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Download 2011: Hyro Da Hero - ‘This Is A Challenge’

Rock Sound
Rock Sound 7 June 2011 at 14.35

Pop quiz: you're a Texan rapper playing a rock festival, and you're a bit out of your depth. What do you do? Bring the noise.

Having already proved to UK crowds at Hit The Deck and Slam Dunk festivals that he’s a one-man party machine, we’ve already got our money on Hyro Da Hero’s set being one of the rowdiest of the Download Festival weekend. And he’s excited. Very excited:

“I saw a video of Download the other day – the whole crowd was going crazy and knowing I’m going to be on one of those stages is amazing. Will I be changing the way I do things for the festival? I’m going to step it up a notch, that’s all I can do! I’m going to give the people something they’ve never heard before.”

Hyro’s brand of rap-rock may not be the status quo for the average Download afternoon set, but he’s told Rock Sound he’s more than confident he has what he takes to win over some leather-clad naysayers:

For people who’ve come to see Def Leppard of The Darkness, what is there in your set that will appeal to them?
"It’s that same love and energy for the music – classic rock bands are the artists who paved the way for all of us to do what we do. When you step on a stage it’s almost magical because you share their energy, because they blessed you with their creativity and spirit."

So you feel part of that rock heritage too?
"Oh yeah, man. It’s all music, it’s all love. They paved the way. It’s a whole chain of events that’s beautiful, that’s spiritual. Almost every situation I’ve been in has been alien and I’ve stepped up and rocked the stage, but I relate to the people because we share the same vibe and the same attitude. I went to a school full of people who liked rock, so that groomed me for the situation I’m in now."

Are you going to have any time to hang out onsite?
"Oh yeah, I want to check out every band I can possibly see! This is a first-time experience for me, I’m going to be like a little child in the crowd, eyes all big like a puppy. I’m just happy to enjoy it."

What was your awareness of UK festivals when you were growing up in Texas?
"Me and my homeboys would sit down and rap, and we’d also look on YouTube for videos of Red Hot Chilli Peppers or something like that, and you’d see these huge crowds and it just took a hold of me. It was like an ocean of people. We’d look at that and realise we wanted to do something like that – hip-hop can take you far but rock music takes you further because it’s live, it’s something in your body, it’s momentum. When I’m rapping on rock my emotion can match the same emotion as the drummer; with hip-hop it’s more of an electric beat so it stays at that same level. It’s a challenge, and I love challenges. This is the proving ground, right here."

Come join Hyro Da Hero's party (OK, parties) at Download’s Pepsi Max Stage on Friday June 10 at 17.55 and the Jägermeister Stage at 16.20 on Sunday June 12.

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