New Beat Fund, aka NBF, is trying to disrupt the capitalism of the music industry
NBF, known as New Beat Fund, is not just another newly formed band trying to break the Internet.
Rather than uploading songs on streaming sites to gain instant popularity, Jeff and Paul Laliberte (who are my brothers from another mother) alongside their friend Shelby Archer made NBF to disrupt the cold capitalism of the music industry.
Together, they produce, mix, engineer, write, dabble with multiple instruments, and record their own songs to compile “Chillanthropy,” a three-part EP. Packed with beachy bangers, you can hear bouncing drum-like beats, slick guitar riffs, and head-turning lyrics that make you want to sneak out from your day job – try listening to “Surf Style” and see if you can dance without anyone watching you!
We catch up with NBF over the origins of “Chillanthropy,” their top secret collaboration with The Driver Era, and why they’re inspired by Britney Spears. Check it out below!
For the past 3 years, since you released Sponge Fingerz, you evolved your sound from a traditional 4-piece to a 3-piece guitar-driven band. In fact, there’s more guitars than drums in “Chillanthropy.” What motivated you to shift your sound?
Jeff: I don’t think our sound has necessarily shifted in the way explained above, but it just matured naturally with gaining new inspirations and perspectives on life and music.
Shelby: After a long period of touring and traveling an album cycle, we stopped for a few months. Departed from Red Bull Records and got back to what it was in the beginning. We just started capturing vibes, making songs, completing songs, and making sure we thought it sounded dope.
Lyrically, the vibe is more chill, romantic, and packed with emotion, yet it feels (very) danceable. Where did you write them and how did it influence the mood?
Jeff: I think lyrically things have been looking more inward as of late, whereas a lot of our early music was looking outward and commenting. We’ve also finally had a good break from touring giving us the chance to have relationships and friends again.
This has given me new inspiration and I’ve returned my attention to the fact that music is therapy for me. Not shying away from darker feelings and emotions.
Paulie, I remember that you told me that all of you wrote one of the songs (“When She’s Sober”) after overhearing a guy rant about his girlfriend when she’s sober. Can you tell us more about why you felt inspired by that particular conversation?
Paul: Yes! We were nearing the end of our last US tour in Portland, Oregon, it was late and we stopped in town to chill. As we were getting out of our Sprinter, we overheard a guy say, “She never cries when she’s sober.”
We all immediately looked at each other and knew it had to be a song. When we got back to the hotel that night, we started writing it and finished it a couple weeks later after a photo shoot LA. Thanks, random Oregon dude!
Shelby: Literally the only words of his phone conversation that were audible to us was, “She never cries when she’s sober.” We instantly knew it was a chorus hook. The world is weird.
You’ve collabed with The Driver Era twice – you had Rocky sing a vocal sample on “What Are We Now?,” and on “Cool Girl,” you had Ross do a full feature. How did the collabs happen? What was it like to work together (as friends, producers, and collaborators)?
Jeff: I think when you find people that bring the best out of each one another then you gotta ride that energy. We have this great balance of two different worlds that when they’re brought together, make what I think is “magic.”
And if there’s magic, we’re gonna keep making great tunes together. Once we’ve finished a song, we’re always like, “Ok dope, let’s make a better one!” Then, it kinda builds on itself like that.
Paul: We’re all just really close friends and respect each other as musicians and producers, so collaborating just happened naturally. “Cool Girl,” started after some bulletproof coffee, a lil’ devils lettuce, and perhaps a drib of tequila!
Just havin’ fun, jammin’, and later, we wound up writing the song in a night and the three of us wrote the outro afterwards. For “What Are We Now?,” we cruised over to Rocky’s studio and wanted to write and release a song all in one day. While we were recording it, we realized 4/20 was the next day. So it all just made sense – the track turned out fire too!
Shelby: Those inspiring dudes probably inspire us just as much as we inspire them! It’s a beautiful friendship. Lucky to be able to work with cool peeps.
Which celebrity crush, dead or alive, is your ideal cool girl?
Jeff: Winona Ryder is bae for life.
Paul: Zoe Kravitz, she’s dope.
Shelby: Jennifer Lawrence!
If you are to shop for a date outfit with your fantasy cool girl, what are the top 3 things you’d buy from your favorite vintage shop?
