Discuss your personality.
We’re very informal, relaxed, chill vibes… love to joke around, live it up, and drop sick beats.
Brief us about you as a musician.
Shades is an American indie pop band formed in September 2017. The duo consists of siblings Casey Mattes (producer), and Mary Mattes (singer). Shades is a DIY pop group who writes, produces, and mixes/masters their own material from their home studio in Iowa City, Iowa.
Casey Mattes’ original music has been featured on “Spaced Out Magazine”, “VERSED”, and has won Artist Prolist’s Platinum Spotlight Challenge TWICE within the same year. Mary Mattes has been featured throughout Casey’s original songs over the last 4 years. Mid 2017, the brother and sister decided to combine their talents into the hit duo you see today.
Shades’ music style has been described as “dynamic”, combining elements of electropop, alternative hip hop, and EDM. Their lyrics, written by Mary, are poetry-based and reflect the all-too-real emotional states of many twenty-somethings who struggle to thrive in today’s world filled with hate.
In January of 2018, Shades dropped their first EP, “Can’t See The Haters”, consisting of 6 songs. “You can either let the hate blind you, or you can block it out,” said Casey, referring to their latest release. “This EP both introduces our band name to the world and describes the underlying meaning behind every piece of work we create. We wear our Shades so we can’t see the haters, and we encourage you to do the same.” Casey continued, “This EP is just the beginning. We’re so excited to share with you what’s next.”
Their opening track on the EP, “Kill the Darkness”, was written to express the frustration built from the blossoming of an irrational, yet sweet fixation. Mary mentioned that this song represents an expression of consequence; when you let yourself recklessly fall in love with someone you can’t have, knowing damn well you’re diving into some murky morals.
In a nutshell, “Not Really Sorry” is a snarky, taunting song written about rejection. But more so, its lyrics represent the celebration of a sheer reluctance to compromise independence for a relationship. “Independence is an empowering trait,” said Mary. “This song for me conveys a realization of self-importance and self-empowerment… It’s just snarky as heck.”
“Rainbowz” is by far the most unique song on the EP, loved by fans favoring all types of musical genres. “Writing this song was a unique experience. At the time I had just become homeless, so I was bunking in my car for the night. With nothing to occupy my attention, my mind fell down a Wizard of Oz rabbit hole, puzzling over how f***ing weird of a story it is, and all the conspiracy theory potential it has… Naturally, that segued into forcefully rapping about rainbows. But, in all seriousness, this song is an adaptation of the story’s concept- an interpretation reflecting my state of mind at the time.”
The satirically written, romp of the song “American Dream” describes the current state of both our country and the world we’re forever evolving, for better or for worse. “I’m forever going to utilize social and political f***ery for creative inspiration,” stated Mary. The song lyrics take an independent stance for women and men of all traits and implores acknowledgment from governmental personas.
“Back & Forth” is an extremely catchy song about being fed up with shady power play in all facets of life… We’ll just let the lyrics speak for themselves:
“Back and forth
lamenting the natural course
up and down of a power source
we’re stuck in a game, an oscillation
and I’m borrowed time
I’m reaching a decline
for a twisted rendition
of something more divine”
The title track, “Can’t See The Haters” started out as an instrumental track that Casey composed between midnight and the early morning hours of one single week. Mary was given the song, & told to “run with it”, both vocally and lyrically. Mary explained, “For a while, it was just ‘Sad Song in F’. We wanted something genuine and impactful for this song. It took delving straight into my feels and digging out my most vulnerable self to pull together the exact sound and feeling.” This anthem of a song is a fervent breath of fresh air in the music industry today. “Can’t See The Haters” is quickly becoming an intoxicating, enduring crowd favorite among fans.
Shades’ unique mix of indie pop and alternative hip hop has become a crowd-pleasing genre that the duo has used to gain a massive following in their hometown. It won’t be long before their music is sung by audiences across the nation!
Let us know the greatest moment of your music career.
We’re just getting started, so dropping our first EP is the greatest moment so far… There’s so much more to come.
Tell us the highest amount of money you have ever received from your music career and how it happened.
Playing live at the Blue Moose in Iowa City, Iowa.
Discuss your experience pertaining to live performances, gigs, shows, and tours.
We’re putting together the most legit live show you’ll ever see. It’ll incorporate everything that’s classic, trending, and then some!
Tell us the most important people that have boosted your music career and how you met them.
Meeting our manager, Teressa Mattes. She knows her stuff.
Brief us on what you have in mind before considering music as a career.
It’s always been music. Casey went to college for percussion and pursued performing music via YouTube on the side. Mary has been singing every single night since she can remember. It was bound to come together into what you see today.
Discuss your good and bad experience in life.
Everyone has hardships, that’s for sure. Listen to the lyrics of any of our songs – Mary’s been through a TON & expresses everything via the music.
Name the artists that have influenced the world.
Too many to list! Most recently, Twenty One Pilots, Chance the Rapper, and AJR.
Tell us the most negative comment you have ever received about your music.
We don’t keep track of that negativity.
Tell us how to become a famous artist.
Consistent quality content, genuine positivity & empathy for others.
Tell us how you plan to make an impact on society.
We wear our Shades so we can’t see the haters, and we encourage others to do the same. The more we can get our music out there, the more we can make a positive impact on people’s lives in a world filled with hate.