At a glance, Freddy Kennett and Robby Hauldren seem like two regular 20-somethings—that is, if one is to overlook one small detail: they have over 3 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Despite growing up in the same town, it wasn’t until a chance encounter at a Madeon concert that the two budding musicians would collaborate and become Louis The Child, one of the biggest breakthrough groups of 2016. Armed with natural inclination for music and an unparalleled love for what they do, the boys from Illinois are ready to take on the world one catchy hook at a time.
Listen up as /ESCAPE kicks off its first international feature with electronic music’s next big act.
/ESCAPE: Louis The Child is a pretty unique name for band. Who thought of it?
FK: We came up with it together. When we first started hanging out and making music together, we kinda knew that we wanted to start a project together but we didn’t know how to name it. We decided to go to Wikipedia and hit the random article button until we found a cool name. We found Louis the Child and we started repeating it a few times like, “We are Louis the Child!”
Who do you consider to be your biggest musical influences?
FK: It switches all the time, I love like Kendrick right now.
RH: Yeah big on Kendrick Lamar.
FK: I love like Flume, I love Robert Glasper, I don’t know if you’ve heard of him but he’s really good.
RH: Madeon has always been a really big inspiration for us since the start, we definitely early on bonded over a love for him.
FK: Kanye, Kid Cudi.
What's it like working with each other?
FK: I don’t really like him.
RH: Terrible, terrible! *both laugh*
FK: Nah, it’s great we have a really cool relationship where it’s just very like creative. No matter what you think of, you can just say it out loud and it’s welcome. If it’s an idea it’s always brought to the table. It’s a good process writing with Robby. Except I don’t really like him.
RH: It’s pretty shitty with him. *both laugh*
How did your lives change after your track It’s Strange with K. Flay blew up and started playing everywhere?
RH: That definitely was a big change for us, obviously. Taylor Swift made a list of “Top 10 Songs That’ll Make Your Life More Awesome” and it was on there. It was kinda cool to have a song that people looked forward to hearing that wasn’t a remix or somebody else’s work that we altered. It was our song. That definitely helped gain us a lot of fans and to this day it’s still a super fun song to play out and it still connects with a lot of people.
Are you guys still in school? How do you balance being an international breakout act and being regular kids?
RH: We left school!
FK: We both started when we were in high school, and he went to a year of college. It was definitely tough for me to be trying to produce for 6 hours a day, and at the same time do homework. So I just didn’t do homework. I just banked on music working out and that’s what I’m still doing. *laughs*
What has been the most fulfilling thing about your career so far?
FK: Having this guy next to me.
RH: Aww staaawwwppp.
FK: The team, our whole team, and being able to travel the world with all of our friends and making music with really talented people, it’s everything we wanted. Just being in the music industry and traveling, and having people know our music. It’s really fulfilling to have a whole crowd of other people singing lyrics you wrote.
Who would your dream collab be with?
FK: I wanna work with Jay Electronica. He’s a rapper, he’s really good. Skrillex? If you think inside of like, electronic music.
You played Coachella and Lollapalooza last year. Do you guys have any rituals before you do your shows to ease the nerves?
RH: We have a handshake thing that we do before each show.
FK: Yeah we have a handshake that and I dunno if you’ve seen the movie airplane? We quote the movie. It’s between us.
If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be?
RH: I can’t have ice cream because I can’t have dairy. I’d be dairy free. Let’s say a pineapple-flavored sorbet.
FK: I’m just gonna go with a mango sorbet so we compliment each other. So we got 2 different types of sorbets, if you don’t want pineapple, you got mango.
RH: Or you can do both. Mix ‘em up.
Pineapples on pizza. Yes or no?
FK: No. Well it’s not bad.
RH: Can’t have pizza but pineapples fuck yea.
You guys recently teamed up with Pell to form a new band called Pellican Child. Was naming the band difficult? Could you tell us more about the project?
FK: So it’s Pell and Louis The Child, so Pellican Child made sense. You know? I think I came up with the pelican thing, it just came out of nowhere like pelllllllican? Pellican Child?
RH: It was actually pretty quick, I think we came up with it in like 10 minutes.
FK: He’s an awesome person to work with, and he’s one of our close friends. We have a lot of music that we are working on with him, no plan yet on releasing but just like building a catalog of cool stuff with him.
What's in store for Louis The Child in 2017?
RH: We’re looking to finish up an album, we’re hard at work on that. We’ve been making a lot of music over the past couple years and now it’s at the point we’re looking at them figuring out the strongest ones. We finish those first, then from there we figure out what else to finish or where it’s all gonna fit.
Three things that make you say “yes please”?
FK: Ice cream, free hugs and “Do you want to touch my bum?”
RH: “Would you like a side of fries with that?”, “The bathroom is over there.” and “Say ‘yes please’.” If someone told me to say yes please, say yes please.
FK: That’s an out-of-the-box thinker. That’s why he’s on the project!
This will be your first time coming to Manila. Since it’s summer, would you be down to try some halo-halo?
RH: I’m down! Totally. *is told there’s dairy* Nevermind, I’m not down. *laughs*
FK: Our friends were telling us about some other food that like starts with a B. Balot?
RH: I wanna eat it but not know what it is, so yeah I’m down after the show.
Any words for your Filipino fans?
FK: Do you guys know Manila Killa? Tell them to listen to Manila Killa.
RH: And not us. *both laugh*
FK: Thank you, we’re happy to be out here! Thanks for letting us come out to the Philippines. And we love you!
RH: And listen to Manila Killa.
FK: Listen to the Killa but don’t kill.
Photography by Karlo Torio (@karlotorio)
Styling by Kaye Pernia (@kayepernia)
Produced and edited by Dan Buenaventura (@danbuenav)
Words by Kimberly Lynch (@kimberlynch)
Clothing by The Nines PH (@the_ninesph) located at 2/F Uptown Mall, BGC
Shot on location at Yes Please (@yespleaseph)
Follow Louis the Child on Instagram (@louisthechild) to keep up with their crazy shenanigans.