With a deep respect for the fundamentals of the art form, this talented young rapper continues to refine his style by focusing on lyricism, unique flows and the never-ending hustle that is essential to achieving greatness.
A descendant of a rich musical lineage, happytree’s own mother was a Detroit rapper during her late teens. Even after retiring from the craft, her influence helped lay the foundations for her son to follow, with happytree recalling being enchanted by an endless supply of hip-hop instrumental CDs on which his mom would rap along to.
However he was only a music lover at this stage. It wasn’t until freshman sophomore year that he began rapping and making music for himself. Armed with the singing and harmony skills he picked up from choir, happytree’s first live performance came during a school show, where he took to the stage and flexed his head-turning natural ability.
After gaining the respect of his peers and generating a buzz at the local level, he was ready to take things to the next level. Reflecting on that period, happytree stresses the importance of Outkast, and more specifically Andre 3000, on his musical development, describing him as “the goat” and modelling his own style on this game-changing icon.
Delivering sweet and soulful vocals mixed with thoughtful bars, happytree’s talent immediately captured the attention of hip-hop enthusiasts across the country. Debut EP ‘In Due Time’ is a case in point: a critically-acclaimed record that has since amassed more than 7.5 million combined Spotify streams and featured viral hit single ‘S.O.S.’.
Similarly lauded follow-up EPs came in the form of ‘CANVAS’ and ‘Gravitropism’, before happytree decided to drop his hotly-anticipated debut album, THRUTHEFOREST. Citing the LP as one of his biggest achievements to date, he wrote, produced, recorded and mastered the whole thing himself – cementing his status as a talented, self-sustainable young artist determined to forge his own path.
Two years on, happytree is now ready for a shift in sonic direction. New single ‘Don’t Fight It’, co-produced by happytree and Jack Laboz, takes an exciting step forward into the world of house-rap, a daring genre crossover that happytree seems well equipped to tackle. A house jam that aims to beam positive energy into the world and help people dance away all of their negative thoughts and energy, the track is about staying true to yourself without fighting yourself.
But for happytree, questions of genre and style are inconsequential. “There’s so many different genres now,” he says.