Hare Squead Biography
Way beyond, across the pond, Hare Squead are quickly making a name for themselves. Hip-Hop and Ireland may seem like two points on opposite ends of the spectrum but the now-band of two, comprised of Tony Konstone and Lilo Blues, are imprinted within both worlds and look at themselves as more than just an anomaly.
“We make music and it's just good music, we just happen to be from Ireland and happen to be Black,” Blues says. “I don’t want that to be the narrative.”
Konstone, Blues and former third member, Jessy Rose, have been making music together since 2013, developing their electric chemistry and fluidity in a sound that combines multiple genres of music. The name Hare Squead is a flip of the words square head. Konstone, Blues and Rose chose Hare Squead as the name of the group in tribute to the fact they all had high-top fades when they first met.
Lilo Blues is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and producer who learned mainly from watching YouTube videos. As a teenager, he cut his teeth musically playing in church, and still retains a passion for worship music. Konstone’s creativity stemmed from a childhood love of poetry, which fostered his love for music.
In 2016, the group found success outside of their local scene with "Long Way to Go” and took advantage of that by dropping their Supernormal EP. The standout single off the EP, "Herside Story," quickly became a favorite, which led to Goldlink including a remix of the group’s song on his At What Cost album in 2017. Combined, “Herside Story” has amassed over 40 million streams on Spotify to-date. Also in 2017, the group released two acclaimed singles "Flowers" and "Pure," which earned more than 5 million combined streams on Spotify alone. However, as success builds, unexpected turns can arise to derail everything.
The following two years were less rewarding. Jessy began to suffer from mental health issues. This ultimately resulted in Hare Squead exiting their major label deal, and Rose leaving the group to focus on his solo project.
“It was a lot of things going on internally, serious issues at that. We tried to help Jessy, but a part of us feels like we should have done more. These issues are very complex and sometimes confusing, for friends and family, as much as it is for the person going through it.” Lilo continues. “We pray for his well-being everyday and we go see him a lot. It’s so unfortunate but it’s life and it could have been anybody. It’s a very serious and delicate situation.”
While Rose was seeking treatment throughout the last couple of years, Tony and Lilo continued to make music together, honing their craft so when things settled down, they would be ready to reclaim the momentum they once had.
“I know that there was this magic there with the three of us and I know that there’s magic here with just the two of us,” he explains. “Musically, we’re making so much amazing music. I feel like even with the songs that the world has heard before when we were a trio, we didn't get a chance to fully express ourselves and fully show our capabilities musically. But I feel like the more that we put out music and the more music we have, people will see that we’re not just these two rappers from the “Herside Story” beat. It’s not that at all.”
After an 18-month absence from the spotlight, in February 2019, Hare Squead made their return with “100 Miles,” a bubbly, guitar-driven single that was inspired by the emotional vulnerability of Aretha Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer.” The group plans to release two EPs this year and re-introduce themselves to the world as a formidable talent.
“We’re coming and we’re coming for the world. Our music, the music that we’re making, we have no other option but to get there. We have to get there.”
This is their story now.
Words by Emmanuel Maduakolam