Today I am taking a step in the world of hip-hop and R&B as I sit with Gregory Thomas Humrichouser, also known as Hum V. I have known Greg for a long time and used to do work with him before he made his push as a solo rap artist. Having seen him numerous times both solo and with others on stage supporting him, he always brings a packed house and has an MTV sound. His lyrics could be mixed with some of the industries best. Let’s welcome Hum V.
So your name Hum V comes from your full given name, Gregory Thomas Humrichouser. Why the change? (Laughs)
First of all, Thanks for choosing to interview me Ricky; I’m honored and grateful. You’ve definitely been supportive of my career over the years, and I don’t take that for granted. Hum.v just developed from my last name (which NO ONE can pronounce correctly), and has always been what people called me. I guess it just stuck. People have always called me Hummer, Hum, or Hum.v, and I liked Hum.v the best. The V stands for volatile, ha. Plus, I now have this crazy huge buzz so changing my name is not an option.
So I remember the days of the Cleptoz. Are you still working with that project?
The Cleptoz are and always will be one of my main focuses in music. I love to look back and look at what we’ve accomplished together. There is a lot of hating and lack of respect in this Indianapolis hip hop scene (which is why no one has really made it), but at the end of the day, what we’ve achieved is undeniable. The following we’ve consistently had, the buzz, the radio love, the opening slots, the money we’ve made, the fans we’ve touched, and the two incredible albums we’ve released. Most groups dream of accomplishing the things Cleptoz have done with their career, and we did it. We didn’t talk about it, we went out, worked our asses off, and did it. We didn’t sit and talk shit about other groups, we didn’t listen these jealous local schmucks, we stayed focused and worked harder than anyone. We’ve been talking about dropping our third album “Trifecta”, and have recorded a few songs, but its just so hard to keep everyone organized. It’s the real world man, we are busy with real jobs and personal lives. It will come eventually.
Where does your motivation come from in your songwriting?
My real life experiences 100%. My father.
What would you be doing if it weren’t music?
Coordinating Logistics, which is what I do now as my day job. I’m sales manager. I love it.
Have you written or recorded with anyone outside of Indianapolis?
Yes, I’ve recorded music with people from all over, but I like to keep it local as much as possible.
Do you think that being from Indianapolis has helped or hurt your career so far?
Good question, I hear people say all the time “why don’t you move to LA or NYC? If you really wanted to make it, you’d move there”. People who say that are complete morons. Why would I move to a place where there is 10 times the competition? I can understand moving if it was 1985, but with the internet, mp3s, and email, I can reach all those record execs just as easily from here.
Any plans of getting out of the city?
Well not only have I played shows everywhere from Miami to Chicago, and everywhere in between for over 5 years. My single, Look In Your Eyes, is now syndicated on 10 stations, including Nashville, Louisville, Columbus OH, Lexington KY, and Cleveland. The Cleptoz and I have played more shows in more places than most folks only dream about. Milwaukee, Columbus OH, Bloomington, and Lafayette to name a few. I’ve definitely been getting ‘out of the city’.
I have seen your video where you are hanging out in a locker room. Tell me what it was like recording a video.
A lot of fun. Not only did we record that video at Butler University with Butler students, but the two kids we had playing us were awesome to work with. Did I mention that BC from the Cleptoz is one of my best friends ever? Love that dude. Pure fun doing anything with him. I love that song too.
Where can people see that?
MySpace, YouTube, the usual.
What’s the largest crowd you have played for?
We opened for Twista at the Egyptian Room, Opened for the Roots at Clowes Hall and in Milwaukee @ the Rave, Played with Common, Jurrasic 5, Gym Class Heroes, Radio Now Taste of Broad Ripple, and a slew of others. Basically, we’ve played Huge shows that I’ll never forget. However, for every huge show we’ve done, we’ve played two smaller one’s at hole in the wall dive bars across the midwest. I’ve played in front of 10 people before. We still kept the show good though☺
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Being successful and working hard. I know that sounds cheesy as hell, but that’s the truth. I’m always going to pursue my music career, that’s a given. Its in my blood. Regardless, no matter what I do, I’ll be happy and I’ll work harder than anyone else. I just got married, which is exciting. I love my job. I love my music. I can’t complain.
How do you handle being white in an overly saturated African American genre?
Well, I don’t think twice about being a ‘white rapper’, but apparently Capitol Records does. That’s one of the reasons the A&R Research Dept gave me? I see Grey. Its 2009 so I hope people are just judging music on music you know?
When did you first realize that you were going to do music for a living?
There were a lot of things that have happened throughout my career that have led me to take my music so seriously. When I first heard my song on the radio. When Capitol Records and Universal both called me in a two month span. When the Cleptoz and I started touring the midwest in college, and rapping basically became my only income. Lots of
What are you drinking on stage?
Anymore, I’m just drinking beer or water. Not real picky about that. Depends if I’m getting drunk or not I guess. I’m growing up now Ricky, so I don’t get smashed for every show like I used to….Ha.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My Father. Hands down. My father is the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. He taught me that you can make positive music and still be effective. He also taught me that hard work is pays off, which is has. He taught me that the worst thing in the world is being lazy and unmotivated. He showed me that you have to constantly be setting new goals in life. He taught me to stay true to myself and not to think twice about people trying to bring me down. Also, that people trying to bring me down, are simply envious. I love my father more than anyone could ever know. May he rest in piece and look down on me with proud eyes.
You are headlining at Madison Square Garden. Who is your opener?
My opener is an artist who’s worked their ass off, but never been given
the opportunity. My opener is an artist who is grateful for the opportunity and is a great person inside and out. Its anyone who makes
MySpace; good or bad?
I think MySpace and all that shit is dumb, but useful. I haven’t checked my own MySpace in ages. I hear Facebook is where its at, but I honestly would not know. I’m way too busy to be on computer networking sites.
I always let the artist get the last word. Go.
All these jealous haters in this City need to realize that they just fuel my fire with their talking. Seriously, I think its so funny when I hear or read about someone new talking shit about me. I’m like “do they realize that they all know my name and I have no clue who they are? I’m obviously doing something right? I get paid to rap and they play for peanuts. I have a fan base and they play in front of family friends and spouses every show. I write hit songs that people outside of my circle of friends are actually going to listen to. Oh, you think I’m too pop and I write sell out songs? I write songs that I like. Songs that are catchy, clever, and well written. I like pop music and I’m not afraid to admit it. Most people who ‘hate’ on songs and artists on the radio, hate because they don’t have the talent as a writer to make a hit pop song. They also don’t have the networking ability to make it happen. I do. I’m so proud of the things I’ve accomplished with my music its crazy. If you would have told me that my songs would be spinning on 9 major market stations as an unsigned artist, I would have never believed you.