Baltimore rapper TheHxliday joins us to discuss his musical journey and new releases.
18-year-old rapper TheHxliday is Motown’s newest signee, but definitely no newcomer to the game. TheHxliday’s been making music since he was 13 and has had labels vying for him the past two years, before choosing Motown Records, because he felt they respected his creativity.
If you’re a fan of XXX and Dj Scheme, then you might have heard TheHxliday on Scheme’s most recent project Family, which dropped earlier this month. TheHxliday is also plugged in with the popular Internet Money Records, and was featured on their most recent project as well, B4 The Storm. Hxliday joins us today to discuss his latest release, “Thank U” as well as his upcoming seasonal releases like “Laugh a Little.” He opens up about how he landed on his stage name and how that helps determine his release schedule. Find out more in the interview below!
The Knockturnal: Can you tell us about how you landed on the stage name TheHxliday?
TheHxliday: I remember being a kid and loving the holidays, whenever the holidays came around I’d celebrate. When I started making music I brought my childhood creativity to it. I was always the festive one when it came to holidays. When it comes to music I drop around the holidays. Say it’s Halloween and I drop some series music, if it’s Christmas then the music has a Christmas type of vibe, and July 4th was a reggae song because of summer vibes. The X is in honor of XXX who was a big inspiration to me. He was an artist who taught me to not care about what other people think.
The Knockturnal: What was it like being homeschooled/ upbringing like?
TheHxliday: I had to be homeschooled, I couldn’t show up to school for nothing. My attendance was terrible. I started homeschooling and that was easy. I have to get back to it and finish, but I plan on doing that soon.
The Knockturnal: When did you first start experimenting with music?
TheHxliday: Before I started homeschooling, it’s when I was in middle school. I had a solo in one of my music classes and I went home to record myself, that’s when I started playing around with Garage Band. It was around 13/14.
The Knockturnal: How does it feel to be signed at 18 years old??
TheHxliday: It feels great. I feel accomplished, when my mom was doing music she did local shows all the time, she kept growing and eventually got a deal offer, but she didn’t take it because she wasn’t ready. When I got up to that point with Motown and actually went through with it, that was big moment for me. I finally got to that moment my mom was talking about.
The Knockturnal: How did you sign with Motown? Can you elaborate on that experience?
TheHxliday: The first thing I asked was to get that Michael Jackson feature (jokingly). I’ve spoken to a lot of labels in the past 2 years, but I felt like a lot of them didn’t have a lot to offer where I have free creativity and creative control. I’ve been pushing off labels for a minute. Motown had a lot to offer and they respect my creativity.
The Knockturnal: Can you talk about your latest release “Thank U?” What were you experiencing when you first wrote it?
TheHxliday: I don’t really open up, but I went through a lot and was taking drugs at one point, I never talk about it, but I feel like music is a way for me to talk about how I’m actually feeling and what I’m going through. At the time I was like people need to know that kids my age are going through the things they’re going through because I feel like people know it gets to the younger generation, drugs, addiction etc, but people don’t realize how common it is. Kids out here like they grown adults, middle schoolers out here popping shit, parent’s don’t even be knowing, so I feel like I had to make this song.
The Knockturnal: Talk about the visual?
TheHxliday: The visuals crazy, Nicholas Jandora is insane. He’s honestly one of the most talented directors. Even the set was a whole vibe. We shot 2 videos back to back so there’s another one coming. I was kinda iffy about having the pill bottles because I don’t wanna promote drugs, or make it look like it’s cool. I want to make it look like it’s from the perspective of the drug user.
The Knockturnal: Tell us about your upcoming single/video for “Laugh a Little” dropping around Christmas?
TheHxliday: “Laugh a Little” goes crazy, it’s one of my best songs and it’s my best music video yet. “Thank U” was warm up, but “Laugh a Little” is crazy. After talking about the drug perspective and everything, the song is actually a good follow up. It lightens the mood and changes the perspective of where people might think I’m headed with the music.
The Knockturnal: Can you talk about your relationship with Internet Money & DJ Scheme and being featured on their projects?
TheHxliday: DJ Scheme, that’s my boy. I was inspired by XXX so I obviously knew Scheme from Rolling Loud, being able to work with him now, I’m more than grateful. It’s insane to be called family in any way. I was thankful to be a part of that project. It was fun to make, that was one of my favorite sessions I’ve ever done. They had a beat playing when I showed up, I started free styling and they were all like ‘record that!’
Photo Credit: Travis Shinn