More than any other genre, pop music is often thought to be manufactured in a less than organic fashion. Thought up in a record label conference room rather than by the artists themselves, it’s not exactly thought to be a ‘Do It Yourself’ operation.
But when pop fell out of peak popularity in the later half of this decade, a more hip-hop centered top 40 took form, and something began to shift. With hip-hop’s current domination being preceded by the rise of DIY, soundcloud based rappers, that same attitude has now found its way into the pop-sphere. While there are still murmurs about “industry plants,” it seems as though the next crop of stars’ paths to the upper echelons might be more DIY and less A Star is Born.
Perhaps the current pinnacle of pop’s DIY underground is Slayyyter, who’s best known for her glossy hooks and aesthetic that screams 2007 in the most 2019 kind of way. She has stormed onto the alt-pop scene with a handful of infectious singles including the meme inspiring “Mine” and “Alone.”
According to the St. Louis native, “It’s DIY pop, but it doesn’t sound very DIY,” thanks in part to her skilled team of collaborators including producer powerhouses Aeyesha Erotica and BoySim, along with in-demand visual artist Glitchmood.
Speaking with PopCrave, Slayyyter tells us she started making music around when she was in high school. “I would make covers or try and make my own beats on garageband. It wasn’t until I dropped out of college that I started writing on top of pop beats I found online.”
Despite her rising profile, her process remains thoroughly DIY, “I don’t have a creative direction team and stylists and labels helping me put out content,” she continues, “I’m still cutting songs in my closet and doing my project DIY style!” And this is mostly how she wants it. “I’m kind of a control freak so like no matter how big I get I’ll always be super hands on with everything I do.”
Frequent Slayyyter collaborator and producer, BoySim, cosigns on the DIY pop life, telling us “I literally do it all myself. I produce, write, mix & master all my music. I think the same goes for a lot of artists I collaborate with, we’re all just doing this ourselves and creating our own sound & image from the comfort of our own bedrooms.”
A major aspect of this world is collaboration. Slayyyter tells us, “I feel like the best songs all have more than one set of hands on them. I like building something with another person because I feel like it gives you more input on what works and what doesn’t.” BoySim, echoes this, “I literally did all of my collaborations for my mixtape through Twitter & Instagram DMs. I messaged all of those artists on Twitter because I had admired every one of them for so long.” He continues, “Some of them I had met before or had been mutual followers with for a while, so it was kind of like making a big project with all of my friends.” Among these collaborations would be BoySim and Slayyyter’s bouncy track, “Faded.” BoySim cites it as a career favorite, “It was kinda right before she blew up and we became pretty good friends after it. I had written the song in a day and she sent me back the vocals, and I was absolutely floored by it. She sounded so good, she made it a hit!”
However, it’s not all fun and gaymes in the DIY pop scene. Slayyyter is aware of the sometimes harsh realities of being a totally independent artist, even one breaking through to a wider audience. “Sometimes it gets really tough for me because I feel like I don’t deserve a lot of stuff that happens to me, but I try to not let those thoughts get in the way.”
When asked why aforementioned “stuff” keeps going so right for her, she shrugs it off. “Luck has the most to do with it.” But she does gives herself some due credit, saying “I also feel like cool and different things always stick out for people, so it helps if you have a vision and you don’t try and be whatever is cool at the moment.”
Luck or not, Slayyyter has struck a chord. In a matter of months, she has accrued over 2.2 million streams on Spotify and 50,000 followers across her social channels. Slayyyter is happening and, with that, DIY pop has arrived. “Right now we’re in an era where people are really looking into not only the validity of the music but the validity of the artists themself, so I think it’s become more and more appealing when an artist is completely self made because they’re relatable,” ruminates BoySim.
Despite her hilariously IDGAF online presence, Slayyyter is anything but complacent in conversation. “I am trying to make a more conscious effort into not getting so distracted by life, so I just keep telling myself “You need work to harder bitch! This can all go away at any moment!” She’s calls her next single, “Daddy AF,” her “favorite to make because me and Robokid and AO Beats started the beat from scratch and I wrote and recorded it all in like a day or two. It was the first time I wrote that way!”
Looking ahead, her immediate ambition is simple. “I want to just grow as much as I can, I want to make my songs and releases get better and better each time.” But her loftiest goal is also her most Slayyyter goal. “I want the world to fall in love with me so I’m not so fucking lonely!” Her growing fanbase would likely agree she accomplished that first goal long ago, so we just hope the singer is ready to be a lot less “fucking lonely” soon.