He is a keeper of rhythm and hails from the city of dreams. He’s toting his wares on a dusty wagon of bass, and those wheels are ’bout to bust off. Shlohmo is his moniker, a cognate of shlomo, a common Hebrew first name meaning “God’s peace.” Enough said. Except not.
The real name of the young DJ is Henry Laufer, an L.A. native whose early work hardly had him thinking paychecks. Like many artists of the first decade of the 2000s, Laufer didn’t anticipate this musical career; he’s just riding the wave. “I never even got to think that far ahead; every single thing that’s happened has just been a snowball of coincidences. I didn’t start it thinking ‘I want to transcend this,’ I just wanted to make music in my room,” he says. “I had a MySpace, and that was it; I got signed off of MySpace. I never was a guy to spam and send out my music. Everything that’s happened has been people reaching out and me replying ‘Okay.’”
The label that signed Shlohmo was Friends of Friends, who were just getting started as they chose his Shlomoshun Deluxe LP as their 2nd release. Since then he’s had four more releases via the label and is working on his next LP. In the past, his grainy, low-quality, and ambient tracks brought the attention they deserved, but Laufer is clearly moving forward with his sound, while not completely disowning the former. Having moved to San Francisco four years ago and living in New York for the last year, his sound has changed with the scenery; most notably in S.F. where Laufer linked up with R&B singer Jeremih. They collaborated on “Bo Peep (Do U Right),” a slow-roasted tune of fleshly delights, currently sitting pretty at 1,135,658 plays on Soundcloud, and being called one of the most important tracks of the year.
New York may have changed it a bit more: “I think everywhere I go is inevitably influencing what I do…I think the music got a little more straightforward electronic from what I brought [to New York]. My studio space was my computer in my room; I traveled very light.”
With his ambient past firmly behind him, Laufer seems excited to turn a corner of experimentation, “The new stuff is actually really fast. There’s a lot of influence from break [music] and pseudo-liquid drum and bass.”
And so ye faithful grinders, ravers, and bass-lovers, hear me now and hear me soundly: Follow God’s peace and you will be rewarded with the everlasting beat.
Photographer: Kayla Varley at KaylaVarley.com. Stylist: Olivia Purnell. Groomer: Carissa Ferreri for traceymattingly.com. Special Thanks: Dara Siegel at iheartreps.com.