Cardinal Shinee bares soul with original new sound in single ‘Friend’
SAN DIEGO, CA – There are three astrological groupings that are present in the universe depending on the month that you are born: Fixed, Mutable or Cardinal. Each of those comes with a specific set of characteristics and personality traits. For Orion Latson, being born as a Cardinal has always been something that has helped guide him through life. And so as he discovered a gift for music and storytelling, it seemed only natural to choose the stage name Cardinal Shinee.
Today, Cardinal Shinee creates music that has been described as diverse, emotional, lyrical, abstract, poetic and even funny at times. His live shows are indeed something out of the norm. Attendees might see things such as sparkling fire-breathers, dancing babies, mysterious figures dressed in masks, 90-year-old grandmothers sipping on 40s right out of brown paper bags, and just a lot of “turn’t up shit.”
“You just never know what to expect at one of my live shows, but you can always expect it to be epic and like nothing you’ve ever seen,” Cardinal Shinee said. “It’s all about having an amazing time while enjoying the music and party. I contribute to the pleasure of the people and allow my light to shine through my music.”
Cardinal Shinee has also become known for the multi-faceted way he orchestrates his songs. Each song displays multiple sides of his character. This is perhaps best displayed on his newest single, “Friend,” which was released in September. Though he certainly had a specific idea in mind when he wrote the song, he said he doesn’t like to describe that because he wants the listener to interpret and experience the song however they feel in the moment.
“You might get anything from it,” he said. “It’s all about perception. Everyone has a really cool way that they appreciate music. Most of my music would be considered a little bit laid back though my style and lyrics depends on what I'm thinking. But the instrumentals would be on the laid-back side. And it’s not like any instrumentals out there. On this song, for instance, there’s a sound that is a little bit like what it sounds like when batteries are running low in a machine. We were in the studio and that sound kind of happened naturally and I knew immediately that it was something I wanted to keep because it doesn’t sound like anything else.”
Cardinal Shinee first started exploring unique sounds when he was young growing up in California. He would spend most days writing music instead of doing homework. He did well in local talent shows, and by the time he was a teenager he knew he wanted to dedicate his life to music. He began manipulating beats and sounds and then writing funny lyrics – making satirical songs off of some of the modern-day hip-hop classics. He also enjoyed freestyle competitions and played a part in online battle rap tournaments.
“I remember being so amazed at those battle rappers – the way they would come up with the clever rhymes and word patterns and topics,” he said. “I just remember being so amused at first by the battle rap songs – so much that I made it a huge goal to get into the studio myself and do my own thing. So that’s what I did. After making music similar to so many of my favorite artists for so long, I began creating something that wasn’t like anyone else. I had to remind myself that I would never be like them and they would never be like me. Everyone is so unique in their own way. That’s what I started making music that the universe wanted me to create – contrary to what other artists, or peers, or even friends wanted me to make.”
To listen to Cardinal Shinee’s music, or to follow him on social media, please visit: