A year and a half ago 20-year-old CJ Arey was sitting at home in his bedroom practicing guitar after a break up when he decided to start his own musical project. Inspired by a comment his ex-girlfriend left on an Instagram post bashing him that ended “No tea, No shade lmao” it was in that moment his project NO SHADE was born.
NO SHADE’s sound started by Arey experimenting with different genres of music. Trying his hand at just rock, then trying to infuse hip-hop into his music and using ideas he got from listening to new types of music, Arey eventually started to learn what he wanted NO SHADE to sound like.
“It’s rock, it metal question mark, like almost on there and it’s got beats in it,” Arey said. “It definitely has some hip hop influence in there with the drums and some of the vocal flows.”
While Arey looks up to artists like Machine Gun Kelly, Pierce the Veil, Issues and Silverstein to try and get inspiration he still always puts his own twist on his music at the end. Using the skills he acquired while going to school for audio engineering, Arey also occasionally uses sounds from SPLICE, a source of royalty-free samples for musicians, where he will start with a sample and alter it so it’s not the same sound off of the website that anyone can click and drag and use in their music. He does this because he wants to sound original and not like his music is stolen from somewhere else.
To Arey, music is important and plays a big role in his life. He listens to music all the time and he believes it’s one of the only ways he can function.
“I think me discovering music is probably the most important thing to me right now,” Arey said. “It’s helping me develop what NO SHADE is.”
When writing his music Arey starts out by writing the instruments first. He will start with a beat, come up with a flow and melody and then he will start writing the lyrics. While writing his music writer’s block can sometimes be a challenge, but Arey overcomes this by writing how he feels in the moment and tries to let the words come out naturally.
“A big thing for me is I don’t want to be repetitive,” Arey said. “I don’t want every song to sound exactly the same. Obviously, if people are loyal to an artist they want the music to be consistent but I just don’t want every song to sound the same.”
Like for most musicians, the fans who listen to the music are important and for Arey that is no different. When listening to the music Arey hopes that his fans can find that they feel something when listening to it. Since most of Arey’s lyrics come out naturally he wants fans to feel like they are put into the place he was in when he wrote the song.
In the future, Arey hopes to write an EP and then a full-length album. A big goal he has is to have features in his music. Some artists he wants to have featured on his upcoming music is nothing,nowhere. and brakence. He also wants his fans to be prepared for more music and music videos.
To keep up with Arey and NO SHADE follow him on Instagram at noshadeny and cjarey. Be sure to check out his newest single “Suffice” and his other songs on Spotify.