We chatted with Hayden Jerome Kramer, better known by his stage name Herobust, who is an Atlanta, Georgia-based record producer and musician. Hiss hip-hop inspired bass music has been featured in Rolling Stone, Vice, and MTV and Insomniac credits him as “one of the hottest voices in the trap-dance movement.” He took time out from WTF Tour to talk with us about his musical inspiration and balancing life on the road.
You come from Atlanta, which has a rich musical history and is the birthplace of trap, how has your hometown influenced your musical development?
It definitely played a role in the influence of my music, and still does. I was always listening to Dirty South Hip Hop, and that was what got me making beats in the first place. Now I look to it as an influence on the vibe I want my music to have. Like how Hip Hop made me feel when I was a kid, I want my music to give kids the same feeling.
I read that you see each set as taking an audience on a journey, how do you conceptualize that journey and how much is planned versus improvised? Do you have a specific goal or destination for the journey?
A lot of it is improvised, but I do plan some key points out. I just like having room to see where the show can go, and what the crowd is wanting. The audience has a certain amount of energy and I want to make sure that they get the most from my set. I really want them to have the most memorable experience I can possibly give them, and no one can really anticipate what curation will do that beforehand.
How has DJ-ing changed your personal sense of style and self-presentation?
Get to the basics and a little swag. As a DJ, you are balancing travel (downtime), performing (go time), and partying (facetime). I need to be prepared for all of these so having layers that I can add and remove help me dress up with partying and remain comfortable while performing.
What’s your favorite city fashion-wise? I heard you were impressed with Asian-streetwear during your tour, any styles in particular?
Seoul was impressive! Everyone seemed to have a refined look but still was edgy and very forward thinking. I liked the blending and mixing of styles. Nice pants or shoes with a streetwear shirt.
With all the travel and late nights, what your grooming routine look like? Have you learned any tricks to help you stay fresh on the road?
Bags inside of bags. LOL. I take a gym bag with me so I can ditch my sweaty shirt after a set.
I read your goal with making new music “I just wanna make stuff that I haven’t heard before.” — what’s next for you musically?
I really want to connect more southern rap and hip-hop with my style of bass music.
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Ivan Yaskey is a Philly-born EDM and synthpop enthusiast and interviewer who recently relocated to beautiful Boston, MA.