Pageant Boys was birthed out of routine and necessity.
On what was originally slated to be a short trip to Istanbul, Alex Sheppard started recording music with his girlfriend’s laptop and a bluetooth headphone mic. None of Sheppard’s previous musical efforts incorporated electronics in a major way; “It was born of necessity,” says Sheppard. The songs on his new EP, Shadowboxing, came out of those original sessions. The songs are a sensual and almost effervescent approach that combine R&B elements with electronic and processed instrumentation.
While in Istanbul, Sheppard established a routine in collaborating with a close friend and poet. He said they developed a fairly specific daily routine for working on music, with the intent of finishing songs, regardless of their quality. “I would wake up at 8 in the morning and start the song and get the chord structure. And then at 10, he would wake up and I would show him what I had. I’d make breakfast, and then I’d show him the melody I wanted for the vocal line. He’d go down and start writing the lyrics, we’d eat breakfast, and he’d have the lyrics written after we got done with breakfast. At 1, I’d start recording the vocals. It was a good schedule.”
Unlike many electronic musicians, the live performance is a soulful extension of what Sheppard is creating with the music. For live performances, Sheppard is joined by Cooper Neil on guitar/synth and Larry Fleury on drums/percussion to fill out the sound. Sheppard is a dynamic performer that throws himself into every moment. The performance element is guided by something that Sheppard’s father and fellow musician told him “If you take a drink of water on stage, that’s part of the show. Everything you do is part of the show.”
Pageant Boys are set to release a new EP, Shadowboxing, in early 2017 on The Record Machine. Sheppard has been writing and recording for the last decade even though he is just in 20’s. Before Sheppard started performing and recording as Pageant Boys he released several albums as Alexandre. Shadowboxing is the maturation of Sheppard’s artistic vision and introduction to a larger audience.