INTERVIEW: Louis The Child

Over the past couple of years Louis The Child have continued to excite listeners with their innovative take on EDM. Bursting onto the scene in 2015 with their critically acclaimed debut single ‘It’s Strange’ featuring K.FLAY, they immediately caught everyone’s attention and were soon booked on tours supporting the likes of Madeon and The Chainsmokers before selling out their own headline shows. 

Collaborating with a huge calibre of artists like Icona Pop, Ashe, Chelsea Cutler, Quinn XCII, Wrabel, Raye and Australia’s own Wafia, they have built an impressive discography of material that explores their electronic roots and pop sensibility. 

Their highly anticipated debut album ‘Here For Now’ hears the Chicago duo embracing the pure beauty of life and the importance of living in the moment. Creating their own kaleidoscope of colour and sound, this fourteen track collection is a vivid experience in it’s own right, that won’t just be the soundtrack of the party but will also become the soundtrack of making every day a celebration of life. 

I recently chatted to Freddy Kennett and Robby Hauldren from Louis The Child about the heavy concept behind their debut album ‘Here For Now’, the creative process behind ‘We All Have Dreams’ with K.Flay and ‘Get Together’ with Duckwrth, and their continued drive to create innovative production. Check it out BELOW;

THOMAS BLEACH: Your debut album ‘Here For Now’ is something that has been the works for quite a long time now. With releasing music since 2015, why did these new songs feel like the perfect representation of who you are as artists and feel like a cohesive debut? 

FREDDY KENNETT: With the last EP ‘Kids At Play’, we didn’t feel like it had a full conceptual idea behind the structure and songwriting, and was instead more of a fun art concept. It was an idea of kids growing up in space and having fun, and it was a bit all over the place. 

We knew we wanted to have a strong concept album and I feel like we did that with ‘Here For Now’. It hears Robby and I contemplating life and the reality of being alive and all of us eventually dying. 

At the start of the writing process my grandpa passed away and that was heavy on my mind and lead me to have a lot of realisations about how unexpectedly or expectedly we are going to lose people we love more and more as time goes on. Having that realisation made me focus on appreciating every second I have with people I love, and appreciating every second I’m alive and get to breathe air. 

Seeing the magic in this life your given, appreciating the eyes your looking out of, the colours you get to see, the tastes, the mountains and stars, is important. Seeing the beauty, positives, and the gift your given is the message of the album.

TB: Opening the album with the spoken word intro ‘Scooters Debut’, which acts as a radio broadcast, what was the concept behind beginning the album this way for you?

FK: It was intended to be playful as we really wanted to show our personality on this album. We personally love to create these characters in an improv way, and Robby was just doing this voice on the mic in the studio and we were cracking up. So I said let’s play around with this as something for the intro. It took us a minute to think of a funny name but Scooter Boswell just came to us and we thought it was hilarious. 

So now we’ve turned that name into a character that embodies the idea of the album.  Like he’s just so happy with life. He’s living in a beach shack with the smallest radio station that only has two listeners but he loves it.

TB: ’We All Have Dreams’ is a song that immediately stands out to me on the record and features the incredible K.FLAY. So can you talk me through the creative process behind this song? 

FK: It’s funny because we are still unsure if the session was actually set up or not because I swear I knew she was coming in, as I had pre-written some lyrics for the chorus that I thought she would vibe, but then Robby is convinced he had no idea she was coming in *laughs*. 

ROBBY HAULDREN: I swear I had no idea we were working with K.FLAY that day! She just walked in and I was like “oh wassup! How’s it going? What are you doing here?” and she was like “we have a session?” *laughs*. And I was like “oh I didn’t know that, sick! Let’s do it!”. 

With every song that we wrote for the album we talked with each artist about the idea of the record,  how we all see the world and our collective impermanence. And this song came pretty naturally from having those sort of conversations with K.FLAY. I mean, she’s just such a kick ass writer and is insane in every way possible. 

I just love the message behind the song and we actually were able to get a kids choir in to sing the bridge which is something we also did on our last project. So this song felt like the perfect time to revisit that idea. 

