Meet Robby and Freddy, the duo behind Louis the Child 

Meet Robby and Freddy, the duo behind Louis the Child | Soho House

Following their Sohopalooza set at Soho House Chicago, the DJs reflect on the artists that imprinted on their sound

Wednesday 16 August 2023  By Soho House

From high-school jazz band to playing Lollapalooza, the biggest music festival in Chicago, Robby Hauldren and Freddy Kennett have come a long way. With hits consistently topping the charts and more than three million monthly listeners on Spotify, the duo, known as Louis the Child,  have established themselves as mainstays on the global festival circuit.

Now, fresh off their Lollapalooza performance and late-night afterparty at Sohopalooza in Chicago, we sat down with the hometown heroes to talk about their musical influences, favorite gigs, and pre-show tequila shot tradition. 

What was the first album you ever bought? Do you still listen to it?
Robby Haudren: ‘I can’t even remember the true first, but an early one that I still listen to is From Under The Cork Tree by Fall Out Boy.’

Freddy Kennett: ‘The first albums I listened to were on my dad’s iTunes, or from my family’s collection of CDs. My dad would rent CDs from the library and download the songs, so we had a few hundred albums on his computer. I loved listening to Stadium Arcadium by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Good News For People Who Love Bad News by Modest Mouse, and Illinois by Sufjan Stevens. 

‘When my aunt showed me Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago, Kanye West’s Graduation and Kid Cudi’s Man On The Moon: The End Of Day, those albums changed my life, too. Then, as a part of the New Trier High School jazz band, I found tons of jazz from either playing the songs or what my friends in jazz band were listening to. The jazz kids and I loved Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, J Dilla and Robert Glasper, to name a few.’

What’s your ultimate comfort track?

RH: ‘Right now, it’s “Helmet” by Steve Lacy.’
FK: ‘“Things Are Changin’” solo acoustic version by Gary Clark Jr.’

Do you ever listen to your own music? And if so, which track means the most to you and why?
RH: ‘I don't listen to our songs much after they get released, but I jam out on our unreleased stuff a lot. I like to experience songs in different scenarios and see what ideas or realisations come from it. I’ve been trying to not get too attached to our songs, but I think I’m due for a dive back into everything. It’s hard to choose one song that means the most to me, but “We All Have Dreams” will always hold a special place for me.’

FK: ‘I do listen to our music. I’m usually playing the newer songs or going through our most popular songs just to vibe with it and understand who we are, to keep that rhythm going. But I also listen through projects if I haven’t in a while. 

‘I love performing our song “Better Not”, and internalising the words of the song and projecting that emotion. That track to me means realising the love around you, believing in yourself, and the people around you, and appreciating the moments you have with them – “It’s right here, don’t waste it”.’

Who are your key musical influences?
RH: ‘Kanye West, Daft Punk, Fall Out Boy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, The Beatles, Dave Grohl, Rick Rubin, Jay-Z, Madeon and Skrillex have shaped my musical identity.’

FK: ‘Red Hot Chili Peppers, Modest Mouse, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Bon Iver, James Blake, Quincy Jones, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Robert Glasper, Red Garland, J Dilla, Rusko, Skrillex, Madeon, Justice, Chrome Sparks, Jon Bellion, Shlohmo, Flume, Wave Racer, Cashmere Cat, and Lido.’

Meet Robby and Freddy, the duo behind Louis the Child | Soho House
Meet Robby and Freddy, the duo behind Louis the Child | Soho House

Favourite artist you’ve ever seen live? 
RH: ‘Justice.’

FK: ‘I remember seeing Justice closing at Lollapalooza’s main stage north and everyone around me was dancing. I was just standing there jaw-dropped by the sounds/ live versions of their songs, and the energy of the crowd. I was just like, “hoooly…”’

Favourite city to perform in? 
RH: ‘Chicago is probably my favourite city, because that’s home. But the craziest crowds we’ve played to have been in South America.’

FK: ‘Either Red Rocks in Colorado or Chicago for Lollapalooza – pretty much anywhere in Chicago. South America and Mexico City also have some amazing crowds.’

Best gig memory?
RH: ‘It’s tough to pick a favourite, but a moment that comes to mind is the time we played a festival in Jakarta. I had no idea what to expect. I’d never been before and it was so culturally different from what I was used to in the States. But we got up on stage and people were singing the words to a bunch of our songs. All the way in Jakarta? That blew my mind.’

FK: ‘The first time we played Lollapalooza, the sun was shining and the kids in the crowd were moshing and climbing trees, going crazy. And our families were there having so much fun. That day has a golden glow in my memory.’

Who are you listening to a lot right now? What’s top of your most-played list?

RH: ‘The new Dominic Fike album. Also, “Mustard” by Jordan Ward and 6LACK, and “Window” by Spill Tab. The new Disclosure album is great, too.’

FK: ‘I’ve been loving soul, funk and horn music recently, like Menahan Street Band. Plus, “How Long Do I Have To Wait For You” by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, “Missing Me” by Lack of Afro, and Jack Tyson Charles. But my latest most-played song is “Gonna Love Me” by Teyana Taylor. That song is beautiful.’

If you had to pick a soundtrack to your life, what would it be?
RH: ‘If Red Garland or Bill Evans could be playing at every moment of my life, that would be cool with me.’

FK: ‘I don’t think I can pick one project as a soundtrack to my life. Life is complex and goes through ups and downs, and changes. I prefer having a new soundtrack to each day. I like exploring and finding new music. But any time I’m in Chicago in the winter, it’s the album Red Garland’s Piano by Red Garland.’

Name the artist you’re most excited about right now.
RH: ‘Jordan Ward and Jawny.’

FK: ‘I hope Flowdan gets more attention and makes some more music after the Skrillex song that came out recently. His voice and style are so cool.’

What’s your pre-performance ritual?
RH: ‘I like to stretch, maybe take a quick nap, or meditate if I need to. Before we go on, we always do a shot of tequila with everyone backstage. Nothing crazy.’

FK: ‘Sometimes I meditate and do some breathing exercises. We usually take a pre-show shot and do a toast, then we stand by the stage, and wait for our earplugs and the go signal.’

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