Who are 99 Neighbors - Kristina Bozza
Who are 99 Neighbors?
The art group 99 Neighbors is a creative collective most well known for their music together. The group is comprised of 9 members: Connor "Swank" Stankevich, Hank "HANKNATIVE" Collins, Sam Paulino, Aidan Ostby, Julian "Juju" Segar-Reid, Caleb "Somba" Hoh, Jared "JFear" Fier, Cal Rawlings, and Shane Kaseta, all of which vary from being rappers, singers, musicians, videographers, producers and more. Their music would best be described as a combination of hip hop, R&B, and rock; those who are fans of other artists, such as Brockhampton, Chance the Rapper, or Odd Future, should be sure to give them a listen if they haven’t already!
The group’s history and formation are full of small hometown connections, with 4 of the members, Ostby, Paulino, Collins, and Kaseta all attending the same high school in Burlington, Vermont., and another two members, Hoh and Segar-Reid, also grew up together in Burlington! The formation of the group was kick-started through Paulino reaching out to Hoh and Segar-Ried in regards to collaboration via SoundCloud, where many of the members had been posting their work (and still do).
With so many different and creative members, the band uses 3 “pillars” in their mission statement: “natural expression, free artistry, and forward momentum”. The group is actively always trying to push the boundaries of music and other arts. The small but impactful discography the band had made already in a short amount of time, is proof of what a large group of artists can do together.
Music and Discography
99 released their first album, Television, on January 1st, 2019, raking in thousands of streams and launching the band’s success, and by July of the same year, the group had signed a deal with Warner Records. Since their new contract, the group has continued releasing numerous singles. As of right now, they have out 9 singles in addition to their one studio album, the latest release being “GUTS”, which came out just before the beginning of this year. 99 has participated in several collaboration projects with other artists as well, such as with Brasstracks and PhiloSofie. Their most popular track is called “F**k No”, done in collaboration with the two previously mentioned, currently has over 10 million streams on Spotify.
The group has also remained active since the COVID-19 Pandemic, occasionally hosting shows via the band’s Twitch account.
What to Listen To?
There is truly something within their discography for everyone. From slower R&B songs to new takes on hip hop, the band provides a wide variety of genre and rhythm like I haven’t seen done in years. This is something that would be very hard to achieve without a large group of contributors. 99 has been on record saying that each song truly feels like its own project; meaning each song has a different way it’s approached. Sometimes they may start with an instrumental, other times trying to match lyrics to a beat. Each artist among them also has a different creative process from one another. This allows for many ears to hear and add to the project before its final sound fully comes through. With that said, here are three of my personal favorites that I think people should give a listen to.
The Future Onward
With many of 99’s remaining plans from 2019 being halted due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, such as a mentioned short film and clothingline in an interview with Coup de Main Magazine, as the world returns to normal in the coming times, I’m excited to see what work 99 has in store for us. For a group that talks of pushing boundaries and even has been quoted as challenging what a concert is, I look forward to seeing them play live, even if it’s not in person just yet. Be sure to open the pit in your living room and get ready to dance soon!
SCOPE Presents: 99 Neighbors | Jan 29th @ 9pm | Twitch @SCOPE-Productions