Shy Guy Says, EDM artist from Bloomington, is bringing the Mushroom Kingdom to Mojostock. With his recently released tracks, “The Hellephant II” and “2 Tha Flo (VIP)”, Shy Guys plans to bring his own unique style of Trap/Twerk EDM to the festival.
With Mojostock less than two weeks away, we wanted to ask Shy Guy a few questions about his music. Below, he chats with us about how he became Shy Guy, the inspiration and vision for his productions, and his love for both Bloomington (where he resides) and Indy (where he performs often and has a dedicated fan base).
MOJO: Out of all the characters in the Mario universe, what made you want to name yourself after the Shy Guy? How did you know this was a perfect fit for the music you were going to produce?
Shy Guy: I always felt Shy Guy was underrepresented in the world of Super Mario, and thought that a lot could be done to reinterpret his image into the sort of anti-hero that I’d like him to become. At the time when I chose his identity I hadn’t really found my footing in any particular sound, but his image definitely helped to influence the kind of style I would later step in to. It helps to free you up creatively when you can imagine sounds from an alternate perspective, even if that perspective is one you’ve created for yourself.
MOJO: What kind of music did you listen to growing up? Did you ever think you’d be an electro/dubstep artist.
Shy Guy: I was a big metal/punk/hard rock kid growing up thanks to my dad’s taste in rock ‘n roll, and my mom was always listening to more danceable stuff like disco or classic Motown songs. I’d never really been exposed to electronic music until my friends and I discovered it later in my high school years.
I had intended to be in a band since I was about 7 or 8 years old, and pursued that path for over a decade. Sadly, when your band breaks up and everyone moves away you’re left with the option to either start all over again with a new group of musicians of pursue something completely different. I obviously chose the latter.
MOJO: Did you decide to incorporate 8-bit into your music before or after you realized Shy Guy was the character you wanted to portray?
Shy Guy: I had always been a huge fan of video game soundtracks growing up. The music really plays in to the feeling you get when you’re playing a particular title. I had dabbled in using 8 bit sounds for a while before I decided to be Shy Guy, and that still holds true from time to time.
I feel that there’s a fine line for me to tread when using video game sounds at this point in my career. It can seem exploitative, or it may come across as if I’m playing the Nintendo card too heavily if I rely too much on a certain sound. I prefer to take the image I’ve chosen and create something that people might not normally expect.
MOJO: How do you decide which artists to mix into your music? Do you envision your music sounding a certain way and incorporate artists that will work into your finished product?
Shy Guy: I lean heavily towards producers who are always trying to push the boundaries and find new sounds. My sound is fairly hyperactive and slightly aggressive, but not necessarily to the point that it may scare people away.
When I’m looking for new music, I always try to imagine how the songs will go over in a big room full of people, but I also like to find tracks that can evoke a certain set of emotions for the people that I’m playing them for. I hope to help defy the stereotype that electronic music is created solely for the purpose of partying. It can definitely strike an emotional chord in a listener if you choose the right songs for the right moment.
MOJO: You work with 8-bit, dubstep, trap, hip-hop, glitch hop, and drum and bass. Do you have a favorite genre that you enjoy mixing?
Shy Guy: Right now I’m really leaning a lot toward the trap/twerk style of EDM. It really tends to get the crowd going. I’ve always been a fan of the “dirty south” sound, and I love the way producers have chosen to blend it in to the world of electronic music. I still love dubstep and drum and bass, and I try to work in as many styles of music as I can during a set. Sometimes there is just so much great music out there that it’s hard to choose what really fits the overall message I’m trying to convey.
MOJO: What musical audiences do you want your mixes to reach? Do you feel like this has been accomplished?
Shy Guy: I want any and everyone to be able to listen to my music/mixes. Music is one of the few things on Earth that can be enjoyed by all people regardless of any sort of boundaries between given demographics. My message has always been that anyone is welcome to come party and dance as long as you’re in it to have a good time, stay safe, and have fun with like-minded people. I definitely feel that I’m working to the point that I want to be at, and I love my fan base and all that they’ve done for me thus far.
MOJO: Being from Bloomington, how do you feel about the music scene there compared to Indy? How has it changed since you first started? What do you like about both cities as far as getting your music heard?
Shy Guy: I love both cities for different reasons. Bloomington is great because I grew a lot here, and learned a lot about myself both musically and mentally. Indy is great because there are many different groups of people that intersect within the scene and we all influence each other creatively. Since Bloomington is a college town, there are always new people moving in and out of the city so there’s always a potential chance to reach new listeners and pick up on new sounds that I might not be familiar with yet. Indy is great because even though the demographics might not change much I can always count on my friends/fans there to keep me down to earth and up to speed on new up and coming producers/DJs.
MOJO: What are you hoping to bring to Mojostock that other electro/dubstep artists may not think of?
Shy Guy: Blood, Sweat, Tears, Glow-sticks, Bob-ombs, and a party that no one in attendance will ever forget.