Kiefer Ian aka ‘SHXPS’ is a producer, DJ and artist from Indianapolis and Ball State University. He combines electronic, trap and hip-hop sounds into one well groomed and experimental product.
SHXPS‘ sound and craft as an artist is something that has been in the works for a while. In a time where electronic/dance and hip-hop music have been ruling the mainstream, the Indianapolis native combines both into a smooth yet experimental sound. “Daft Punk and (Graduation) Kanye West are aesthetics that are very essential to me. Sweet chords and layering. I love Daft Punk’s wonky production. I feel, for my music, I make it for any particular mood. When Kanye is on stage he is not just rapping, he is taking you on a trip, that is what I want to capture.” stated SHXPS.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have met up with SHXPS and conversed with him about his career, influences and what makes his music what it is.
Max Denari: So, what was the album that changed your view on artistry?
SHXPS: In recent times, The Life of Pablo. It was challenging, not just for me but for all his listeners. It was very unstructured. There were a lot of ideas, and you have to sit through it from beginning to end. Not just one simple message. Talking about himself, his ego, his love life. He really goes in and out of himself. I think that is very ambitious as an artist. He did it for himself. The sound was all over the place, but well orchestrated.
Electronic wise, Discovery by Daft Punk. The sampling and how the songs were made. How the vocals were done. Just all around exquisitely done.
MD: What genres do you consider your craft to fall under?
SHXPS: It definitely falls into the ‘EDM’ umbrella. There are darker sounds, heavier trap sounds.
MD: What thoughts do you have for the Indianapolis hip-hop scene currently? Where do you see it all going?
SHXPS: When it comes to the Indy hip-hop scene, it’s all about your connections and the true friends that you have. They will be the ones who get you somewhere in life. However; the most success comes from staying in your own lane and being you. With that mentality, the Indy hip-hop scene will continue to grow.
SHXPS released his debut full-length project “Shxps Theorem” this last year. With 12 songs and a total run time of 54 minutes, he delves into captivating house beats, trap bangers and creative loops throughout the track listing. “Vanilla Sprite” Featuring Duke Jordan and Scotty Apex shows SHXPS’ ability to craft a modern hip-hop tune as well. This is a very versatile release, and definitely one to check out.
Check out SHXPS’ work below: