Breaking Boundaries: How T H R O N E is Shaping the Future of Music

Written by: Ferrell Dixon Jr.  
Photographed by: Alexxus B. 


In the dynamic landscape of hip-hop and contemporary sound, the duo T H R O N E is capturing attention with their genre-blending tunes and heartfelt lyrics. Comprised of YVHIKV, an introspective Mvskoke artist, and Hayatheus, an unstoppable creative force, T H R O N E crafts a rich tapestry of influences spanning generations and genres. Together, they are not just creating music; they are forging a movement. This is their story. 


The roots of T H R O N E’s unique sound run deep, drawing from a wellspring of influences that shaped YVHIKV and Hayatheus during their formative years. YVHIKV, with a reflective tone, shares, “Recently, I realized how my adolescent influences have really shaped and stayed with me throughout my life thus far. Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, and Cage The Elephant have been like guiding stars for me.” Hayatheus, always brimming with energy, adds, “Everything I listened to as a kid is still in my mind’s eye. Rappers like Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Lil Wayne, and Jay-Z. But it doesn’t stop there. I’ve got a treasure trove of underground rappers like MF DOOM and Aesop Rock. And then there’s all the Motown, Classic & Latin Rock, Blues, and Jazz my parents put me on to. Oh, and NIN & Gorillaz too. It’s really a lot, a lot.” 


The journey of T H R O N E’s music mirrors the progression of a lifelong friendship. “Our musical evolution has been like the progression in a lifelong friendship,” they explain to ASLUT. “First, we had to open up and become comfortable with showing our awkward, young selves. We started out being super creative and genre-bending.” As their bond deepened, so did their music. “Then we wanted to refine those amalgamated sounds, like having a deeper, sometimes hard conversation. This was when we became more into storytelling and themes, making our music a bit more abstract. Now that our friendship is solid, we just want to have fun, being the mix of everything we were and now are. Though we do still get quite serious sometimes. We’ll always be looking for ways to push for nuance in our music, but a lot of our upcoming style is so much more fun and vibey! We’ve moved closer to a mix and fusion of different genres like Soul, Rap, and Rock in each song we make now, whereas previously we’d kind of pick one per song.” 


Creating music is an intimate dance between inspiration and execution. For YVHIKV, the process is meticulous. “I like to take my time and write and re-write till I love it, or I hate it and won’t be on the song lmaooo. But H is a whole different animal, beast, zoo on that! He is almost never OUT of the creative zone hahaha. So he really inspires me!” Hayatheus, ever the dynamo, laughs, “I’m basically always on. I’m always writing. I write a couple of songs every day, and I try to record every day. For ritual though, I definitely prefer to record in the morning and I prefer to write whenever I’m supposed to be doing something else haha.” 


YVHIKV’s vision for their music is both profound and practical. “It really has to do with what I think I can execute. My goal when I decide to go a lil ‘tradish’ is two things: to make art that fills the gap between ‘contemporary’ and ‘traditional’ Indigenous art, and then to also make it something that anybody could love and relate to. There’s such a huge amount of Indigenous artwork that can’t get recognition because it’s too modern, and then what’s traditional is too niche, and it can’t get the opportunity to grow! So we try to fill in that missing piece. H has always helped me decide what is too safe and what might be too risky haha and I’ve tried to do the same for him too.” 


The pandemic, a time of isolation for many, sparked a moment of innovation for T H R O N E. Hidden Renaissance was born out of necessity and creativity. “We really created it out of need for connection and collaboration during the pandemic,” they explain. “Originally we wanted to do something similar but IRL rather than online. We were fresh into music as a duo and no longer able to meet and make in-person connections and do collaborations that way. So with no following or way to show our potential, we went online. Finding tons of unknown artists and asking them to recommend others, we’d check them out, reach out, and ask them to do the same thing again, and again. Doing this, we managed to make connections with many who were cool af and willing to work with us, so we decided to make a server on Discord to host everyone. We’ve had competitions, community albums, listening parties, and there’s even been one official show in NYC not too long ago. We’re pretty proud of the fact we’ve made a small impact on the community’s love and longevity of making music and we’re excited to do a lot more with the small but powerful platform we built.” 


Hidden Renaissance has not only provided a platform for collaboration but also fueled their own artistic growth. “Overall, it really made us want to break our limitations,” they reflect. “We met so many incredible artists from different places and with different styles, they really inspired us to get better, particularly inspiring for Y to get better at rapping and H to get better at singing. It’s definitely the same for HR people, as everyone opened up to collab with each other and blend their styles together. Oh and importantly, seeing how GOOD everyone is really lights a fire in people, cuz you might be the best in your friend group, but in HR? GOOD LUCK, people there are crazy talented,” they say. 


For T H R O N E, community is at the heart of everything they do. “It’s the foundation and focal point of everything we do,” they say passionately. “As T H R O N E we are a duo and constant collab and we view everyone we work closely with as an honorary member of T H R O N E and we always take care of our own. Every song and piece of art we make, is an opportunity for a community event, to build something together, and we believe the best things in the world are made by groups of people, not individuals,” they tell ASLUT. 


Looking ahead, T H R O N E is brimming with excitement for their upcoming projects. “We have so much new music on the way it’s actually kind of crazy. But the biggest thing that’s coming soon is kind of a trilogy of odes to the underground. The first is focused on H, the second on Y, and the third is us going bar for bar on the whole project,” they reveal. Their boundless creativity knows no limits. “Well, basically we are branching out to the maximum. We love so many different kinds of music and want to make all of it! Whether it’s those new and different genres themselves or a big fusion. We just are gonna do whatever we feel like haha,” they tell ASLUT. 


With Hidden Renaissance, T H R O N E hopes to amplify Indigenous voices and push the boundaries of Indigenous music. “We really want to bring more Indigenous artists into the Hidden Renaissance community. There are several folks already in there, but as we build the platform it’d be so cool to make projects with all Indigenous artists, like big mixtapes, even with different genres. But our main goal along with creating a bigger community of Indigenous artists is to push the boundaries of Indigenous music. We want the next generation after us to be even more free with their expression and with more opportunities. We know that this way, the future of Indigenous art will reach new territory. It’ll be alive and well as it grows, reaching new heights,” they share. 


Their advice to other artists is heartfelt and poignant. “Don’t lose heart! And realize that your biggest impacts might not be measurable! The world will make you feel like you’re being punished for trying to help others, like you get nothing back, but you have to realize that giving is a reward in and of itself; it’s an act that enriches your soul. And that over time you will find like-minded and generous friends who will help amplify your dreams.” 

 T H R O N E envisions a future where Indigenous representation in the music industry continues to grow and flourish. “Oh, it’s only going to get bigger and more awesome. We’re excited to participate and help in any way we can, especially if it includes inspiring more participants, connecting the underground, and uplifting anyone who is taking risks or making difficult and complex art. That’s our realm fr haha.” 


Through their music and the community they’ve built with Hidden Renaissance, T H R O N E is not just a duo; they are a movement, a force for creativity, collaboration, and cultural celebration. Their journey is just beginning, and the world is eager to see where it will lead.