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Biography

Photay is the solo musical endeavor of composer/drummer/DJ/producer, Evan Shornstein.

After studying abroad in Guinea, West Africa, Photay was born. Combining his newly acquired knowledge of polyrhythmic percussion and years of experimenting with sampling and field recordings, he went on to create and self-release his first project under the alias. Using a variety of audio sources and techniques, Photay’s sound is a balancing act of analog and digital, of natural and synthetic. It is not designed exclusively for headphones nor the dancefloor, but is genuinely at home in both contexts.

Photay’s debut EP caught the ears of the indie-electronic label, Astro Nautico, who signed him to his first record deal. His music also caught the attention of music supervisor Matt FX who licensed his song NO SASS for the TV show “Broad City” and licensed a portion of his song RECONSTRUCT as the theme song to the TV show “Man Seeking Woman.”

His second EP, “Sadie” drew attention from tastemaker and Worldwide FM/BBC DJ, Gilles Peterson who has featured Photay on his numerous shows. Photay’s debut full-length, “Onism” (Astro Nautico) was released on August 11, 2017 and met with critical acclaim, including a glowing review and a 7.9 rating from Pitchfork. The final track of the album, BOMBOGENESIS was licensed by Apple. In the summer of 2017, he supported Odesza on a few dates including notable show at Red Rocks and he supported Bonobo on their Northeast, North American leg of their worldwide tour. Photay is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.

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