Family Band Silver Cup Talks Musical Inspirations and Growing Up in Utah
Meet the Salt Lake-native trio that you need to know about.
Meet the Salt Lake-native trio that you need to know about.
For the fifth installment of our CreatiVity program in partnership with Quadio—a new social streaming platform dedicated to showcasing the best new college music—we’re focusing our spotlight on the Utah-bred family band Silver Cup. Composed of three siblings—19-year-old Hadley Nelson of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, 21-year-old Campbell Nelson of Utah’s Salt Lake Community College, and 24-year-old Logan Nelson of the University of Utah—the trio’s familial bond allows for a melodic melding that transcends that of an ordinary partnership. The band’s latest track “I’m Fine” blends each artist’s individual sound in a unified, pop-oriented composition underscored with top-tier instrumentals. V spoke with the musically-inclined family about their time in quarantine, their artistic inspirations, and their visions for the future.
Read what Silver Cup had to share, below.
V MAGAZINE What’re your names, ages and where do each of you go to school?
HADLEY NELSON My name is Hadley, I am 19, and I go to the Fashion Institute of Technology.
CAMPBELL NELSON My name is Campbell, I am 21, and I go to Salt Lake Community College.
LOGAN NELSON My name is Logan, I am 24, and I go to the University of Utah.
V What roles or instruments do each of you play?
H I am the vocalist!
C I play bass!
L I am the vocalist/guitarist!
V You’re from Utah originally, can you briefly describe your childhood?
H I was a little girl who loved animals, princess, barbies, you name it. I also always had an affinity for music. Something silly I would do from a very young age is just sing random songs I just made up on the spot and dance around like no one was watching. I always looked up to my brothers and loved to play with them. I probably played with Campbell the most when I was young, as we are close in age. As far as my older brothers, I remember being with them alot when I grew up a little more. Logan would always talk to me and give me advice about things like entering jr high and what to expect.
C Utah was a great place to grow up for me. I like skiing and boating and skating so Salt Lake City allows you to do all those things.
L I was your classic music nerd, constantly singing/writing while making fun of “pop music”. Funny how that has come full circle. My siblings were close, but I definitely connected on a deeper level with Quinn (Oldest Brother). Campbell and Hadley became closer with me later in life.
V You’re a family band— exciting! Tell us about the dynamic of working creatively with one another are there any obstacles? What’s that dynamic like?
H Our dynamic is generally really relaxed. That’s not to say we aren’t serious, but there isn’t a lot of pressure or unconformatble-ness when it comes to anything. We just chill and collaborate. An obstacle that comes with that though, is that it’s easy to be too laid back. This can result in frustration between siblings depending on the perceived dedication or motivation. Another strength, however, is that because we are siblings who grew up together and are close, we have the ability to talk pretty much everything out if there are issues.
C Making music I feel is pretty natural. We all have similar taste in sound or at least respect each other enough to let people do what they wanna do and so far I’m happy with all the songs we’ve put out.
L We are family, the same dynamic of fighting with my little bro for touching my stuff is all there. We are just older, and it’s about little things. Practice on time, writing session, the jist. Luckily, the major difference from other bands I’ve been in is that we are upfront with each other. If we don’t dig something, or we like something, we say it. No egos, no hurt feelings, just an affinity for music. That’s something I value in my siblings, they have incredible ears. They notice things I wouldn’t have ever thought of. That’s gotta be Nelson DNA or something.
V How has adjusting to the current climate of COVID-19 impacted your schooling and your lives?
H It was a pretty big shift for me. I was attending school and living in a dorm in manhattan, so you can imagine it got pretty crazy pretty fast. Pretty much every school in manhattan closed before mine, and it was extremely sudden when they told us we would need to move out before the end of March. It was pretty eerie to fly back to new york for 24 hours in order to move out. In terms of my life, it’s definitely just contributed to this sort of eeriness to the atmosphere. Being home isn’t something I struggle with much at all, as I am fine with not getting out much… haha. I got pretty stir crazy in New York sometimes when I wouldnt get out on the weekend and was alone in my dorm, but being able to be in the presence of my family while all locked up is a huge perk. Online school is the worst though. That is for sure.
C School during COVID 19 was trash. Online school kinda beat me down, but luckily I came out of this last semester doing alright. I had plans to start new jobs and go on trips, but that all got cancelled because of the virus. Life sucks to suck sometimes! It’s not really that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.
L Dude, live shows. We were gonna do our first baby tour this summer, and I still don’t even know if our SLC show is gonna happen. School is whatever, I thought online school was cake but yeah.. Silver Cup live is on pause until things open up. That’s the biggest bummer. Especially because Hadley is close by for the summer.
V How have you been coping during this time? Is there anything that’s keeping you guys grounded?
H The major thing, as mentioned, is that I get to be home. I absolutely loved New York and was said to leave my freshman year early, but I had been pretty home sick, so being able to come be home again with my family has been a major silver lining in this big grey cloud.
