St. Christoph & Shaade

by the partae

Where are you currently based?

Sydney, Australia

How did you first start playing music?

I first started recording rap demos of all my high school friends. People would find out that I did this and basically try to get me to record their shit too. I started sampling all the CDs I had at the time and building drum tracks and mixing with instrumental intros of songs. (like the “Horses” intro instrumental part over drum beats i’d make lol) It was really a guise to try and get my shit done too until i met a better producer.

What’s been happening recently and how has your Covid experience been?

Apart from being universally shitty, the silver lining for Covid shutting down gigs and venues is that we’ve had the time and capacity to get into the studio and create music. I don’t think people realise how much actual effort and energy gigging and being constantly out takes from you. With restrictions we’ve had the energy to stay in the studio and make music. Even the times when we are  not in the studio just thinking about the project and pushing it, doing all the other things that go along with pushing an artist project. You never really have that when your focus is taken up by other things 24/ 7. We’ve basically thrown ourselves into creating. We’ve finished this EP and have the structure for the next one set out.

Your new EP ‘Big Mood’ will be out November 27, what influenced the sound and songwriting?

It’s us taking the energy of the 90s/2000s hip hop and R&b and making the stuff that feels good to us. It’s a nostalgic nod but an ever evolving thing too. As music makers first we really just wanted to make stuff that resonates and give us a good feeling. A ”big mood”. 

How did you go about writing Big Mood?

St Christoph is the producer half who drives the production and beats, and we both go in together and build the rest. We look at this project as an outlet not only for us but for our growing little STCXSH community featuring other artists, songwriters and creatives. So it’s a collaborative effort. I don’t need to rap and sing every hook and verse. If we think something might sound good with another voice or texture we lean into that from our network. As i said leaning into that 90s/2000s energy we just wanted songs to stand alone and be a mood in itself. Which all turns into the “Big Mood” as a collection. 

Topic wise were drawing from real life. If that’s a relationship it’s definitely something we’ve been through. If that’s talking about sitting on the sidelines waiting for a chance to do our thing that’s real. That’s been us our whole career even before this project. If you listen to the songs that just us and our personality dialed to 11. For example with our song WFT I think I had to rewrite the verses on that a few times because it got too real. I couldn’t listen to the song without taking me to a dark place so I had to change a whole chunk of it. As a writer it’s good therapy.

Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with?

St Christoph handles all the production in house. He’s really driving this sonically. He’s constantly putting together beat packs and then we both go in and see what resonates for both of us. See what beats move us and where we can take it. If we can catch a vibe on a song well chase it down a rabbit hole and see where we end up. Collaboration wise we’ve been leaning on our network. On this EP we’ve got a featured collab with Jade Alice but the collabs go deeper with contributors ranging from  Voli K, to Maddy Rowe and True Vibenation. 

We recorded, mixed and mastered all of this at our home at Studios 301. Mixing wise we’ve used St Christoph, Stefan Du Randt (Boomchild, Rissa) and Simon Cohen for some additional vocal production and mixing (Justin Beiber, Startley,  Illy) Mastering we’ve got both the legend Leon Zervos and Ben Feggans on the finishing touches.

How did you approach the recording/production process?

What programs/equipment did you use?

What did you find most challenging and rewarding during the creation of Big Mood?

I think the most rewarding part is creating an extended body of work and being able to package that up. Not just focusing on one track and waiting to see if that hits before you roll into the next. Our label Be Rich have really given us the freedom to do that. That way we can basically be true to each song without trying to make them “everything in one” and force them to be something else. It’s like “hey were making a long form project” not just trying to ram everything into one song. It gives each song a chance to breathe. We’re here for the long run, not just a few singles.

The challenging part for me has been keeping up with everyone’s expectations (and mainly my own). I find it really intimidating sometimes if a hook and a super dope beat are there already there and people have high hopes for what’s coming next. (My parts lol) For instance Casual and WTF already had hooks on them before I started writing. I think everyone even wanted WTF to be a single without my verses even on it!!! So I’m like settle the fuck down guys. No pressure or anything lol

What do you like to do away from music?

Talk a whole bunch of shit, throw “shaade” at people, online shop for bargains and eat food with friends. We’ve both engineered our lives around music and the industry 24/7 so the “away from music” is a hard one. I think it’s to try and spend time with friends and fam and get grounded as much as possible.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Right now I’m listening to a whole bunch of old school garage music, some afrobeat and some old school hip hop shit. Some THEY., Jorja Smith, Tyler The Creator and some Drake. I’ve just started bumping Kanye – My Dark Twisted Fantasy again on the 10 year anniversary of it’s release.

What’s planned for the remainder of 2020 going into 2021?

After we drop BIG MOOD. I think we’re gonna get back into EP mode and try to finish the next and add some new songs so it’s a cohesive body of work. I’m already convinced that we have the songs (all finished in my head) but I have to convince everyone else. It’s gonna be more of evolving our sound and pushing the boundaries. We’ve got a whole new bunch of collaborators lined up. It’s really us leaning more into our community and making music with people we love and respect. This year was about building a solid foundation for us. Next year is about pushing those boundaries even more while doubling down on just making good songs.

Outside of STCXSH, we’ve been collaborating on projects for nearly 10 years together now, so I think we find common ground in making music that we want rather than appeasing certain people. I Feel we’re both positioned as underdogs no matter how long we’ve been doing this or whatever the project so we just want to make good music we love. I’m not sure how that goes down sometimes but it makes my soul happy.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

If you watch our videos or are following on IG you know we aren’t shy about eating hahah. I think I associate sharing a meal with someone as a form of endearment and love. If you like someone you eat with them! Burgers, fast food and hangs is the vibe. It’s a tradition that when our team is around we do burgers, shakes  and hangs. Usually uber eats to wherever we are or the studio. The Newmarket Hotel/ Manhattan Super Bowl is our local hang near the studio. We’re also hanging out to get to Peanut Butter Bar in Leichhardt as well with the crew. We got offered a year’s supply of tacos from El Sol Mexican in Cronulla so we gotta hit that soon too. Philly Up food truck is a big mood we’ve frequented as well.

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