Exclusive Interview with SAYMYNAME: Godfather of HARDTRAP

Photo Credit: Paul Oshiro

SAYMYNAME is talented as he is tall. Bursting onto the scene with a one-of-a-kind sound he introduced to the world as #HARDTRAP, he packs festival stages and clubs around the world, sending fans into a frenzy over his frenetic, hard hitting sound. Hard Summer was no different as he made the transition from the Green Tent in 2017 to the HARDER Stage on Saturday of this year’s event. Festival Squad got to sit down with the man himself mere moments before he took the stage.

You’re really one of the pioneers of this great blend of trap and hardstyle – how did the hardstyle influence come into play?

From Headhunterz. He was and still is a huge influence on my music. My first remix was actually a Showtek remix, so I had been dabbling in the hardstyle sound a bit along with hip hop. Keep it super aggressive but keep the hip hop and it’s gotten a huge response. That was in 2012 so it’s been a while!

You head to Asia in a few days on tour. How do audiences over there compare to the US? What’s their reaction to your style? 

Yes I’m doing a 10 show run there. They love it, it took me by surprise cause I always assumed Asia was more of a bass music or house scene but they love trap they love hardstyle and they love dubstep. Every show I’ve done there has been crazy – some of the craziest moments.

Some fans may not know this but you have a degree in Advertising and PR – that’s had to have come in handy in this industry. Any specific situations you were happy to have that in your back pocket?

It has been. I’ve taken a lot from my marketing classes and actually used it to understand the process of growing my brand. I can say what I learned in my classes I’ve applied to my career. It wasn’t an immediate result, it was something I started to see probably about 3-4 years down the line, like this is working. It’s so important today.

Hard Summer always has such a great mix of gritty artists – anyone you’re looking forward to specifically?

Suicide Boys – this will be my first time catching them and I’ve been a fan for years. A lot of the homies are on the lineup who I’m going to try to catch too.

You’re name on Soundcloud is Chef SAYMYNAME with so it invites the question – what’s your go to pre or post show meal? 

It depends – I usually like to go light. If it’s a daytime show I’ll probably have a burrito but if it’s a nighttime show I might have a sandwich. I do a lot of jumping so…no pizzas!

I couldn’t help but notice when I took a closer look at your Soundcloud you like some A State of Trance tracks and I know you’re an Armin fan from way back. Your EDC set even had some psy sprinkled in. Is hard trance a direction you might go in?

Yeah, I have more psytrance, no hard trance or melodic trance really.

Your debut in Vegas is Encore Beach Club at the end of the month. Anything special planned or just gonna blow the doors off like we know you’re capable of?

Coming from a hip hop world I’m going to use this as an opportunity to really play a lot of the hip hop that I love and still blend it with dance music and really catch a vibe. I’m gonna give the fans what they love and really try to have something for everyone.

SAYMYNAME went on to literally ignite the HARDER Stage in 100 degree weather, complete with his loyal fan base waving logo’d flags wildly and while others enthusiastically headbanged to the bass. Keep up with SAYMYNAME on social media and don’t sleep on buying a ticket when he comes to your town!

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