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NETHERFRIENDS

Shawn Rosenblatt (born Sept 18, 1986), better known by his stage name Netherfriends, is an American musician, artist, producer, and misanthrope. He rose to critical awareness with his performances at the Pitchfork Music Festival and the releases of his albums Barry and Sherry (2010) and 50 Songs 50 States (2013). 50 States has been documented in national publications, blogs, documentaries, and national radio and has recently been released via a groundbreaking interactive map. His hip-hop mixtape, New CHI-t, was self-released in 2013 and features Chicago rappers Fess Grandiose, Show You Suck, Impolite Society, and others. 

Born outside of Philadelphia, Shawn spent his youth listening to his parents' record collection and teaching himself to play music. He began writing songs at an early age and played in numerous bands, crafting his voice throughout his formative years. He left Philadelphia to pursue a music composition degree at Columbia College in Chicago. It was at Columbia that Shawn adopted the moniker Netherfriends. After releasing Netherfriends’ first EP in 2007, Shawn began what would become a six year stint touring and releasing music on labels including Kilo Records, Emergency Umbrella, Black and Greene, and Cellar Hits. In 2011, Shawn took residence at the Kimball House, an underground hip-hop community in Chicago. Shawn quickly established himself as the resident producer/composer for the residents and artists who passed through. This experience gave Shawn thousands of hours to work with rappers and perfect his unique live beat construction, done with sampling and a unique looping/layering technique for which he is becoming known throughout the community. In 2012, Shawn toured out to Oakland, CA, where Jeremy Black (Apollo Sunshine) is chief producer at Coyote Hearing Studios. Shawn took the opportunity to spend a month recording his first release that infuses his powerful hip-hop know-how with his traditional composition background. The result is something that has never been heard before: a hip-hop album without rapping, and with songs told from Shawn’s personal experiences as a touring indie musician. The album, his 13th release, entitled P3ACE (pronounced “three peace”), was released as a free download on March 3, 2014.

Presenter: 2014