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Highlighting the unique experience of content and musical creation during the digital streaming age, Chicago-based duo Lowerlipdrip, formed by Dew Haydn and blackrobeBLACKROBES, talk about changing the direction of their songs and EPs onto an avenue that is less overtly politically motivated, wanting to provide their listeners and fans with an escape that remains current and socially conscious. In this interview, they talk to us about their particular trademark of two-track releases, the importance behind authenticity (whether you are the creator or the listener), and their future plans for an album release.

For those who might not be familiar with your work, could you tell us a bit about yourselves?
We are Lowerlipdrip, an artistic duo from Chicago made up of blackrobeBLACKROBES and Dew Haydn.
How did you meet, and when did you decide you wanted to collaborate?
We met just going to the same shows in the underground Chicago music scene. Eventually, we linked up to work on music. Both of us have very similar goals and aspirations regarding music, art and creativity, which helped us click. At the beginning of 2019, we started making music together.
In your collaboration, how does each of your artistic interests overlap and connect?
In terms of our collaboration, Robes does the majority of the production and Haydn comes up with most of the track concepts. Overall though, we are capable of handling both producing and writing as we have grown and learned from each other over time.

“Our primary message to our current and future fans is to not take shit from anybody and be whoever you want to be, look however you want to look, and disregard any judgement that outsiders want to spew at you.”
You’ve released two EPs in 2020, Everything Is Fare (in June(, and V (in October), each of them containing two songs. What is your reasoning behind releasing two-track singles each time you produce new music?
Since our first release together, Home/Hurts, the two-track idea has been our thing. We wanted to bring back the feeling of the “45, which had one track on each side of the vinyl. In the current streaming landscape, we wanted to use the two tracks as a more digestible experience because it is becoming more and more difficult to capture people’s attention with a full ass album. The two-track release process has also helped us focus more both sonically and artistically so that when we are ready to make and put out an album, the tracks will mean as much to our fans as they will to us.
Could you guide us through the stories you’re trying to tell in both releases, and throughout your music in general?
The EPs are the pages of the story. Read them and you will find out something new every time. We don’t want our message about the projects to dictate how audiences interpret them. 
In your feature in Fader, you mention that your music and lyrics are inherently political. How do you find that political discourses shape ideas of masculinity and gender identity?
People are going to view our work as political no matter what we say or do. Going forward, though, we don’t want to make music that is immediately categorized as politically motivated or socially conscious necessarily. We want our music to be an escape while still providing our take on the current social climate.
Our primary message to our current and future fans is to not take shit from anybody and be whoever you want to be, look however you want to look, and disregard any judgement that outsiders want to spew at you. Hence, one of our mottos is ‘Be yourself, you’ll always be in fashion.’ But also, the music is always going to be inherently political, the same way anything you read or see is.

The production in all the singles you’ve released is both really tight and really experimental, at times verging on dissonant. What effect are you trying to convey through this?
There isn’t a specific effect we are trying to convey necessarily. We are just growing and learning new things as we go. Each EP is just a reflection of how we’re feeling during the period that we made and released it. Our sound is just a summary of our emotions personified into songs. However, the listener perceives the art is on them. We are just blessed to have the ability to create.
More specifically, this stands out incredibly in Everything Is Fare. Don’t Shut Me Down and Fererfarefairfererfarefair seem to function as two parts of an overarching whole, the production giving it an ethereal but also absurdist energy, while both songs are fully emotionally grounded by their lyrics. How do you match the different energies of songwriting/lyrics, producing, and sampling?
We are trying to better ourselves for every new release, and Everything Is Fare was no different. We take inspiration from the people we surround ourselves with as much as we do each other. Whether the energy is positive or negative around us, we try to embody it as honestly as possible. We strive to be ourselves as much as possible and any production, sampling, or writing ideas comes directly from the soul. It is a difficult process but that’s the fun of it.
You work in and with a collective of artists, creating and producing your own music, art, and visuals. What personal and artistic relationships does that generate between yourselves and everything you create?
Everyone in our collective holds different perspectives of the world from an artistic standpoint, so we are just thankful to have a crew of talented friends and artists that continue to motivate each other to make the best work possible.
Finally, what future projects lie in the horizon for Lowerlipdrip? Are you planning on releasing an album?
In the next few months, we definitely plan to work on our album. Our fans have been waiting on it for a while now. Who knows, we may already have one done, only time will tell! In the meantime, we will continue to build the LLD brand and further ourselves mentally and artistically so that in five to ten years, we can look back at our careers and be proud of how we will have influenced the next generation of artists.

Sophia Archontis
Joseph Nell

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