INTERVIEW: MellowHype

Odd Future may not be a name many 2012 music worshippers know too well but don’t think for a second that they’ve faded away. Rolling up audacity with a layer of homemade instrumentals, MELLOWHYPE let slip an intelligent form of accessibility that unlike most, has grown to stand in its own kicks. As they admitted, their peripherals now mess with a 360-degree view that’s still tight with their history and arresting development of material but, as Hodgy Beats pointed out with just a few minutes to spare before their first solo set in Toronto, “this is really just the beginning”.
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Some fans and critics have boldly stated that “every major label today is trying to sign their own Odd Future.” Did you ever anticipate your music would be so sought after?

Umm… not really. I haven’t really given that much thought. I mean, I can see that people are trying to do that, but with the music… nah.
 
Can success and progression be achieved at the same time or do they conflict?

I guess they work hand in hand, but they should both happen naturally. With us, we just happened to have a lot of success really fast but we progressed. We made music, went on tours, made music on tours and though we probably don’t record as much as we should on tour, that’s going to change.
 
In what ways have you guys experimented while you’ve been on and off the road?

We’ve been travelling a lot. Like when we travel we just pick up random music from random music stores and stuff like that and we also talk to a lot of foreign people when we’re out there. We’re in the world and we’re hands-on, so we’re aggressive – not aggressive in like a physical way but like mentally because we all just try to grab as much information as we can.

Are there any new or old artists you guys have dug into a bit more lately?

There’s some Hawaiian music that I got when we were in Hawaii. I don’t really know what the artist names are but I just got it. It’s different because it’s not rap!
 
Are artists being signed by music labels based more on their appeal than talent?

It’s definitely appeal because at the end of the day, everybody’s just trying to get an extra dollar in their pocket.
 
With “the studio album” now an accomplishment, what are some of the next big goals for the group?

Well since we’ve got a lot of music out now, I want to focus more on videos and visuals for people to see the music…

(“MellowHype! MellowHype!” chant interrupts from the audience)

That’s tight! That is tight. That’s the first time that shit has ever happened. Mellow. Hype.

As you guys are on in like four minutes, let’s cut this short. Has it been motivating to see hip hop – and the West Coast in general – take a stranglehold on music these days?

I don’t even pay attention to that shit because none of these artists motivate me. Like all they’re really doing is collaborating with each other and to me, I feel like they’re just riding each other’s dicks.
 
Since it’s your first show in Toronto as MellowHype and you’ve just heard the crowd calling out your name, what it is it like seeing the love/support from fans grow over time?

It’s just tight because this is really our first MellowHype tour and our first tour as MellowHype/Trash Talk. This is really just the beginning of a lot of stuff because all of us are really just about to roll in.
 
Would you say that, from late 2010 to the start of 2013, the world has seen the best of MellowHype?

Nope. When one project is out and over with, there should be some sort of progression to make you and your work better. Like the next album or your next step should show change, even if people don’t like it. In the end, it’s still growing. For better or for worse, we’re still growing. Like everything to us is wide open right now. Our peripherals are like 360 almost (laughs). Damn, could you imagine that? Like your peripherals let you see everything around you and like what’s behind you? That shit would be crazy, right?… Okay I’m high, but for real, you get it.
 

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