Harv Hustle, aka Clinton Harvey Hendricks, started song-writing and performing in 2008 as a tool to help him get through the unspeakable things he witnessed and what he battled, both physically and mentally, while serving in the US Army. After losing friends and family to gang violence, he joined the army, serving first in South Korea, then in Iraq after 9/11. Born in Dallas, Texas, and raised in Stockton, California, he now lives in Austin, Texas.
“My image is real,” Harv Hustle says. “I don’t just tell people that, I show them, through my music. My music is for everyone because of everything I’ve been through. I know people can relate. I’m ready for my story to be heard.” -HHP
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
HARV HUSTLE: Born in Garland, Texas but raised in California. Spent most of my childhood in Santa Maria in the Central Coast and my teenage years up north in Stockton until I was about 18. I joined the military when I was 18 and moved around the world for a few years before finally settling in Austin, Texas the end of 2006. I have been here since.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
HARV HUSTLE: I actually used to beat box for cyphers growing up in Stockton, California so I would say that that is when my real background started. I was always intrigued by music but never knew that I would actually start making my own until the end of 2008 going into ’09, wrote my first song then and I haven’t stopped since. Tried the production thing for a couple of years, dabbled in to engineering, before finally making a name and making connection with people who really knew how to produce and engineer. So I finally decided to just focus on being an artist.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
HARV HUSTLE: My music comes from the heart; every single record you have ever heard me on is I and completely I. I have never used a ghostwriter, so my songs are about me, my life, and my interpretation of life. I feel I am very well rounded as an artist so I can dive into just about any topic and my music is definitely real and straight from the heart and soul.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your favorite song to perform and why?
HARV HUSTLE: I have a few songs that I perform in my shows religiously because first and foremost as an independent, most crowds I have performed in front of haven’t seen me perform before. Second, they tell a tale about me and it gets me going through my set so that the fans get a better idea of the type of person I am. My favorite song would have to be “Get To Know Me” though, the vibe of the track, the baseline and the energy in it is ridiculous and the crowd grabs it more than the others in my opinion. The song has a lot of meaning in it as well lyrically, so that would definitely be my choice as my favorite to perform.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What has surprised you the most in the pursuit of a career in music?
HARV HUSTLE: The passion I have at this point has grown so deep that I could never turn away from music, I would have to be involved with it in one way or another. When I first started back in ’08-’09 I did it as a hobby to as of now I am actually pursuing it as a career and have been putting my time and money towards making it a career. My biggest surprise would have to be how much people believe and grasp on to my music through my words and the respect I get from people I wouldn’t think would normally would. I think the industry is tough and climbing up the ranks has not been an easy road but the drive comes from the support and the support has definitely been humbling and surprising at times.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
HARV HUSTLE: Where do I start? I grew up out west and the 90’s had a huge influence on me musically. I listened to rap music for the most part and some R&B, but influentially, artists like Ice Cube, Dr. Dre/Snoop, DJ Quick and E-40 out west were whom I listened to most in the early years. Going into the middle towards late 90’s I got a little more into the east coast sound and listened to Wu-Tang, Meth and Red, Eric Sermon, Noriega, and Pun. Since moving south it’s been Outkast, UGK, and a fair share of Houston artists in the deck as it is more prevalent in the clubs down south. My biggest influence, nonetheless, and someone I would want to learn and work with because of the business savvy is Jay Z. He has shown the world decade after decade how to put quality music out and also do business outside of the rap game. You have to respect what he has done in his career.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
HARV HUSTLE: I feel I am the epitome of “reality” music. I don’t sugar coat my music and I don’t hold back in my music. The reason why I feel people like my music is because I can tell a story through experience first hand. I have never claimed to be a punch line rapper or battle type rapper, I just paint a picture through words through the experiences I have had.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
HARV HUSTLE: Not even going to lie, I feel my story and drive separate me from the majority. I am a combat veteran, a father/dad, a spouse, and an entrepreneur. I know everyone has a story and I respect every artist, but my drive for success, and the life I have endured through hasn’t been done by many especially at my age. I have been through so much and I am still blessed enough to be here and I really try to give people motivation to endure anything through my music.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What would you like to see changed in today’s music industry?
HARV HUSTLE: My personal opinion is that music has become saturated with a lot of the same sound so the quality today isn’t what it used to be even a decade ago. Don’t get me wrong, there are dope artists out there still and they can put their words together better than others but yeah, I think too many artists sound alike, not enough originals in the game!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?
HARV HUSTLE: I am currently working on my third solo album entitled “Freedom Of Speech”. I have two already out on my website www.harvhustle.com, my first solo “Twisted And Gifted” and my newest “Despicable G’ with my headlining track “Get To Know Me”. My next second big single called “Hatin” will be released soon for the world to hear and has my fam Rymeezee out of San Francisco and Synn Bonafide out of Boston featured on it. The track is produced by L1VE Beats out of the Denver area. Be looking for that to drop soon, it’s serious lol.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
HARV HUSTLE: I really aspire to grow in everything I do and I have a business mentality. I am still learning and by no means know it all, but in 10 years I would love to be in a position to write checks and bring out the best artists to the hip-hop scene as well as goals of owning multiple businesses in different fields. Helping people cope with PTSD is one of my goals in life as I have been diagnosed with it because of the combat I endured in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
HARV HUSTLE: My personal website www.harvhustle.com is the best way to find me; it has my links to every other main site including Facebook, instagram, and Twitter. It also has links for iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play to buy as well.
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