There aren’t many acts in dance music that have successfully cultivated a lifestyle brand and diehard fan base like Flosstradamus has. From collaborating with Waka Flocka Flame to their brand new remix of CoCo, the Chicago DJ’s have worked tirelessly for the past 10 years to blend together the two worlds of hip-hop and electronic music. Now, the HDYNATION movement is real and with no signs of slowing down. We caught up with the HDYBYZ themselves at Buku Music + Art Project last weekend to see what the trap kingpins have been up to. –Max Chung
Run the Trap: How was spinning at Mixmag the other week?
Curt: Mixmag was crazy! We got to DJ b2b in front of a bunch of kids on a live stream which was tight. People were going crazy, it was pretty rare for a mixmag party to be so live.
Josh: Yeah, the guys from mixmag said it was one of the most turnt up parties they’ve ever had so that was dope.
Tell us about the first annual HDYFEST on 4/20. Why is it the loudest festival of 2015?
Josh: We’re massive supporters of cannabis culture as you know. So for us, it’s not only our EP release party but just another chance to do a show in Austin since we’re missing SxSW this year. For the last few years we’ve done our own curated party with our own lineup, so now we’re bringing it down there for HDYFEST. Hopefully this is the start of something bigger that we can do every year and maybe even make into a tour one day.
What kind of music can we expect from the Soundclash EP?
Curt: The lead single is called ‘Soundclash’ but the EP itself is a soundclash – it’s a clashing of sounds. Every track on it is a collaboration: we have collabs with NYMZ from Milo & Otis, Ricky Remedy who’s this up-and-coming kid who’s killing it, we got another one with GTA and Lil Jon that’s called ‘Prison Riot…’
And Run the Jewels!
Curt: Yeah! Shout out Run the Jewels who’s out here tonight at Buku too. The EP is kind of all over the place with different sounds but it ended up working out really well and we’re happy to finally put that shit out.
Who are some other rappers you’d love to collab with right now?
Curt: I wanna collab with Que, this rapper from the ATL. Migos too of course. And then on some underground shit, all the Awful Records kids are killing it and we really wanna do some shit with them.
Let’s talk about the collaboration with Troyboi, “Soundclash.” HUGE record. Did you guys have any idea it was going to blow up like it did?
Josh: Pretty much. As soon as I heard the finished product I was like, “Aw this shit’s outta here.” And it sucks because with major labels you have to go on their schedule so we had that song done for like 6-7 months; we’ve been playing it out and whatever but couldn’t release it for a minute. But as soon as I heard it man I knew that shit was dope. We were playing it in our sets all through Mad Decent Block Party just seeing the reactions and testing it out while we were still finishing it, and yeah man it was just killing every time.
What made you guys want to reach out to Troyboi?
Josh: A-trak sent us a ZIP of music and one of the tracks on there was a Troyboi song. It sounded like Timbaland, it sounded like some shit we hadn’t heard before. It was totally unique and totally stood out. The way trap is going it’s gotten so repetitive. With anything that gets popular it gets very streamlined and starts to sound the same so it was really dope to hear something refreshing. So much of the new stuff out now is really toned-down, and this was a whole different lane. It was really high energy but also super swaggy. So we just messaged him directly on soundcloud and sent some stuff back and forth via the internet and just fuckin made it happen!
Josh: We’ve played Vegas a few times but we got a residency this year to play Surrender at the Wynn. Whenever we go somewhere whether it be a tour stop, Buku fest, whatever, we take it over. Our fans take it over and we transform it into something that it’s not normally like. And with Vegas it’s so particularly one type of way with bottle service, dress code, all that kind of stuff. So we turn the Wynn and turn Surrender on that night into a Floss party, into a HDYNATION event. That’s why we call it Flossvegas.
You guys tweeted that you never imagined you’d go over well in Vegas, let alone get a residency.
Josh: Yeah it’s just dope to see that the Wynn group took a chance on us by letting us do our thing there. It’s not something where they had a meeting with us and told us that we had to play a certain type of sound, they just let us do us. And to be able to do that in Vegas is just an awesome thing that we never imagined would happen.
You guys just dropped HDYGRLZ nail polish. Are there any other unique products you guys are thinking about branding in the future?
Curt: We always like to do a few unique things throughout the year. We’ve done Vape pens, these weird water bottle holders, stuff like that. So the nail polish is one of them right now but we’re just working with a bunch of other companies on other projects. We’re working with this company ’47 Brand on a whole clothing line. We constantly want to level up our shit and make better quality stuff, whether it be nail polish or whatever. We’re also trying to start a little side-line as well that we’ll be dropping soon-ish, but we can’t really say much about that right now.
How can I be more HDY?
Curt: If you want to represent HDYNATION at all you’ve gotta be positive, forreal. If you hear anyone being negative you just gotta dead that shit. I think that’s the best way to think about it. You just gotta make your life as hi-def as possible and think about everything in a positive light.
This is a RTT interview… If you guys literally ran the trap and owned/operated your own HDYBYZ Trap House, what would be the first order of business?
Curt: I would put that shit on Zillow.
Josh: First order of business would be to turn it around, take it from being a bando and turn it into an actual functioning studio space/productive household.
Curt: And then put it on Zillow.
Josh: And then put it in Zillow, flip that shit (laughs)