TB: You’ve worked with K.Flay twice on ‘It’s Strange’ and now on ‘We All Have Dreams’, as well as worked with WAFIA twice on ‘Better Not’ and ‘Hurts’. So what was it like with working with both of those artists again after having such a huge response to the first song you did with them? Was there high expectations personally? 

FK: With K.FLAY, there definitely was. We have made a lot of songs with her since ‘It’s Strange’ and we’ve held back from releasing them to find the right one that felt like it needed to come out. And that one just made us feel such a heavy feeling in our chest. 

But with Wafia, I feel like if we do another song that is Louis The Child featuring Wafia then we will feel that. But with ‘Hurts’ that was for her project and it was just fun, creative and we were just like we will do whatever you want as we just want to make it sick *laughs*. 

TB: On songs like ‘Bittersweet’ and ‘Don’t Mind’ there is uncredited vocals, is that one of you guys singing? 

RH: Yeah! Freddy is singing vocals on ‘Bittersweet’ and we’re both singing on ‘Don’t Mind’. 

FK: We wrote ‘Bittersweet’ with Alexander 23, and he’s actually the little vocal solo in the bridge of that song! 

RH: I think it’s so fucking cool that he’s credited on the album as a vocal solo *laughs*. 

FK: Who needs a guitar solo when you have a vocal solo *laughs*!

TB: Something I’ve always been so impressed by when it comes to Louis The Child is your innovative production. You always seem to tackle things in a non predictable way. How do you usually try to push the boundaries when it comes to this in the studio and not rely on the expected pop formula? 

FK: I feel like it should be a level of expected where you are grooving with the rhythms but it should be playful in other ways where you might be using a chord progression from a style you haven’t heard this juxtaposition before. 

At the end of the day I just like to think of music as rhythms and melodies to a point where it’s simplified and then you choose your samples and which drums are hitting what. But when you simplify the process to that ,then each day you can write a song in a different tempo/groove and keep yourself doing something new. 

RH: A lot of stuff just comes from being spontaneous. You will just play something and then start cutting things out and go “oh, this should actually be the chorus” or “this could be the bridge” and just play with it that way. 

TB: Collaborating with so many different artists on this project, was there a session that completely surprised you by going in a completely different direction than you expected?

FK: Definitely the Duckwrth one!

RH: Yeah!

FK: Doing like a jazz, electronic track was so surprising. I expected him to want to be more rhythmic and rap more as I’ve heard a few songs from him with other producers. But then he came in and was more soulful and played piano jazz vibes, and it was honestly the nicest left turn from everything else that is on the album .

RH: We also brought in our friend Arielle to play trumpet on it and he crushed it! We put him to fucking work on that track by making him do so many different takes, but he absolutely killed it. And that whole song actually came together the quickest than anything else on the project. Pretty much what you hear on the album is exactly what it was on day 1. 

TB: So far, you’ve worked with Australian artists Wafia and Vera Blue. Is there any other Australian artists that you would love to work with? 

RH: Well we’ve actually worked with G Flip on a bunch of songs and she’s AWESOME and is genuinely so funny. So I feel like we will make more with her in the future. 

We also made a song with Winston Surfshirt which I think will come out on the deluxe edition of the album, but don’t take my word for it *laughs*. 

FK: At some point we will get some stuff out with What So Not! We love him! But I would love to work with Nick Murphy some day, I am a huge fan of his! 

TB: Okay! Let’s play a quick game of rapid fire questions… you ready?

RH: Let’s go!

TB: The emoji that best describes our debut album ‘Here For Now’ is…

FK: The hands up praising emoji!

TB: Our pre show routine involves…

RH: We have a handshake we like to do before we go onto the stage! I also like to stretch and do a shot of tequila!

TB: When we think of Australia we think of…

RH: The Sydney Opera House!

FK: I went to Sydney with my family one year for New Years, so I think of being on a boat on Sydney Harbour with millions of boats surrounding me and fireworks. 

TB: The messiest member of Louis The Child on tour is…

FK: Robby! 

RH: What! No! Freddy actually makes the biggest mess.

FK: No, I just don’t clean up *laughs*. 

TB: Pineapple on pizza is…

RH: Good! I love pineapple on everything. 

FK: Something I can do…

‘Here For Now’ is out NOW!