When you think of Ireland, Riverdance, Leprechaun folklore and, well, other things that have nothing to do with hip-hop may come to mind. But a group called Hare Squead is here to change your perception of the island that they call home.
Meet Tony Konstone, Lilo Blues (both from Tallaght, South Dublin), and Jessy Rose (out of Blanchardstown, West Dublin) whose genre-defying sound is refreshing and ever-changing. REVOLT TV chatted via email with the trio about the Irish music scene, what it feels like to be minority artists in their homeland, and their musical journey.
How did you come up with your name? Does it have anything to do with the Irish Hare?
Nope. We f-cked around with the words 'square' and 'head.' We used to have the flat-top haircuts growing up and called each other Squareheads.
How would you describe the Irish hip-hop scene?
It's bubbling! It's always been there, but now more than ever. It's starting to grow and more people are seeing that it's possible to make it out. Expect a lot of dope artists from out of her in the near future!
Is the Irish music scene as more accepting of different sounds?
It's kind of narrow-minded in the sense that there is not much light shed on a local artists. People would rather see well-established acts over their local MC. We've got a lot of different scenes for such a small country though. I'd say the rock and folk scene, up until recently, has been the most popular on radio.
As Irish minority artists, are there any stereotypes that you feel you are dispelling?
"R&B." "Soul." We hate being labeled in those brackets. Our song "If I Ask" clearly isn't R&B, but that's what people call it [laughs]. Better off just calling us "BLACK." We're not going to front and pretend like it was easy coming up out of here but being black and Irish is something that we're so proud of. It's something new.
How would you describe your group's sound?
Our sound is a fusion of everything that we love. It's kind of genre-less. We just create whatever we're in the mood to create at that given time.
Are there any Irish influences that you add to the production or lyrics?
Not really. I mean, being from Ireland sort of meant that we were on the outside so we'd just soak up everything from everywhere.
You mentioned growing up listening to Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Green Day, Outkast, and other. In what way do you blend those different influences into something appealing?
It's literally us being us. There's no math or theory behind it. I think it's a natural thing to have hints of our influences. The appealing side of it? That's not in our power. If people like it, they like it.
What is Hare Squead's next goal?
After touring with Dua, we got to see a lot of different cities and crowds, which was dope as f-ck. The reception from our music was awesome too, so we just want to put out more dope music and play a lot more shows.
What do you want people to take away from your music after listening to it?
Each song is different. Different emotion and meaning. But the main objective is to spread good vibes, peace, and love!
Watch the video for Hare Squead's new single "Loco":