The Break Presents: Hare Squead
There's a hip-hop scene brewing in Ireland. Most fans know Rejjie Snow as the face of Dublin, Ireland's hip-hop scene but there's also Hare Squead, a group comprised of Tony Konstone, Jessy Rose and Lilo Blues, who are on the way to making some serious noise.
The name Hare Squead, inspired in part by that same high-top fade Will Smith had in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is a flip of the words square head. The three friends chose the name in tribute to the fact they all had flat tops when they first met. With a name as unique as Hare Squead, their sound is just as special.
Due to their upbringing in Ireland, they soaked up whatever new artists were playing on television, which lead to the variety heard in their own music. A wide range of artists from Kanye West to Green Day to Gym Class Heroes became their influences. So when it comes to the songs they release, Hare Squead bring multiple genres together to create a blend of hip-hop, soul and pop for a sound that's refreshing and full of energy.
The hip-hop trio began to make noise last year with their single "Long Way to Go," showing off their wide-range of sound and dance-friendly tunes. Next was "Herside Story," a record that would later catch the attention of former XXL Freshman GoldLink. The DMV native would create his own version of the the song featuring Hare Squead and put it on his last project, At What Cost. As both versions of the track became popular, so did Hare Squead. The trio would eventually be featured, along with GoldLink, Masego and Dom Whalley, on Huw Stephens' Radio 1 Piano Sessions on BBC Radio 1.
Now with more music on the way and future performances coming up in the states, learn more about Hare Squead in XXL's The Break.
Name: Hare Squead (Tony Konstone, Jessy Rose, Lilo Blues)
Age: Tony, 22; Lilo Blues, 20; Jessy, 20
Hometown: Dublin, Ireland
I grew up listening to: Lilo Blues: "A range of different stuff, whatever is on TV. A lot of church, African music, that’s what my parents be playing. But me, it was more what’s playing on TV, specifically MTV and stuff like that. OutKast's 'Hey Ya.' It didn’t really matter; it was a range of different artists."
Tony Konstone: "I always been listening to music but it was the early 2000s, when I started to focus on what I listen to. It was Avril Lavigne, Green Day, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell, OutKast, Eminem. I wasn’t too much into old school cats. I was with the new shit."
Tony: "I started rapping at like 13,14. I used to live in a different area but when I came into the same area, Lilo kind of pushed me into rap."
Lilo Blues: "When we was younger, we all used to fool around and write rhymes. We never took it seriously until it got to a time where we wanted to pursue music and we started from there."
Tony: "The group, Lilo and Jessy used to be friends on the internet and we all linked together around 2013. But the band was formed when we were FaceTiming and making beats and just talking and we started to push the band in 2014. That’s when we officially started as a band, the three of us."
Lilo Blues: "It was more as a collective because there was a fourth member as well but then it just gradually became a trio and yeah, here we are. I always knew that my path to success is music and I still believe that. When I was younger and in school, I didn’t know how to do anything good but music. It was in school when it hit me."
Tony: "I didn’t take music seriously until 2013. My sister wanted to be a singer and make music with her friends. I used to hang out with them and see them make music. Growing up I started to get into it myself."
"The group name, we used to fuck around and say Square Heads and shit. You know The Fresh Prince of Bel Air? We all used to have the high-top fade. So around 14, 15-year-old kids, we called each other square heads. But then we realized we needed a band name and Square Heads was the only thing we can think of. So we flipped it and called ourselves Hare Squead and it went from there."
My style has been compared to: Lilo Blues: "Our sound isn’t anything specific. It's more of a vibe. We can go over rock song and make it feel like gospel or trap. It’s more of the vibe that you lay over the beat."
Tony: "I feel like music today, you don’t really need a sound as long as any sound you do has the right energy. That’s what we try to do, we can go over any beat. I play bass, guitar, drums and keys. I try to be as versatile as I can."
Most people don’t know: Lilo Blues: "We’re not fun, we just play ball and make music. That’s our fun fact [laughs]."
Tony: "I used to have a foot fetish when I was 7."
My standout moment to date has been: Lilo Blues: "I think for me was closing at this Ireland Festival that was one of the highlights of the career so far. We shut it down like 12 o’clock in the morning. Twenty-thousand to 30,000 people, everybody was there just having a good time."
Tony: "I don’t really have that moment yet. I’m still waiting for it. I don’t know, I’m waiting for bigger."
My goal in hip-hop is: Lilo Blues: "We want to be incredibly big and we want to influence as much people as we can, positively and just spread positive vibes and great music."
I’m going to be the next: Tony: "You know what, we probably would’ve said The Beatles. I feel like these days everyone wants to be bigger than The Beatles; it's kind of the typical thing to say. We want to sell out Mars man. That’s what we really want to do."
Standouts: "Herside Story"
Goldink and Hare Squead's "Herside Story"
"If I Ask"
"Long Way to Go"
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