“There are POC artists out there making this type of music, even though it’s a predominantly white scene.” – SHLVES
The element of mystery exists as a fluid concept in the music industry. While some artists prefer to portray themselves as a decorated persona (think Sia, MF Doom, Daft Punk), others have formed an alter-ego (think Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce, or Nicki Minaj’s Roman). The more common straight shooters will go for sharing an authentic version of themselves with their audience (Taylor Swift, Adele, Sade). Wigs, makeup, props and clothing can disguise an identity, but what happens when there is no face to the art? When there is no element of mystery, only mystery itself? In the corner of New York City you will find a world that seamlessly blends pop music with electronic hyper-bass, vintage fashion references with futuristic worlds, and identity with mystery. Meet SHLVES, the latest enigma of pop music.
Debuting their first EP, McQueen, at the end of this summer- SHLVES is hoping to gain momentum in the competitive world of pop and fashion. Their incognito approach to ambiguous aestheticism, forward thinking fashion, and vibrant music creates a world in which art has no preconceived labels. The only constant is their fresh take on classic DJ beats which serves to seamlessly pair with their runway favorites: Pyer Moss, A-Cold-Wall, and Alexander McQueen, their EP’s namesake and inspiration. Specifically his last runway show, Atlantis.
But who is behind the name? Three self-identified POCs who are claiming space in electronic music composition and fashion, worlds often associated with whiteness. Having been pushed out of these spaces, SHLVES’ music stemmed from a desire to dismantle the preconceived notion of the pop musician/composer/purveyor of fashion. Rather than following the rigid guidelines of an industry that labels POC artist’s contributions strictly under the umbrella of “Urban”, SHLVES utilizes transferable beats and compositions that transcends a singular platform combined with the element of mystery to disrupt the genre and assert themselves as both its authentic and original creators.
SHLVES debut single, Boy, will be released on July 17th, 2020, with the full EP, McQueen, following shortly in August.
1. Where were you born? Where are you based?
2. What is your earliest memory of music? Our earliest memory of music is watching music videos in a baby swing.
3. What is the one advice you wish you had while coming up as an artist? Learn everything, keep going, be consistent, and don’t be afraid to experiment or put things out! Also vulnerability is the key to connection
4. How do you stay inspired? Films, interior design, and documentaries about visionary artists really allow us to tunnel vision and get into a focused space to create.
5. What do you hope to communicate through this project? Would love to communicate through this project that there are POC artists out there making this type of music, even though it’s a predominantly white scene. The mission is to educate people that all music is rooted in black culture.
6. If you could ask Alexander McQueen one question, what would it be? Why didn’t you listen to Simon?
7. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would you? Why? France, Japan, and Columbia
8. You’re stranded on a colorless island and you have to paint it using only three colors. What colors do you choose? Blue, Pink and Purple
9. Name three songs you could listen to on repeat. “Action” – Terror Fabolous, “Sweet Thing” – Dijon , “Perfect”- LSDXOXO
10. Someone offers to buy you a work of art – price, era doesn’t matter – what’d you ask them to buy? Any installation piece from NONOTAK or Water Lilies II (1908) by Claude Monet