Born and raised Detroiter Antonio “Shades” Agee has been know to hit a wall or two. In fact, as a graffiti artist he’s hit pretty much every kind of surface you can imagine, and then some you might not imagine. Now a 15-year arts veteran, his career has taken him everywhere from the streets to galleries to corporations, internationally. The infusion of his surroundings, influences, and personality into his artwork has drawn the attention of clients like Fiat, Chrysler, and Quicken Loans just to name a few. So what does Antonio listen to while he’s painting? The answers to that question reside within this week’s Playlist.
What do you listen to while you work? There’s usually a jam going…it depends on the day. I don’t limit myself to just one genre. You might hear A Tribe Called Quest playing right after some rockabilly track, usually surrounded by electronic music.
How do you listen? In the studio, I sync my iTunes through my TV and play it through the speakers.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I usually listen to Pandora Radio. It has a wide range of music on its station select. Sometimes I also just turn on my iTunes and listen to a genius playlist.
Does music influence your work? I am a product of hip hop, I’ll say that outright. But different genres have definitely influenced me as a human being throughout my life – and that’s the only way to influence my work. My work is a direct translation of my expression, so whichever music has influenced me is definitely evident in my work. Plus, the correlation between hip hop and graffiti is pretty clear. If you look through my work and watch it progress, you can see the intention behind each spray seem to change. Chances are I was listening to something different with each one.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? Nothing better than the grapevine, especially in a city like Detroit. New artists with their own slew of influences are always popping off.
What song or artist best represents the work you create? I would choose Pat Matheny “Sill Life Talking” as simply the best representation of my daily mood.
Ideal place to sit and listen to your playlist: I’d have to say my Herman Miller Embody Chair is the perfect place…that chair is perfect. I love the white exoskeleton on mine, and the rest of the chair is all black. It’s really a throne, but in a modern way, really sleek and stealth-like. A lot like my work.
1. Mea Culpa, Enigma
2. Music For A Found Harmonium, The Penguin Cafè Orchestra
3. Red Sand, Balthazar Featuring Thanos Giouletzis
4. Anni Rose, Tulku
5. Akwaba, Tya
6. Rising In Love, Govi
7. Dance (A$$), Big Sean
8. Beautiful, Stevy Mahy
9. Pokinoi, Cirque Du Soleil
10. John (feat. Rick Ross), Lil Wayne
Photos: Antonio Agee; first and sixth photos by Brian Kelly.