It’s not everyone who gets a shout-out from Taylor Swift, but Robby Hauldren, a freshman and member of rising EDM duo Louis the Child, is an exception.
Hauldren and his musical partner, Freddy Kennet, were recently supported by Swift in an Instagram post. The pop singer instagrammed a picture of her playlist, “New Songs That Will Make Your Life Awesome, I Promise!,” which included the duo’s song, “It’s Strange.”
With more than 1 million likes, Swift’s Instagram post certainly gave Louis The Child an extra boost, but the Chicago-based group has been gaining popularity ever since they started collaborating in high school.
“I met Freddy through a mutual friend when we both went out to see Madeon,” Hauldren said. “At the time, I was making mash-ups and getting a good amount of buzz, and Freddy was producing his own music too.”
After the concert, Kennet reached out to Hauldren, and the two discovered they had similar interests and EDM influences.
“We started making music together, came up with a name, and posted our stuff on Facebook for our friends to check out,” Hauldren said. “Later on, we got a manager who encouraged us to send our music to some blogs, which really helped us get more attention.”
Louis The Child finally got their first big break in 2014 at Chicago’s Spring Awakening Music Festival. SAWF is largely known for its culture of house music, but it features a wide range of artists including past performers Calvin Harris, Tiësto, Hardwell, Zeds Dead and Adventure Club.
This year, Hauldren and Kennet have their own tour, which starts on Oct. 17 in Chicago. Despite living in different cities, the two will be traveling every weekend to perform “It’s Strange” and other original hits.
“Freddy’s a year younger, so he’s finishing up his senior year of high school while I’m out here,” Hauldren said. “But back home we didn’t live together anyway, so we can still operate the same just by sending ideas to each other back and forth.”
At USC, Hauldren studies music industry and has already performed some of his singles and remixes at school-related events. This past weekend, he was featured at Phi Delta Theta’s registered party, Phi Delt Phitness.
“I heard about Louis The Child over the summer because there was a lot of buzz about Robby attending USC in the fall,” said Paul Samaha, Phi Delt’s social chair. “I began listening to all of their music on SoundCloud and instantly knew I needed them to perform at our house.”
Hauldren was the headliner for Phi Delt’s event. One of the fraternity brothers, Curtis Toyota, opened and closed the show.
According to Samaha, Louis The Child’s musical style is the perfect blend of blissful harmonies that lead up to a climactic beat drop.
“Both the harmonies and the beat drops never disappoint,” Samaha said. “Louis The Child is blowing up at an exponential rate, and we are extremely lucky to have been able to book them.”
Junior electrical engineering major Karen Wang, who was at the event, agreed that Louis the Child is a unique, up-and-coming group.
“Their futuristic beat is catchy because it gives you a light and happy feeling,” Wang said. “I first heard their music through a friend’s recommendation, so it’s surreal being able to see Robby live now.”
Looking ahead, Hauldren hopes to continue making music with Kennet. If the two make it big, he sees himself pursuing his passion full-time, but still holding onto his Trojan identity.
“Whether or not I’m here for one year or four years, I want to be involved in everything this school has to offer,” Hauldren said. “It’s already given me so much, so I’d love to give back in any way that I can.”