Paul: First, I’m lookin’ to cop a really rad jacket. Next, a simple but, nicely worn tee shirt, and lastly, a pair of sunnies for the meet up. Throw that with some black creepers, a pair of Dickies, and a spritz of smells goods – we in love.
Shelby: I’d get some classic jeans – a proper foundation obviously. Then, I’d find a quality long sleeve, utilitarian, yet comfy (for cuddles), but kinda neutral as to let the accessories shine. I’d pretty much spend all the money on some 80’s or 90’s vintage Fendi or Cartier frames that I can pull down from time to time to throw some deep looks.
Jeff: For me, I like go classic and vintage. I prefer clothes that feel worn and have life to ‘em beyond off the rack. Soulful, if you will. I’d go a vintage cardigan with some color on a retro box cut button down or vintage tee. Put some old Levi’s jeans with it with Vans or Dr. Martens and I’m set. Put on my rings and trinkets with a blanket in the back seat if the date takes a turn to the beach.
Apart from music, fashion plays a big part of the NBF DNA. When were all of you first introduced to fashion and who are your style icons?
Jeff: My first introduction to fashion was through grunge/punk music and ‘90s skateboarding. Both were sort of based on how you could twist things that everybody can buy to make them wrong or individual. Whether it was a simple T-shirt graphic that made a statement or cutting off the bottoms of your jeans, the details were important.
Style wasn’t based around money but, more on how you altered/paired what was easily available to be seen in a new light. I also love how Tyler, the Creator creates style and sort of invents his own looks on personal preference rather than just trends.
Paul: Fashion for me has always been inspired by artists and musicians that I admire and maybe some anime. When I was a kid my pops used to get free Fubu gear, lol – I was fly. Style icons for me are Tyler, the Creator, Jared Leto, Kanye – the list goes on. But I more so admire the way they express their individuality through fashion and I try to do the same with the rags I throw on my body.
Shelby: My favorite fashion icons are the ones that don’t give a fuck. They are just in their own world of rules. Whether it’s a small child that is wearing a mix of hand me downs to make any square feel insecure or the biggest celebs (Gaga, Kanye) taking all their influences stirring them up in order to make a statement. It’s just so cool to see personal identity in plain site (Michy, your fashion off the chain).
Thanks! Before I forget, I notice that you’ve dropped some Easter eggs that allude to Britney Spears and Aaliyah. Why are you inspired by them?
Paul: They all just had big songs that we grew up listening to. Not sure we realized just how influenced we were by them until now, but those melodies are amazing! It’s fun for us to pay homage to those tunes.
Jeff: I love when melodies/lyrics subconsciously come out of you in the writing process. Instead of running from those things, we embrace them the way that hip-hop would sample from other artist. It’s a way to pay homage to the music that has influenced us and twisting it.
Compared to you guys, the majority of most male-fronted bands (then and now) aren’t inspired by women’s music. As men, how do you feel about this?
Jeff: I have no bias of sex in music. Feeling is a feeling. And that’s what music is – cutting through the bullshit. Have you ever heard Billie Holiday sing? That’ll give your soul goosebumps.
Paul: We’re sensitive. Being around women is just where we feel most comfortable and the majority of our friends are girls. We’re definitely not the macho men arm wrestling with boys type – we’re just the guys playing guitar and flirting.
Shelby: I think we are in the middle of the shift from a patriarchal society to a matriarchal society, so it’s only natural to acknowledge all influences and honor what we feel. In modern times, everybody has a voice and women are a force to be reckoned with. I think all of us appreciate the subtleties and specialness of a woman’s perspective.
Lastly, what other aspects of the music industry do you hope to change?
Jeff: I think the music industry is settling into its new skin. For us, it’s about having a lane to create and share our makings with people without being held up by the so-called music industry “gatekeepers.” Technology has definitely allowed us to work this way, so I think it is already changed to a point where independent artist can be creative to be heard and stay authentic.
Paul: To be honest, we just want to keep making great music and releasing it consistently. Everyone gets so lost in the rule book of music business that they forget what really matters is the people listening to it. It’s always for our listeners and ourselves.
Shelby: In my opinion, the music industry was a recent casualty of technology. When complete devastation occurs, it breeds new life and evolution. The industry is more transparent, merit based and getting away from backroom power moves. Everything is accounted for now. The true talents and hard workers are winning as they weren’t able to in the past. I hope making an honest living becomes more obtainable for the ones who deserve it.
Chillantrophy Part 1 will be released on June 1, 2018.