Chicago-born, Los Angeles–based duo Louis the Child have always been hard to pin down to one sound, and we mean that in the best way possible. Since forming a mere five years ago, the duo—composed of producers/DJs Robby Hauldren and Freddy Kennett—has experimented with every sound they could get their hands on, from future bass (“It’s Strange,” featuring K.Flay) to R&B (“Diddy Bop” with Jacob Banks). Most recently, Louis the Child have been flexing their fluid production style in the realms of hip-hop and pop: “Shake Something,” their huge collab with fellow Chicago rapper Joey Purp, takes trap on a futuristic ride, while “Better Not,” featuring Wafia, is a splendid stroll through a summer day. Their open take on sound exploration and sonic experimentation is what’s made Louis the Child one of the hottest festival acts in the game today.
Audiotistic Bay Area 2018 tickets are on sale now.
That’s why we had to host the duo at this year’s Audiotistic Bay Area, which takes place this weekend, Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15, at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Northern California. Audiotistic is where the worlds of hip-hop, dubstep, and dance collide into one hodgepodge of cutting-edge music and culture—and it’s the perfect setting for a future-forward act like Louis the Child.
Just in time for Audiotistic Bay Area 2018, Louis the Child are dropping their newest single tomorrow (Friday, July 13): “The City,” featuring Quinn XCII, which pushes the duo’s sound to new, futuristic territory. Ahead of Audiotistic, we caught up with Louis the Child to talk about their genre-defying sound and their forthcoming debut album.
True or false: Future bass is a real genre.
Genres are whatever you want them to be, however you decide to view them. For some, they don’t exist.
You’re known to experiment with diverse genres, from hip-hop to psychedelia. What is one genre you’ve yet to touch that you’d like to explore in the future?
You’ve also mentioned that your vision as artists is “always changing.” What are some of the risks involved with switching between genres so fluidly? In contrast, what have you gained from having such a flexible production style and sound?
You always run the risk of people not liking what you do, but it’s really amazing that our fans have allowed us to experiment a lot and feel comfortable trying new things. You gain freedom and happiness from having a flexible style and sound. You give yourself room to grow and evolve.
Hip-hop is experiencing a radical resurgence in the music world. You’ve even worked with a few rappers yourselves in the past, including Joey Purp and Pell as Pellican Child. Do you think the current hip-hop explosion can benefit or hinder the EDM world?
It’s cool to see artists of all styles coming together and creating. Hip-hop and electronic music’s current states can definitely benefit each other, especially as they both evolve. Electronic music is helping push rap into new directions, and rap is helping push electronic music in new directions. We love working with rappers and plan to continue doing so. Hopefully, we can help push it in some different and interesting directions.
You two met at a Madeon concert when you were kids. Have you ever pictured your own children forming a duo or band? What do you think that would sound like?
Haha, haven’t really given much thought to it. Who knows what technology will be around… Whatever genre our kids will be into probably hasn’t been created yet.
Your careers exploded while you were both very young. During your come-up, did you ever get the feeling that things were moving too fast? Did/do you have any issues dealing with so much pressure at such a young age?
At times, it’s definitely felt fast and wild, but it’s always been really fun and exciting. We have a really great team around us that cares about us and helps us navigate the crazy world we live in. For anyone doing this at a young age, it’s most important to have good people around you and to always stay focused on what’s important and to remember why you got into music. There are a lot of distractions, but if you stay focused, you can accomplish a lot.
Your new song, “Better Not” with Wafia, is quite beautiful. Does the track give us any indication on the future sound and style of Louis the Child?
Thank you! “Better Not” definitely feels like a natural evolution of our signature synthy style; a lot of stuff we’ve been making kinda feels like that. It’s just a more polished and fresh take on our sound. We’re still pushing ourselves in different directions, but “Better Not” feels like a good indicator of what people can expect moving forward.
What’s the deal with that debut album, tho? What’s it sounding like, and where is it going sonically?
You only get one debut album, so we’re taking our time with it and waiting until everything feels right to really dive into it. We have tons of songs that feel like they could fit into an album, but we’re also writing lots of new stuff that feels great. We’ll see how it all plays out.
What else you got cooking up for 2018?
We’re going to be dropping more singles and announcing a tour soon. We’re also stealing the Declaration of Independence.
Catch Louis the Child at Audiotistic Bay Area 2018, which takes place Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15, at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Northern California. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit the official website.