Smooth bars, Fried Eggs, and Saturday Blues: My Interview with Healy


By: Harrison Giza

Hip-hop is at it’s biggest climax in history, with artists struggling to sound different and striving to stand out. However, Healy is doing just fine in that department, dropping some of the tastiest raps this side of planet Earth.

Based out of Memphis, Tennessee and signed to UK label DeepMatter, this guy really knows how to make smooth hip-hop. His track “life like” is beach-coated glimmer with a dash of homie enormity. It is one of my favorite songs of the year.

What makes Healy so good? To put it simply, his precise care when recording. His voice matches his instrumentals, with both the words and instruments behind him syncing perfectly. On “saturday blues,” with an instrumental produced by Chris McClenney, Healy mixes genres with the swiftest of ease, rapping and singing better than any rapper on the radio currently.

I got to talking with the man just a few weeks ago, asking about his career and what exactly is next for him.

HG: What do you think is the hardest thing to accomplish when you’re writing a new track?

H: The most time-consuming part of songwriting for me is for sure the formation of the story. I like to let my life be a catalyst for most of the songs I write, and sometimes that just takes time. I can’t really wake up and say, “I’ll write a song about unrequited love today.” It’s a passive process that kind of just happens, but it’s pretty incredible when it does.

HG: You pick your beatmakers perfectly. How did you get in contact with Chris McClenney for “Saturday Blues?” How did the creative process go?

H: I actually haven’t spoken with Chris to this day. I was hiking in Knoxville and found his tracks on soundcloud and just kind of started jamming to them. Before Chris’ vocals came on in ‘More Love’ I had this cool vision, so I cut the track up a bit. A few months later some Saturday night plans fell through with friends so I picked up a 6-pack and wrote that song in my car outside my house.

HG: Describe your perfect breakfast.

H: I’ve got this solid routine at the moment of waking up and frying two eggs over medium, toasting an English muffin, slapping some pb and honey on it, and making a latte. I’m a big proponent of chicken and waffles as well.

HG: Tell me what makes a good song to you.

H: Anything that evokes emotion.

HG: What are your favorite albums in hip-hop? What makes them your favorites?

H: I listened to Graduation almost everyday on my way to and from high school. Aside from anything Kanye, Section.80, You’re Dead!, The Carter III, and Power in Numbers are some of my favorites.

HG: How do you feel about the current state of hip-hop?

H: It’s cool. There’s no use in being scared of progression or innovation within genres. All genres, including hip-hop, are subject to this sort of perpetual evolution. Right now you have several artists creating and employing new flows, bending meter, and incorporating live instruments in their music. I think it’s awesome and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.

HG: A few blogs have labeled your work as “acoustic-rap.” Do you find that label suits your work?

H: Labels are labels, man. If somebody thinks I make pop music, they can think that. The same goes with the acoustic-rap stuff. When I think of acoustic-rap, turn of the decade Ed Sheeran comes to mind, but to each his or her own.

HG: I absolutely love “life like.” The groove, the bars, all are mixed perfectly with some tasty sound effects. How long did it take for that track to be finished? What was the songwriting process like?

H: I think I found that track mid-March and sat on it for about three or four months. I was living in Florida this past summer, so one day I woke up with this killer view and got some really unique inspiration and wrote it. The track fits along in a story of several tracks, but this particular part of the story is offering insight into the character’s delusions of grandeur. I wrote and recorded that day, checked myself for like three weeks, then sent it over to Christian (tyler coolidge). I explained the story to him and he was all for it. He really adorned the track and contributed to this neat, symbiotic songwriting experience I’ve yet to encounter since.

HG: What’s next for you? What can we expect next?

H: I have a few collabs with some really cool dudes being wrapped up in the next few weeks. I’m in school at the moment, so I’ve just accepted this incredibly irregular rhythm of production.

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