Anthony Shultz, who creates music under the name P4nther in between college classes for nearly three years, has an impressive Soundcloud portfolio and takes a more laid-back approach to his content creation.
The advancement of technology has brought us a lot of things when it comes to music. From speakers that talk back to uber-specific Spotify playlists curated to your every need, the progression of specificity in the music industry has even made its way to genres. More specifically, computer-generated ‘chill-beat’ focused ambient music has developed into even more diverse and specific subcategories. Chillhop, lo-fi hip hop, chillwave, vaporwave, and more have all branched out from the original and underground category of low-key self-made experimental beats that were only available on Soundcloud by a few creators.
The sub-genre of chillwave has gone through some heavy evolution in recent years, with artists molding the sounds either towards ambient Bonobo tunes or even deeper Four Tet sounds. Somewhere in between there still lies this very pure chillwave genre in it's purest form and there are many young new artists exposing it.
The once cult-genre of music has now become regular background music for studying, sleeping, smoking, and chilling. Today, live streams of never-ending beats are streamable on Youtube and Spotify playlists built by the platform itself pop up on the front page after logging in. The opportunity for artists to express themselves through music without leaving their bedrooms is as present as ever, new creators are able to gain recognition from the comfort of their own home.
“I started playing guitar when I was 13 or 14 years old to my recollection, and I’ve been in a variety of different bands since high school,” Said Shultz. “I’ve always been a fan of different kinds of hip-hop and electronic music, but I didn’t start learning how to produce until I started taking audio classes in college.” P4nther
VHS-style music videos accompany some of P4nther’s most prominent tracks, adding layers of visual aesthetics that pair perfectly with the beats behind them. In one, we catch a glimpse of the artist, who remains ‘faceless’ behind a mirrored-mask, an increasingly common trend behind musicians who wish to take the image away from their music.
“It started as a live thing since I felt as if I looked kinda awkward performing-I’ve always been a somewhat self-conscious person- and I ended up just digging the theatrical aspect of a character,” Said Shultz about his mask. “I love what artists like Daft Punk, Gorillaz, and MF DOOM do both musically and visually with the idea of using characters.”
And while Shultz is hesitant to add a label to his music, he’s already been added to one of the many extensive, hours-long YouTube mixtapes with the name ‘vaporwave’ in the title. Today, P4nther is just an experiment, the artist plans to explore the options that his pseudonym and musical pastime can take him.
“This project started as, and still is, a fun hobby for me that I enjoy doing from start to finish each song,” he said. “I’m always stoked when people check out my tunes, but I’ll probably be doing this for a long time regardless of exposure.”