C Coping with it hasn’t been that difficult. I’m sorta a homebody anyways so I little more time at home wasn’t really that rough.
L It’s been nice that Hadley has been back to write. Writing long distance is doable, but it’s pretty tough. Having her nearby to collaborate has been nice for Campbell and I.
V Can you tell us a little bit about your backgrounds in music? How did the band first get started? Could you tell us about the name?
H As aforementioned, I have had a musical affinity from a very young age. I was always singing and prancing around even in toddlerhood. I always loved singing, but I also picked up the violin in about fourth grade and played for about 8 years. I took some piano lessons and guitar lessons but they were limited. What I really always loved to do is sing. Around ages 11-14 I loved musical theatre. I was always involved in summer theatre camps and lessons as well as my school productions. It was like I had no fear and just constantly just wanted to be singing on stage. I started voice lessons around 11 years old. As I grew through middle school and entered high school I became a little more anxious and lost my interest in musical theatre, but was able to work up the courage to play a lead role in my high school musical my senior year. Apart from musical theatre, I have always loved plucking out chords from random songs on my guitar and belting it out in my living room. The band got started really just because Logan was looking for something new, fun, and laid back and he presented the idea to us. From there we all agreed we should do it.
C With me in particular, my background in music has always been more at a listening and critic level. I played piano as a kid and have been playing bass since I was 10, but even since a young age I have always found listening deeply to music to be very enjoyable. I love critiquing albums and discussing and comparing them. The band just started when Logan and I thought it would be fun to make a song. Logan has a more in depth reason, that’s just my perspective. As for the name, Silver Cup was a fish food processing plant that my dad owned that he had gotten from his father. The company sold in 2008. The name had a ring to it, and has some family history so it fit us perfect.
L I was always the music kid in the house. Everybody played and loved music. I was just the one playing in bands, working in studios, and wanting to be a “rockstar”. This dream for me started as early as 8. We have this hilarious home video of me pretending to be Aaron Carter from Disney Channel singing to a crowd of thousands. It’s bonkers, but I still have those dreams. We started Silver Cup after I had just been heartbroken, more or less, from previous groups. I was almost signed with Atlantic Records, almost had a film I scored/wrote enter Sundance, and for various reason both opportunities fell through. I had worked hard, with not much to show for it. I called Cam and Hads, and I said “Screw it, let’s just make records in my basement, put them out and be the new Osmonds.” Now, here we are!
V How did you hear about Quadio? Can you tell us about the relationship you have with the platform and your music?
H I actually initially heard about it from my roommate who’s boyfriend is a music artist in New York and had gotten involved. A first connection/relationship to our music is that its a connection to home and family while i’m in New York. Apart from that, we have generally written about topics that are extremely relatable, one being “Sabbath”, that directly relates to my upbringing. We really want to preach genuine and real things as a band that exude our identity as individuals and a family, so everything we do is very interpersonal.
C I didn’t… haha! That was all Logan. I had finals week when all this was happening so I have no recollection of anything happening during that time.
L I was scrolling on Instagram, and somebody had reached out about some of our tunes and said we should join the platform! We looked into it, thought it was dope.. And we were on the Quadio charts after submitting!
V Why did you choose to showcase your music there?
H From my understanding, it’s a really cultivable environment for small artists like us, which is awesome.
L The opportunity for Full time students/artists to share their content with other students. That’s the appeal, and Quadio is super supportive of the artists on the platform. That’s something that I value a lot.
V Who are some artists that inspire your sound?
H My brothers could easily list out specifics, but I think we generally like to make a sound that pulls on all of our personal favorites past and present.
C This sounds like any given white boy trying to sound cool but Hip Hop. Specifically the old Boom Bap sample heavy hip hop. Wu-Tang, Tribe Called Quest, Dilla, madlib The whole lot. We incorporate a lot of samples into our music and try to make that the body/main focus of the song.
L I think all of us are inspired differently. I would say, that currently I’m influenced by Underground Hip Hop. “The Loop Digger” Madlib, and “Jay Dee” J Dilla, are huge influences as far as production. Our songwriting is just good ol classic Pop. I’ve always written Indie Rock, so I throw most of the songwriting influence into those areas. Arcade Fire, The Strokes, etc.
V If you could work with anyone musically (past or present) who would that be?
H As one of my favs, I would in general just like to meet Jorja Smith. Apart from her it would be Kevin Parker. Their music has been extremely influential in my life in every vain form musical to existential.
V How do you want fans to feel when they listen to your music?
C If I could work with anyone it’d be J-Dilla, Hell I don’t even have to work with him I just wanna watch him make music.
L Kevin Parker would be rad! Yeah, I’m gonna be honest, collaborating with Madlib or Dr. Dre would be crazy. I also think Mark Ronson or Rick Rubin would be amazing as well.. If we are talking in the past though it would have to be J Dilla. Hands down.
