With his new EP “Hey Friend”, HaSizzle wants to show people that whatever they think they know about him, there is a lot more.
“I’m an artist,” says Hasan “HaSizzle” Matthews, “and people tend to forget I’m an artist. They just look at me as the guy bouncing the music when I do a whole lot more than just bouncing the music.
“Hey friend”, that was out this weekend, is HaSizzle’s first studio project – a surprising fact given his track record. He was make music and play for more than 15 years; released a number of live albums; has been sampled by Drake, Lil Nas X, Lil Wayne and more; has fans in Megan you stallion and Big Freedia; and chances are you’ve heard “Getcha Sum” around New Orleans a hundred times in the past year. A loving following has grown behind the musician and producer due to his charisma stage presence and unmissable twerking shows at Dragon’s Den.
But HaSizzle wants more.
“Timberland went live and was producing live, and he started sampling my voice, and I was like, ‘Oh, wow,'” he says. “And it’s so crazy that a lot of people – some people know this – but they still don’t know HaSizzle’s face. Doing this EP in the studio will open a door where people can see that “OK let’s take this guy seriously”.
The seven-track “Hey Friend” includes studio versions of several songs that HaSizzle has been performing live, some for years. “Bounce It Biggity Bounce It” and “Soulja” – a version of which was sampled by Drake for his 2016 song “Child’s play” — have been HaSizzle staples since the start of his career. Here, “Soulja” features a verse from Baton Rouge rapper HD4President.
HaSizzle opens the EP with “Bitch Don’t Play”, and later 3D Na’Tee and Kayla Jasmine from New Orleans appear on the song “Wanna Be Love”. Frequent HaSizzle collaborator Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph is featured on popular track “Getcha Sum” and recent single “Wine,” and the EP ends with her song “FYA.”
“’The wine’ stands out because it is different. It’s bounce, but it’s that reggae-like feeling of bounce,” says HaSizzle. “It’s a style that so many people have been trying to pitch to me for years.”
HaSizzle has always stood out for his voice, which he uses versatilely as an instrument, singing scat to machine gun cadences. On “Hey Friend”, we hear him sing and rap more. He chose to include more lyrics and voice work to prove a point, he says.
A while ago, HaSizzle says, he was listening to a hip-hop conversation on the Clubhouse audio app, when users started talking about bouncy music.
“They were talking about whether bounce music was suitable for hip-hop, and saying bounce was drag rap and so on and all kinds of things,” he says.
His name came up, and while people liked his music, users said he wasn’t “hip-hop enough because I didn’t write lyrics to their standards and like all these other rappers do.” , he adds.
“Once they said that, I was like, ‘Oh, well, let’s not use that I’m not ‘hip-hop enough’ not to be able to do that. I choose not to do this; I choose to do what works for me,” says HaSizzle. “With this studio EP, I wanted to let people see – OK, everyone’s sampling me, a lot of people don’t give me my credit, so I’m going to take all this negativity and wrap it all up: bounce, hip- hop, sample myself, everything. Whatever they said I couldn’t do, it’s to prove that I can do it.
HaSizzle got into his mom’s bouncy music listening to MC T. Tucker and DJ Irv while growing up around New Orleans, including on the Calliope projects. When he was in school, he was “the music guy”, walking in the band, playing trumpet and bass drum. “I would type on the desk and start rolling my tongue and imitating things I had heard from other rebound artists,” he says.
He began recording music in 2004, and “Bounce It Biggity Bounce It” and “Soulja’s” predecessor, “She Rode That Dick Like A Soulja”, followed in 2005. “Ninety-eight percent of the time,” says HaSizzle, he writes new music live and on stage. He’s always improvising, “and it might be the same beat, but something different hits me and I go with it.”
Over the years, HaSizzle has released several live albums, wanting to capture the energy of their live shows. His last, “The Voice 4: Church of Twerk,” came out in 2020.
“I try to get people who don’t dance to dance,” says HaSizzle. “My goal is this: we live once, and by living once, keep at least one memory of having fun and having fun.”
“Hey Friend” is now streaming on major platforms. Find more HaSizzle at hasizzlethevoice.com.
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