. That started the process off, initially, it was writing music for brands and campaigns, our dream was to do that and runway music, and then the DJing thing happened.


Hale Zero fashion drawing

Hale Zero fashion drawing

Musicians have the creative facility to do different expressions. If someone is trying to get into the music industry would you encourage them to expand their horizon? Would becoming a multidisciplinary artist help to navigate a career?

Raf: On our road to becoming this we’ve tried so many different versions of music, doing pop music, stuff for TV or documentaries and now going into more campaigns and runways. Each of them has transferable skills. For us, it was over years of exploration and experimentation. It is almost like a buffet trying different things to see if there are possibly other areas that could be something and spark something in you. 

It’s about trial and error until you reach the final destination!


Composition, DJING & playlist for Luisaviaroma x Vogue ‘Runway Icons’ Show 2023

What is your favourite project you’ve done so far? 

Greg: It’s hard to say. The Luisaviaroma x British Vogue ‘Runway Icons’ event in Florence sticks out, it was us curating the music for the main fashion show event, DJing at the after-party and the runway music. The entire thing was just massive!

Carl: DJing for Edward Enninful’s wedding, we had just started. It was probably the fourth gig, no one really knew who we were and there were just tiny murmurings that these three brothers are starting to pop up and then all of a sudden we were at his wedding. 

We are really grateful to be able to work with some incredibly exciting clients and huge brands we have admired for a long time. We DJ events, and are brought on for musical direction curating playlists for different event formats with clients.


What kind of input do your clients have in the soundtracks? Do they have an input or is it more your voice coming through?

Raf: We like to speak to the client and find out what they’re looking for as every set we prepare special edits and mashups fusing together different styles in our own way. Music is personal so we like to create bespoke sets for various clients and events we play for to set tone and pace of the evening.  

Carl: We spend a long time preparing the sets and depending what the event is for – based on a dinner, cocktail hour or full party. Setting the energy is everything.


Is there a difference in acoustics, genre, and tempo selection based on whether the client is a fashion or art brand?

Carl: It varies if we’re DJing. And if we’re composing. With DJing, we’re known as hype sort of party people. When it comes to fashion, art and campaigns you can explore a lot more and be more abstract. 

So for us, where is it going to be used? Is it just online? Is it gonna be a physical space? Where will people see this piece? Once you work that out you can explore tones and textures that might work to fill that space. A lot of it is catering to what the end product is going to be. You hope that with each product you get you can push and try something on the track that you have never done before.


How do your soundtracks frame the product and influence communication with the consumer?

Carl: It’s amazing the array of feelings you can get by just changing the chords and the music. A film scene of someone walking down to the shops can have about 10 different emotions depending on tone, texture, cord, speed, and tempo. It is about trying to pack in as much emotion as you can.


Do you have a hidden signature in your music?

Greg: I wouldn’t say we got a thing. Maybe we need someone else to listen to our catalogue.

Raf: For us, it is about doing what is best for the piece instead of trying to impose yourself on it so much that it kind of takes you out of the space. 

Carl: We genuinely listen to so many different things. We love all genres and can pick elements out. What would it sound like if I used a pop vocal with these classical strings and cords? If we use those grungy rocky cords with hip-hop style drums? For us, the combination of possibilities is really interesting.

It is the energy in your music!

Hale Zero Studio 

What is your music’s intended message? Do you think it inspires creativity? 

Carl: One of our favourite creators is Virgil Abloh. We just love that you couldn’t pin him down. He’s primarily known as a designer but he is an amazing DJ, an artist. We love that sort of polymath life. 

We hope we can create some type of blueprint for people to say, you can get to do all of these things. Almost like a transparent manual, step by step and if you follow you can get similar results, that’s what I would like to leave people with. 

Branching out into different areas can be hit with struggles of being a perfectionist. You can always adapt a product. How do you reach the final destination of satisfaction?

Carl: Perfectionism is a killer! I used to be proud of being a perfectionist but then I realised it was out of fear, I was so scared of getting bad feedback. It’s about getting past that and allowing people to have their opinions. 

You’ll never get it perfect enough because even if you think you’ve got it perfect now, as your skills develop, you might come back in six months and think oh, I could have done this. One bit of advice that I got from a book was to stop overestimating everyone else and underestimating yourself, you’re better than you think. Just throw yourself into the mix and you’re more likely to make progress.

At the end of the day, any response is a good response because you are getting a connection and people are exchanging with your product. Any opinion is a good opinion!

Carl: We have not come from rich families or anything. We created a database of over five hundred people in the business that we wanted to connect with and sent out emails and got one reply which was a no. Always go for the biggest, most insane thing you can think of!

Greg: The fashion industry is available to everyone. 

Raf: A lot of people feel like they are bothering someone. You’ve created a story in your head that stops you from having a normal conversation. A lot of the people we have met are so chilled and down to earth. They’re just humans, you are not bothering anyone, just say hello!


Do you think drifting into the art world and designing soundscapes for galleries can contribute to breaking down any hierarchies within these spaces? How would mixing your DJ sets with the arts look like to you?

Carl: We have always been interested in what a painting would sound like so we are going to be exploring that idea further this year. For us, it’s about exploring galleries and what the room and space can do to your sound. What is the psychology of knowing that you are going to an art gallery to hear some music rather than a concert, what is people’s experience depending on the space that they are in? We’ve performed for Frieze, Biennale Arte, Istanbul Biennial and the National Portrait Gallery Gala a few weeks ago. We love performing for fashion and art events.. We always want people who don’t have opportunities to see regular guys in this space and hopefully inspire them. It’s about trying to translate that even though we are doing things up there, we are the same guys from South London who just happen to be in this position. 

Raf: Music makes things come alive. Seeing something beautiful is great. Hearing something is an expansive and immersive thing. Combining the two is a no-brainer. With music, you can interpret the artwork in a completely different way. This crossover can definitely be explored much more.

I believe blurring art and music can help to open doors because the problem we are facing is that a lot of people do not feel welcome.

Raf: That blur makes impossible things seem possible! Suddenly you can now see yourself in the spaces and aspire to be an artist and a whole new world opens up to you. 

Carl: Prior to us all fashion parties played house music. Then Edward pops up and Edward loves Afrobeats. He was like just do what you do. He didn’t care what was done before he wanted to inject a new energy. And we have done that. 

The parties have been insane, some of the Vogue parties have literally been like you are in the middle of the nightclub and you’re seeing people going crazy dancing on chairs.

No one danced at fashion parties before. You would pop in, get pictures with some celebrities in the room and be waiting for the next day to see if you appeared in Vogue. 

Hale Zero for British Vogue

Raf: Before at the BAFTA parties people were dressed in their best clothes and they would just talk. At our party, everyone was dripping in sweat by the end. Annabel’s said we have never seen anything like this before. It was a massive stamp on the industry for us.

Carl: Before Edward, Vogue was inspirational but you couldn’t get to it. Edward came and you could aspire to work for Vogue and be there. 

Greg: Even the covers were iconic compared to what was before. The covers he did changed a lot. 

It has been good to be part of this time!


Deepest gratitude to Hale Zero for welcoming us to their studio in London. This interview was conducted on 12, April 2024.

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