Get To Know Silver Cup [Interview]

Ben Wego

Hadley and Logan Nelson were born and raised together in Salt Lake City, Utah and began making music in 2019. This creative pair of siblings make up Silver Cup. A family band to its core, Silver Cup’s name comes from the feed mill founded by their Great-Great Grandfather that was passed down through generations. With an indie pop sound inspired by the music of their childhood and personalities, they have amassed an incredibly dedicated fanbase. From songs about growing up with suburban roots to existential dread, Silver Cup embodies the concept of coming of age. Their newest single, “Away,” on their upcoming mixtape, is a Y2K inspired track focused on the adolescent themes of leaving behind your past and embracing your future.


You have a new release titled “Away,” can you share some inspiration behind the song?

Logan: Hadley and I do these exercises when we’re writing, we’re in the TikTok era so a lot of times people want to churn out music really quickly, so if you look at it as an exercise that can also be a good thing. We sit for 3-4 hours and write whatever comes about and refine it later. During this creation phase we started producing this end credit beat  similar to a classic Y2K film (i.e. Legally Blonde, A Cinderella Story) redemption arc of like “high school was hard but I made it!”. We refined the lyrics and walked away with the song.

I definitely see TikTok’s influence on up and coming artists and how they’re trying to create songs that people are going to catch on to and use as a sound. How would you describe your background/upbringing and how you got into music?

Hadley: We do those exercises not solely for TikTok, it originally came out as a TikTok campaign so we [had] an idea of content to post, but now it’s like a creative exercise and a challenge for us. Three or four of our most successful songs have come from doing this exercise. SIlver Cup’s origin story has a lot to do with our new song “Away.” We’re siblings from Salt Lake City, Utah and we’ve both been involved in music since day one. Logan specifically was the band kid who’s been putting out music since he’s 13 or 14 years old. I was in the choir and did theater and the classical violin side of music. I looked up to Logan as an inspiration for being a performer but we never worked together because he was a bit older than me. When I graduated high school, which is where I was mostly involved with my musical extracurriculars, I went off to school in New York where I stopped doing music and it felt incredibly wrong. Then Logan reached out to me and said “hey why don’t we make music together and you try being the lead vocalist of a band?”. This definitely helped to fill the musical void I was going through. We started when we were across the country from each other but ended up in the same place during COVID. It’s always been an all in the family sibling duo.

 Wow it sounds very natural, like the pieces all fell into place. The universe wanted you to work together because you’re both very musically inclined. I think you also made a good point about how TikTok has impacted this generation of musicians. People are very obsessed with becoming the next viral sensation but this doesn’t necessarily mean that their songwriting should be based on how TikTok operates. Artists don’t necessarily want to be remembered by a small sound bit; they want people to listen to the whole song.

Logan: Right and we chased that down last year it was our only goal. We had some success on TikTok and all these industry people were telling us we were so close to hitting a viral moment. We became so obsessed with achieving that virality that it derailed every aspect of our creative endeavors and it made us kind of unhappy. It was never about the genuine concept of the music. It’s hard to be brutally honest promoting music on TikTok.

Right. What would you say are some of your artistic Inspirations and influences and how do you think that intertwines into your music?

Hadley: Silver Cup’s all about nostalgia which I think really makes sense you know when it comes to the roots of who we are because of course we grew up together and so obviously it's natural to take inspiration from our shared experiences growing up together and also the music we listened to growing up together. We’re very electro indie pop influenced. Some of my answers are like Imogen Heap, The Postal Service is a huge one, and someone we’ve very much also taken inspiration from is Caroline Polachek.

Logan: Silver Cup has alway used sampling as a huge component to our music. Growing up in Holiday, Utah I wasn’t exposed to many minority communities there that would have shown me stuff like J Dilla or Madlib. My little brother Campbell started to show me some underground hip hop and I was mind blown by how these producers were regurgitating these old vinyls and making them into something new. In this new project, it’s a progression utilizing my love for indie music [Arcade Fire] and my newfound appreciation for early 2000s hip hop [J Dilla, MF Doom, Kanye West] and turning that into something more electronic. 

