Indie electronic artist Instupendo floats into earshot with original downtempo compositions that listeners say they turn to when they feel, or want to feel, a certain way. Simultaneously euphoric and melancholy, his distinctive sound has been described by Dancing Astronaut as “something akin to taking Tycho’s work, incepting it into a dreamscape, and slowing it way down”, while The Deli Magazine called it “lucid while out of focus; a silken and ethereal logic operating somewhere in the space between trap and ambient.”
Like many of his peers, Instupendo got his start as a pre-teen on Soundcloud, organically building a fanbase and network of collaborators before venturing onto commercial streaming services in 2016. Within months, his single “Beauty Unit” was featured on Spotify’s Fresh Finds and subsequently charted on Billboard’s Spotify Viral 50. Successive singles, including ”Falling”, “Light Lock”, and “Comfort Chain” secured additional playlist placements and blog attention.
2017 saw Pigeons & Planes naming him an essential rising artist to watch, and Cosmo’s Midnight tapping him to remix their hit “History”. The resulting minimal emotional ballad transformed the funky R&B original. Instupendo followed up with his debut EP “Friend of a Friend”, featuring collaborations with artists Lontalius and Benny Sings. Nest HQ dubbed the project “an emphatic assertion that Instupendo’s time has arrived.” The 17 year-old producer concluded the year with a remix of Grammy-winning remixer RAC’s “Unusual feat. MNDR” which promptly charted at #1 on Hype Machine’s remix chart and landed atop Apple Music’s global Today’s Chill playlist.
Instupendo explored exciting new directions within his signature sound palette on his 2018 sophomore EP, "Faces I Know" -- featuring Hype Machine #1 "Boy", and New Music Friday selection "Fleur feat. Teen Daze" -- and his Pitchfork-'What's Good'/KCRW ‘Top Tracks’-endorsed remix of Rostam's "Half-Light feat. Kelly Zutrau". He racked up time on the road as well, opening for Shallou, Digitalism, Eevee, Rostam, George Fitzgerald, Ryan Hemsworth, Giraffage, and Snail Mail in Brooklyn, Philly, Montreal, Boston, LA and Washington DC.
2019 launched a new chapter with the release of “50-50 feat. Instupendo” on collaborator Toro Y Moi’s “Outer Peace” LP, followed shortly thereafter by his first original music in nearly a year: “Persona”, a song that arose from his participation in a campaign with Urban Outfitters and Teenage Engineering to launch TE’s OP-Z synth. His forthcoming ‘Boys by Girls’ EP, out June 5, is the first to feature his own vocals (see video below).
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Pigeons & Planes
Best New Artists of June: Instupendo
Philadelphia producer Instupendo delivered a gorgeous debut all the way back in 2017 with Friend of a Friend, but with his latest release he's gone through a subtle transformation. With the release of the stunning Boys by Girls, Instupendo has made it clear he's just as talented a songwriter too. His subdued voice compliments gentle production as though it was always there to begin with. A warm blanket of an EP, Boys by Girls is what he's been building towards. Tracks like ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Earring’ paint a captivating, thought-provoking picture, while ‘Pinch’ and ‘Sugar’ prove he can still let his instrumentals do all the talking, too.
Hear First: Instupendo’s Boys by Girls
A conversation about [Instupendo’s new EP] between friends Lindsey Jordan (Snail Mail) and Roy Blair.
Instupendo makes “music video in your head” songs – pieces that tap into your thoughts and expose you, and suddenly you’re constructing imaginary scenarios about a person you used to know or a feeling that no longer exists.
Amid a pillow-soft beat, Peterson's looped vocals become hypnotic... “Antidote” is a contradiction, an anti-social song that you want to share with all your friends.
Instupendo's new single “Cinderella”, fresh off his forthcoming “Boys By Girls EP”, is a synthesized symphony that belongs on the soundtrack of a millennial fairytale.
Instupendo Bursts into 2019 with a fresh ‘Persona’
On the heels of a feature on Toro Y Moi‘s newest LP, Instupendo wastes no time in debuting his first original of 2019. “Persona” sees the NY-based, Philadelphia-bred producer reexamine the sound that originally put him on the map, while simultaneously exploring new techniques to freshen his approach.
Run The Trap
Best Remixes of the Week
Instupendo offers up his luscious indie soundscape to sakehands‘ “GOODBYE FOREVER”. Soft piano chords and delicate percussion combine to craft an airy, atmospheric dreamworld that is absolutely breathtaking. Instupendo has outdone himself with this remix.
This latest visual accompaniment to Instupendo’s sophomore EP, “Faces I Know”, is an absolute tour de force: 15+ minutes of stunning videography, full to the brim with muted storytelling and subtext. Some of the most calming and beautiful music you will ever hear.
Review: Rostam 'Half-Light feat. Kelly Zutrau (Instupendo Remix)'
Instupendo takes the already feathery light track to a whole other level - Rostam’s vocals are somehow even airier and there’s such a delicateness to the instrumentation that’ll make you feel like you’re floating through the air.
True Music Network
Instupendo 'Faces I Know' EP Review
‘Imagine hearing a sound that simultaneously brings you back to your childhood, but at the same time takes you to a better place, up in the clouds, where everything is clear and peaceful, overlooking at everything that once was. That's how we feel when we listen to instupendo's new EP “Faces I Know”.
[Instupendo’s] idiosyncratic sound — a paradox: hazy without a single defined edge, yet possessing a subdued, bright shimmer; melancholic, yet at the same time relaxing and hopeful — is in full form on the EP.
Instupendo - Light Lock
Downtempo ambient music isn't always the easiest to win an audience over with, but I reckon Instupendo's "Light Lock" will set the right tempo for quite a few of you. If you like what you hear, there's plenty more to find here. [Sounds like: Boards of Canada, FKJ, Fhin]
Enter a Dreamlike State...
Instupendo's latest release “Beauty Unit” is a delicately crafted piece of music with a smooth bass line throughout and subtle keys. It might be the perfect comedown after a stressful day, it might be the perfect summer playlist addition, whatever, make sure you listen.
Passion of the Weiss
I Guess I Want to Do it All, But More and Better: an Interview with Instupendo
A Talk with Teenage Prodigy Instupendo