Dom sits down and talks to Hyro the Hero (Hyron Louis Fenton Jr.) all about Kids Against Monsters, his early career and now, collaborations and how hip-hop can learn from rock music.
He expresses how he has changed and developed throughout his career over the years and what he has learned about himself along the way.
“I just grew up as a man, developed my mind and song structure especially as far as music goes that was a big thing for me because I always wanted to make amazing choruses and I think I’ve got that now; I’m making some good choruses.”
Being an artist can have its hurdles, especially with confidence, Hyro the Hero tells us how he overcomes issues such as self-belief and having confidence in what you are doing and how social media has a massive part in being a positive platform but also negative.
“I’d say social media is the biggest problem when it comes to all these confidence things, I’m a confident person in general but then I post music sometimes and the algorithm doesn’t get me any views, so that kind of stuff shoots your confidence, like man I’m a good artist, I’m a good rapper, why aren’t I getting heard? It’s a struggle every day but all you’ve got to do is fight through it. I mean if you love what you do, you just keep doing it. I have people that follow me, I got a blue check mark on Instagram, I have 19,000 followers, so all of that I look back and say I’m doing my job, I’m just gonna keep grinding and building it. Just love what you do and keep at it! Everybody shows their highlights on Instagram, nobody shows the bad really, sometimes just turn it off and just live.”
The definition of success is different for everybody, Hyro explains what success means to him.
“I feel like I’m successful, people listen to me, people love me, people tell me “aw man I listen to you when I’m feeling down, I listen to you when I’m at the gym” all those types of things. I think I’m successful for that purpose in general. Its just day by day trying to get heard, I just want my music to get to the people that’s my biggest thing, if I get peoples ears, I feel like I’m doing something great.”
Hyro the Hero has always had a mission statement to representing the youth, confronting things, and giving people a voice.
“The mission statement always is just to wake up the people in a sense and even that’s so much as iffy because it used to be like, we would all have this one mission to wake up the people and we were all on the same wave and its all changed now, there’s woke for the left and there’s woke for the right and I’m just down the middle because I just want peace for everybody. Kid’s against the monsters is just an eye opener to the older generation, you know like hey there’s a riff right here that we need to fix and can see how we can do this.”
Many artists have passions and other inspirations outside of work, such as people, places, music, and family.
“I was living in LA for a while, that inspired me for a bit I was living there for 13 years, I came back to Houston and see how that changed, see my family. My friends doing great, my family doing great so that motivates me to keep going. Outside of that I love playing basketball, I love watching my sports. YouTube is such a great thing because there’s so much option and so many choices, I like watching people talk about the movies and there’s so much conversation. Fitness always but when you’re in this cold weather its very hard to work out, I did a workout earlier, push ups on the ground, hands freezing. If anyone gets a message from me it’s wake up and work hard.”
Reflecting on 2021, Hyro looks back on everything he has achieved throughout the year and what he’s most proud of.
“I was able to put out music! And then I put out music with amazing people, like David Draiman. I’ve got some surprises coming that everybody is gonna lose their mind when this other surprise come, they’re gonna be like what! How does he do these things. So, I’m happy about that, but I just want to be able to get on a stage and rock.”
It takes many different skills to be able to release music and for people to be like this is amazing, Hyro describes how he makes it all happen.
“I think I’m a cool person, stay humble, I’m a good person to be around and I always put on great performances, I put my heart into it and then when people see that, and the word gets around they take me serious. To the new listener who has seen me with people like David Draiman, they’re like who is this rapper? But I’ve gained respect over so many years. David Draiman told me do you know how many big hit rappers hit me up to make a song, but I said no but I did it for you because I respect you, so that meant everything to me.”
Hyro the Hero has a lot of powerful visual aspects within his music videos from animated videos to lyric videos, he has always put very strong visuals out alongside his music. He tells us how vital the visual aspect is to him.
“The visuals are super important, especially in todays society with YouTube and Instagram and all of that. If you look at the ‘We Believe’ video it’s such a strong video, the artwork everything, I just want the video to represent my lyrics, I want things that pull it together in such an epic way.”
So, what is your message to all the people who have got behind you and supported you over your entire career but also to people who are just discovering you now.
“My message would be prepare for the energy when we can actually rock a stage that’s what it would be! So, to all the people who are new and to the people who have heard my music already, just prepare for the comeback on stage and just be safe because I’m from Houston and that craziness in Houston happened, so be safe because it’s like we have that written rule in rock that you help somebody up, you’ve got to help the person up, we know that but I think since hip hop kind of blended in with rock, they don’t know our rules. Stay positive during these crazy times, I hope we can get back into a somewhat normal thing.”
And what would you like to plug?
“I just think kids against monsters isn’t over, there’s something about to bubble up and people are going to lose their minds! So right now, it’s just a little taste of it but when I give you the full Kids Against Monsters, you’re gonna lose your minds.”
Interview: Dom Smith / Words: Katie Lovatt