Q&A with USC freshman, half of Louis the Child

In the rapidly expanding EDM industry, producer/DJ duo Louis The Child has been on the rise. Members Robby Hauldren and Freddy Kennett, natives of Chicago, have seen recent success with their new single “It’s Strange” and their subsequent national tour.

The duo has become very popular despite their young ages — Hauldren is a freshman majoring in music industry and Kennett is still in high school. However, Louis The Child often performs in clubs they would otherwise not even be old enough to enter. In April, the duo will complete their first national tour with performances at Coachella.

Robby Hauldren sat down in an interview with the Daily Trojan to talk about Louis The Child’s beginnings and the road ahead.

Daily Trojan: What initially sparked your interest in music, from an early age?

Robby Hauldren: I grew up in a very musical family. My dad plays a lot of guitar, and I have a lot of other family members on my dad’s side who sing in operas and are, like, singer-songwriters. My dad would always play guitar and make up songs about my siblings and I growing up. [Music] was just sort of always there, and I always wanted to be like my dad.

DT: How did Louis The Child start?

RH: [Kennett] and I originally met at a Madeon concert. We both happened to go to the show and had mutual friends there. My friend turned to me and said, “Hey, this is Freddy.” That was it, but after that we talked more on Facebook. I was making mashups under the name Haul Pass, and Freddy was producing under the name Fatboy. We were both just kids in our area that were really into electronic music and wanted to do something with it, and we decided to get together and work on stuff. We had a lot of similar interests and influences and we enjoyed working on stuff together.

DT: What would you say some of those interests or influences were?

RH: I’d say the biggest influences for Louis The Child would be Madeon, Flume, Porter Robinson and Odesza. Early on we were super influenced by electro-house people — way back we loved Dada Life, but our influences have changed.

DT: Where did the name Louis The Child come from?

RH: We went on Wikipedia and hit the random article button a couple of times, then Louis The Child popped up and we thought, “Yeah, that sounds good and we went with it,”

DT: EDM is an umbrella term representing many kinds of electronic music. What would you say the style of Louis The Child is within EDM?

RH: I really couldn’t tell you where our [style] fits because our sound is pretty broad, but it still feels like it’s cohesive. People might put us under the future bass category.

DT: How do you and Freddy split up your work? What is your group chemistry like?

RH: We both came from different backgrounds. I came from more of a DJing background and when I was making mashups, I was doing it through DJing and live mixing. Freddy came from more of a production background, actually using a [digital audio workstation] to make music. After getting together, we started to cross paths more with DJing and production. It’s getting better.

DT: Who do you like to listen to? Any particular bands or artists?

RH: I’ll listen to anything but country. It’s always changing, but I’ve been floating in and out of a Phish phase lately. Currently, I really dig Chance the Rapper.

DT: What do you think caused the song to be so successful?

RH: The song was very catchy and had more of a pop appeal, and it was an original song so that added some more meaning. We put in a lot of work behind the scenes trying to set up a big premiere for it. Taylor Swift posted a picture of songs she was really into, and “It’s Strange” was on it. Then Lorde tweeted out the lyrics to the song not too long ago. We put in a lot of work to get it out to as many people as possible.

DT: You guys are on a national tour. What have been some of the highlights so far?

RH: I think one of the coolest things so far is that we’ve been able to sell out the last 10 shows, including the Canopy Club in Urbana, which is way bigger than any venue we’ve played before. It was a huge success for us, especially because we’ve opened for the Chainsmokers and Madeon there, so coming back as a headliner and being sold out was really cool. And just seeing the amount of people who want to come out to our shows and all the people who sing lyrics to our songs.

RH: Have you ever received negative feedback, and how do you deal with that?

DT: We don’t pay too much attention to that. Kids are gonna hate and say what they want. If someone says the song just sucks, we don’t let it get to us. If someone has a compelling point, then sure we consider it, but in the end we know we’re confident with what we’re producing.

DT: How are you able to balance music with school?

RH: It hasn’t been too bad. I’ve manipulated my schedule to have certain days off and I find time for Louis The Child when I can. Freddy is a year younger than me, so he needs to finish up high school. Then he’s going to move out to L.A., and I’m planning on taking a leave of absence after this semester to work with Louis The Child full time, which I’m very excited about. We’ll see where things go.

DT: You guys are booked for Coachella. How did you get that gig?

RH: We have a booking agent that tries to get us gigs. He told us a while back that he was trying to get us Coachella. One day he sent over an email and said, “Hey, here’s the offer from Coachella. Let me know if you want to do it.” Obviously you say yes to that. When I saw the email, I was in my dorm room and I screamed! I had gone the past two years with my sister, and I have always considered it a dream festival to play.

DT: What are your immediate goals for LTC?

RH: We have an EP that we’re finishing up right now; we’re thinking probably about five songs. We’re trying to release a single for it before Coachella, but we still don’t know the exact timeline on it. We hope to do more touring this summer and in the fall.