I love how unique the artists that you guys mentioned are, it shows how you can take inspiration from so many different genres of music. The Y2K theme is also very cool like the ending of those early 2000s movies is super nostalgic and paints a vivid picture in my mind. 
What changes do you think you’ve adopted sonically through these new releases you’re putting out?

Logan: Silver Cup is your classic small increments of virality indie band and through that time building upon that virality and trying to create those moments, we’ve never had a big breakout moment where we’ve had a huge hit. We both live in New York City now and when we first moved that was the obsession. Our prior management was like you guys need a record deal and you need to get a hit to achieve this. At one point I had been promoted at my job and was considering leaving behind music but Hadley convinced me to do a mixtape where we didn’t hold ourselves back and just played with any sounds we wanted, which is our upcoming project. Before we had started out doing more punk pop in the style of Machine Gun Kelly which was an angle we were trying out for the social media generation. I think we’ve moved into a more electro pop sound and I’ve finally capitalized on my production to be inspired by every genre and learned not to stick to just one style.

I think a lot of independent artists go through that moment where they consider leaving music. They ask themselves if they love music enough to keep pursuing it. Is the competition and adaptation of the industry worth it? I think it’s all about the honesty and hard work you put into the music that you’re making. It’s inspiring to see how you motivate each other as siblings to keep pursuing your musical careers. The idea of a mixtape is super refreshing and I can see how it pushed that creative boundary for you because it doesn’t limit you to any sound or commercial motivation. With that being said, what motivates you the most about being independent musicians?

Hadley: We’re in this because we like music. We like to make music and we like to use our creative brains to make things from scratch that are ours and express our honest feelings and experiences. We really just have fun making things we are proud of and inspiring others through our music. We have a tight knit fan base and we engage with our fans a ton and it’s clear how dedicated they are to our music. I think it’s because we inspire each other and the music we make enveloped in the concepts we talk about makes people feel seen and happy. We just want to inspire as many people as we can and instill joy within them with our music.

Logan: Ironically one of the pieces of advice our marketing manager shared with us was that we had to be authentic and real to sell our music. At the time we were just chasing trends but now with this mixtape and our new single “Away, it feels the most authentic. It's the real culmination of our sound. 

The song is incredible and the black and white music video gives it a real vintage feel. What lyric do you find the most relatable to your own life that you’ve written in any of your songs?

Logan: “Away” is a good example for sure.

Hadley: It’s definitely one of the most relatable songs we’ve ever made and it's very authentic because it came from a very personal place. It’s really about being a young adult and I think a lot of people can relate to that. The whole second verse “Sometimes we close an open door to step into the one before / the hands will shake embrace is warm / I’ve come of age but not reborn / On one hand you’re safe and sound the other one will break you down / so cut ‘em off and turn around that will do it.” “Away” is about grappling with those "what if" questions and being afraid that your visions have not led you to the place where you’re happiest. Obviously these questions are unhelpful and make you feel down. These lyrics are looking back at my younger self and having jealousy for the ignorance I lived in as a teenager and wishing I could go back and see where a different path would’ve taken me. “Closing the door behind you” represents your past and the things you miss about it but it also represents the progression you go through growing up and leaving those things behind.

That’s a super relatable concept that we experience in our adolescence, especially in our twenties. 

Logan: “Away” is such a cool song because it’s about having hope in your future decisions. It just encompasses the idea of letting things go and having no regrets and uncertainty. This is the door, this is the progression and it will be what it will be. I can't wallow in my sadness of the unknown or possible failure. 

This literally sounds like my therapy session! Thanks for sharing this insight about your new song “Away” it’s a banger and I can’t wait to listen to whole mixtape when it comes out! 

Copy Link

Related Articles