Spotlight On: STNFXCE, Bassplayer, Producer, Artist
With his bass by his side, multi-genre STNFXCE is in many ways the pulse of the Chicago music scene. Hear him in the background of multiple projects providing slick bass accents that add texture to a song, on a track as a producer, bringing a beat to fruition, or at the forefront of his own work.
Whether he’s producing a track or playing on one, he allows for the musician’s artistry to shine while quietly excelling in the background.
“I love bass because it provides the foundation needed for every strip of music,” he says. “Without bass everything would feel empty.”
The name STNFXCE is derived from Kurt Shelby’s stage persona—one where he used to keep his emotions to himself and perform with a straight face. One listen to his music, however, and you’re immediately met with sounds and lyrics that are very much the opposite of that. He allows the listener to melt into his vulnerability as he sings about universal topics such as love and loss over clean, percussive beats.
It’s hard to imagine STNFXCE as just one person when his presence is interwoven throughout the city. To say he's busy would be an understatement. At the moment, he’s working on four different albums for various artists and playing with multiple bands, all while making space for his own individual project.
“I’m super excited for the future of music,” he says. “I have so many friends and people who I work closely with that are doing really incredible things.”
He cannot forget that he himself is doing really incredible things. His super power lies in his ability to effortlessly collaborate with any artist he works with, while still being true to himself. And lucky for us, the future of music is a little more exciting to imagine with STNFXCE at the heart of it.
Favorite part about the Chicago creative community?
My favorite part of the Chicago creative scene would have to be how everyone knows each other. I meet people all the time and it seems we are always connected by someone else both of us know.
Favorite TV show? I don’t really watch much TV, but my favorite show at the moment is Rick and Morty.
I actually don’t even drink so I don’t have a favorite cocktail, but I do really enjoy lemonade!
Favorite Chicago artist?
I love so many artists in Chicago, so it’s hard for me to choose, but I’d have to say Saba. When Care For Me came out, that was all I listened to for weeks.
Favorite spot in Chicago? (can be a neighborhood, restaurant, bar, etc.)
I have a bunch of favorite places in Chicago, but the one that comes to mind immediately is Ping Tom park in Chinatown. I go there any chance I can get. It’s a great place to relax and spend time with friends.
"Spotlight On" is a bi-weekly series highlighting Chicago creatives with a twist. We share a slice of their stories and what they love, hoping to inspire and connect.
Words by Lolo Ramos