AFK is Just Getting Started

Updated: Sep 16, 2018

Brandon Pettus performing with AFK. Photo by Colin Shellard

by Colin Shellard

The suspense, tension and darkness leaves the audience jittering in anticipation for the first show of the semester at The Stood. The duo known as AFK takes the stage and as if on cue the crowd loses its collective mind.

AFK is an experimental hip hop group from New York that explores and pushes a sound that is both eccentric and energetic. “We really feel inspired by groups such as JPEGMAFIA, Lou the Human, and Death Grips,” said Brandon Pettus, the duos vocalist.

The group goes beyond echoing their role models. Their interaction with the audience created a scene of mosh pits and amped up energy that can only be seen at shows such as JPEGMAFIA or Death Grips.

photo by Colin Shellard

The group has only been making music for roughly about a year now. Pettus works alongside Thomas Karas, who produces all of AFK's tracks. The duo recently tried to put out at E.P., but were unsatisfied with the end product. “What we got wasn’t anything we wanted to put out there,” Pettus said.

The duo was confronted with another challenge when Pettus found out that Karas was leaving for an internship over the summer. “We made most of our music at Thomas’s house, and when I found out that he was leaving I knew we had to take advantage of his studio before he left, we only had two weeks to create our first E.P.” Pettus said.

The time restraint and the stress of the situation challenged both of the musicians as they put together their first project. Their E.P., "Paycheck" was released successfully, fostering a growing fan base both on and off campus.

AFK performed their first show at The Stood in early September in front of packed room. The set was short and limited to only 5 songs, but it left the audience wanting more. The strobing colorful lights added to the noisy, chaotic atmosphere of the group's frantic sound. They provided an electrifying live performance that even left the Stood sound technicians in a daze.

photo by Colin Shellard

The group plans on releasing a new single in the coming weeks and will have another show in The Neu on Sept. 22. AFK also plans on releasing another E.P in a few months. The group said they plan on pushing and reinventing their sound as they progress in their musical careers.

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