V How do you want fans to feel when they listen to your music?
H Chill. We get a lot of descriptions like “chill” “vibey” and “nostalgic” which is an awesome sound. There is nothing better than blasting a really good song and just not being able to do anything but relax, listen, and absorb. I hope that our listeners can get something meaningful out of our music.
C Whatever way they wanna feel. I don’t make music to make people feel a type of way. That’s some dumb marketing type stuff.
L The most raw feeling one can have is when chills go down their spine from a song. I want those moments we have in the studio to translate into whatever speaker fans are listening to.
V Can you tell us about your single, “I’m Fine” Who is it for? What was the inspiration for that track?
H I’m Fine tackles a really complex yet profound topics. I definitely pulled from some secret experience in my own struggles with escapism type addiction (the line “one more episode will make me feel much better” is particularly poignant in my case) to cope with various struggles and insecurities. It really aligns with a lot of, not cliche, but common existential themes, but is also really relatable in that it’s rare to find an individual who can’t mention any point in their life where they were really struggling from either uncontrollable internal or external forces. While addressing this theme, the song has a very sarcastic connotation that aligns with using the words “i’m fine” in real life. No you’re not fine, and someone telling you “just be happy” is not going to help. It really reminds me of the tik tok trend where people use the effect where purple smoke escapes from their body and they say “my depression leaving my body when someone tells me to try just being positive.” It addresses something really heavy but does so in a very lighthearted manner. Then that paradox contributes to the overall meaning.
C I don’t write lyrics so Logan and hads could probably give a better response. From a production standpoint though, if you appreciate a well chopped up sample and like hip hop but need something to play in front of your mom, ”I’m Fine” is for you.
L “I’m Fine” is honestly one of the more sarcastic songs I’ve been a part of. It’s wordplay is exactly what you think it means. Someone who says they’re fine, but not really..
V Tell us about your genre.
H We have discussed together that the lines of genres are blurring like crazy in todays music environment. In what we have released and what we are working on, I conclude that each of our songs is really quite different, though they all share the same vibe which I suppose would be our genre. We Identify as Indie pop, but I was argue that it’s a little more complex than just that.
C Genres are dumb. Lizzo’s record is a perfect example of that.
L Genres are important, but they’re fleeting. I don’t know if my kids will grow up in a world of genre. Therefore, we classify Silver Cup as “Pop”. It’s easier that way.
V Recently you had to rethink your music video for “I’m Fine” due to COVID-19, can you talk about the reconfiguration and result?
H The amount of submissions we received for the video was amazing to see. Though I would’ve preferred of course that this coronavirus was never a thing and we could’ve done our original music video idea, I loved how the alternative came out. It was so cool to involve our fans in what we’re doing, especially because that’s what we’re trying to be all about. In addition to that, it was just nice to release a message to the world going through a hard time, as our song addresses, of a time that was better and hope that it will be better again soon.
C The “I’m Fine” shoot Being cancelled gave us the idea to make a fan music video. Which is fun for us and the fans I think. Plus we got a bunch of submissions. That at least means those cats like our music. Haha…
L Our fans are the best. This just proved to me that although we are small in numbers right now, they care about what we are making. The 300+ submissions is proof of that. It’s good to just let people/our fans know to keep hopeful, and push forward!
V Do you believe music is important especially during a time where the world is in crisis?
H Music is filled with emotion. Because of this, it’s an incredible outlet in every way. If you need to release some sadness, escape, jam out, dance, or belt something happy, music is right there as a sure fire way to do it.
C Music is super important in a time of crisis. It’s entertaining. I’ve listened to like 50+ albums during quarantine and that’s a beautiful thing. Music gives you something to think about, it lets you escape reality. That’s a deep quote, like something you’d see on a rib cage tattoo. Haha…
L Yes, it’s the thing we all hold on to. Music has influenced culture since the primal drums of the ancient world. Regardless of where the future takes us. Music is constant.
V Where do you see yourselves and your music career 5 years from now?
H Hopefully doing big things. With my inexperience, i don’t know exactly what that is, but I hope our music and vision will have reached enormous audiences and started to truly rift up the music industry.
C Making money off of just making music and having fun.
L Grammy’s, Coachella, Platinum Records, we are ready for anything. If there is one thing I’ve learned with past “close calls” with big opportunities, it’s that patience is key. Silver Cup’s time will come, hopefully it’s within these first 5 years.
V What are some of your goals this year?
H Our major goal is just to get content out. It was tough being separated, but now that we are together, we want to grind out new stuff that’s better than anything before and give the people what they want!
C I’m just trying to have the best show we can for our potential SLC gig in July. Well, If it happens. Not to mention, continue writing. Gotta think short term.
L We gotta write more tunes. Also, we gotta continue to grow the Silver Cup Family. Meeting new fans and old fans at the shows we play, interacting with them online,the basics. Hopefully things open up soon, this way we can meet new people and play tunes in person!