Shawn Brelvi, Artist at 23

Shawn Brelvi, Artist at 23


Tell us about yourself and your music

I started making music and noises which had a melody to them from a very young age. I read my first book at age 2 and it was a book titled Gerald McBoingBoing. The story in that book resonated with me so deeply at that age and I can still vividly remember the experience of reading a book for the first time. Upon entering school I joined the choir and sang with the girls since I was a prepubescent child. I then picked up a violin in 2005 and my love for music grew. I auditioned for solos in the play or roles in the musical, played the xylophone, piano, and was really into Coldplay in 5th grade. Hearing Chris Martin painfully sings Shiver as a 12-year-old boy heartbroken over his 6th-grade crush really made me connect with music on a different level. Over the years I dabbled in music more. I stuck with the violin, was a soprano 1 in 8th grade, and played Teen Angel in Grease in 6th grade with other roles in 7th and 8th grade. Once in high school, I started to compete in speech and debate and this enabled me to find my voice. Yet when I went to college I was directionless due to my adversity I faced. I joined a poetry group and started a capella group in college and became president and vice president, respectively by my third year at Seton Hall. I then became the vice president then president of the Data science club did undergraduate research in graph theory, sociological gender differences, and religious texts surrounding logic.

This entire time the one thing that got me through was my creative expression. My music is the reality that I constructed to keep myself safe from the external forces that be.

Talk to us more about your latest release

This release is a compilation of singles and instrumentals I created between 2018-2020. I was in the depths of my depression as I became homeless, worked three jobs, and climbed out of block 11A building 220 in Ivy Hill Park Apartments in Newark, NJ. I created music to survive as a human being.

What inspired you to write this release?

The inspiration ranges from my life experiences to my friends, to women who left me and abandoned me. This music is my consciousness speaking over the music which rings in my head.

Describe the writing and recording process

I normally make the instrumental first. I find the vibe of the song. After finding the vibe of the song I will usually talk directly into the mic while sitting in a small room.  If the lyrics came first, something I used to do when I rapped written verses, I would search for a preexisting beat. I create all of my beats on FL Studio Trial Version because I could not afford a full version. The headphones I still use to mix are stolen from my chemistry lab. And everything I have done was from my bedroom or from my laptop or phone.

I record the audio over the actual music while I listen to it so my mind allows itself to speak over the music. It’s a pure form of art that took years to perfect. It isn’t perfect but it helps me create my best work.

I then take the audio and add my usual effects. Reverb, echo, 10 percent decrease in speed over the track, -4 steps of pitch over the entire length of the song.

I use Audacity as a DAW and I have never looked back. I have used it since middle school when I was ripping old Tyler, the Creator or Mac Miller music off of their websites

Any plans to release a video?

Any plans to hit the road?

Touring this summer god willing.

May; Eastern Coast

June: Southern States

July: Midwest

August: West Coast

September I finish my undergrad in Mathematics with one class to go!

As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?

I typically just use social media. It is the easiest thing. Everyone already has it. Just build your brand and be truly authentic to yourself.


Build it and they will come.

Who have you been listening to lately?

A lot of random Spotify playlist artists. I have tried to distance myself from larger industry artists as of late because I just cannot put myself in that headspace as someone who is participating in it. Think Truman show or Inside Baseball.

Who are your biggest influences?

I will name 3

Mac Miller – A legend among legends. Easily one of the most underappreciated artists in the last 20 years.

Tyler, the Creator – A true icon which inspired me and millions of kids and adults to chase their dreams

Earl Sweatshirt- his music helped me get through my darkest days and I resonate with his art on a deep level.

Tell us about your passions

Mathematics – I have always been fascinated with numeracy and the idea that mathematics is a universal language. Just like music.

Poetry- I have been writing since I was 11. I have also started a novel and a finished screenplay that I wrote when I was an 18-year-old senior in high school titled Proving Grounds. Long term vision kind of project.

Comedy –  I did stand up comedy, essentially, for 10 years starting in 2011. I was always a funny kid and I love to make people laugh to take the misery out of their day.

Family –  Despite the issues I have had with my family I still love them and cherish their existence.

What else is happening next in your world?

I am currently living in a relative’s house with a negative balance and a large credit card bill to pay off. But my life isn’t over. I have my health and I have streams of income that aren’t available during the coronavirus epidemic. It is hard for everyone.



Thanks for an awesome interview, [email protected]



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