Shae District — Building Ethereal Meadows and Jagged Cliffs of Sound

Shae District
Photo by Jas Kitterman.

The massive umbrella genre of electronic music has always been an intricate playground for modern-day musicians. That’s exactly what Denver-based house duo, Shae District represents — the nostalgic, exciting feeling of your butt flying out of your seat at the pinnacle of an almost-too-high swing set. The philosophical deep-house duo exists at the intersection of wave music, rave music and EDM. The result? A sonic melting pot of nocturnal emotion and experimental soundscapes.

Shae District will be featured on the 303 Music Vinyl Volume 5, set to release on May 6th.

“It’s a love song, a moment of time when both parties realize they’re onto ‘something good.’ The song is an early experimentation a vocally forward song that feels good and wraps you like a warm blanket. It is a bit of a deviation from what we’re putting out now, so we decided to make it exclusive for the 303 vinyl.” commented Shae District.

Shae District

Both Andrew Parpart, (producer, songwriter, and visual artist) and Debjit Das (vocalist, producer, songwriter, and pianist) have dedicated their lives and creative energy to producing music that washes over the soul. Originally from Chicago and New Jersey respectively, the two met at the University of Illinois and began a lifelong friendship.

Studying physics, math and electrical engineering, Das and Parpart bonded over their appreciation of trap hip-hop samples and bass-heavy music. “So much creativity goes into academic problem-solving,” Parpart said of his college experience. Eventually, they began DJing frat parties and small events on campus. This shift in careers for both members is not something they take lightly. On paper, it may look like a surprising or impulsive decision. But, in actuality, the life-altering decision happened organically. Parpart described their journey into music as the choice to “open up the bounds of creative problems by switching to a different language like music.”

Shae District

As both musicians were finding their life path in real-time, they were discovered by a prominent artist in the edm/wave music scene. During their final year of school (2017) J’ai Wolf asked Shae District to join the tour, visiting twelve different cities as an opener. This was both a life and career-changing experience, as they were able to see what being on tour was truly like. “We got to see what this life is like really early on,” Das said. “We thought, ‘this is awesome, this is totally for us.’”

The pair reminisced on a show in Salt Lake City that felt like the first real acknowledgment of their art, as the crowd wasn’t full of friends, but strangers and fans. Growing as artists surrounded by friends and supporters created an interesting shift once the group hit the road. The appreciation from fans outside of their community was thrilling and helped spur the group to continue on the path they had chosen.

Das referred to the era they came up in as the “golden years of sound cloud,” and emphasized the malleable music scene that was evolving online within the edm scene in particular. Now, the group is excited by the use of live instruments and strong driving vocals. “We are trying to do more with less,” Das said. He also insisted that elements in each song just have to be “interesting enough, that it’s all you need.” For Shae District, there’s no need to put pressure on perfectionism. At the end of the day, that’s not really what creativity is about.

As life continued to evolve, the pair decided to migrate south to Denver in 2018, excited by the accessible music scene and the idea of becoming a part of it. The move was two-fold: Parpart could be closer to family and the duo could be in a vibrant city that seemed like “a place to grow and nurture.”

Shae Distric’s goal is to continue growing its fan base, releasing music and touring as far and wide as possible.

Shae District

Edm continues to spread across the globe, churning and shifting with different cultural influences. With aspirations of creating an international sound, both members are fascinated by a musician’s ability to be popular in drastically different places. Cross-cultural relevance is fascinating and extremely validating for any artist.

In their recent releases, dramatic vocal lines stand at the forefront of each song, asking larger questions or discussing spiritual topics as the instrumentals slowly evolve out of the shadows of chords. Ethereal sound wraps a comforting arm around listeners as beats create space for melodies to echo within. Das discussed the importance of being able to “hit a chord” with their music, and their audience, by leaning into a sound that dives deep below surface level.

After some dispersed singles this year, Shae District released the four-track EP, Another Day on Friday, March 24th. This “cathartic and emotive release,” made with Matt Ha on piano and Nick Jenkins (Blookah) on the drum kit, takes an intriguingly experimental route with a more traditional band setup.

Shae District will be playing at Larimer Lounge on June 24th with a headliner that has yet to be announced. Head to Instagram, their website or Spotify to be the first to know about upcoming releases and tour dates.

All photography by Jas Kitterman

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