The Indianapolis hip-hop group 81355 (pronounced Bless) have been called an Indianapolis supergroup. 81355 features rappers Sean “Oreo” Jones, Sirius Blvck, and producer David “Moose” Adamson – known for his work with indie rock band Jookabox.
81355 released their debut record This Time I’ll Be Of Use in 2021.The album received international attention, earning praise from outlets including Pitchfork and Rolling Stone France.
WFYI’s Kyle Long spoke with 81355 after their performance for Small Studio Sessions. They discussed This Time I’ll Be Of Use, and the group’s future plans.
Kyle Long, WFYI: Each of you have done very meaningful work as solo artists, and each of you has a significant presence in the Indianapolis music scene. What is it that attracts you together to work on this collective project?
Sirius Blvck: I think it's mainly our admiration for one another as artists. Through the years, we've all worked together in different forms. But, I think before we ever worked together, we were all admirers of each other's work.
Kyle Long: Sean, you run a radio station, you have your own solo music projects, and you ran a local hip hop festival for several years. What is it about 81355 that is attracting your attention right now?
Sean “Oreo” Jones: I love working with these dudes, they’re my brothers. I think 81355 is just a special kind of snapshot of what we were all feeling and thinking. I think the universe was telling me that I needed some time to focus and create.
Kyle Long: 81355 started life, essentially, as a studio project. You've now expanded into a full band, as we heard. Tell us about that process of expanding this beyond the studio, onto the stage, and putting together a band.
David “Moose” Adamson: When we started thinking about playing shows for the first time after we had recorded the record, we wanted it to be powerful. We talked to our good friends in the music scene and asked them to come on board. That's pretty much it, right? We were just trying to make a fun live show.
Kyle Long: Your debut album had a significant impact here locally, and it had an impact nationally. The album was released nationally through 37d03d (pronounced People), a record label founded by Justin Vernon, known for his work as Bon Iver. How did that platform bring your music to new audiences? What role did the label have in getting this music out to the world?
Sirius Blvck: They gave us the biggest platform we've ever been given so far. We never would have gotten into Rolling Stone France otherwise. They really helped us out, and hit the ground running with us.
Kyle Long: I know you all have a very loyal fan base here, and people are looking forward to the future and are excited about what's next for 81355. You're working on an album, tell us about what's coming up in the future.
Sirius Blvck: Right now we're in the process of recording and writing LP two, with all three of us, and the band, which has been amazing to have them in the studio. I think we just want to continue to try and make moves and put people on to what we're doing here in Indianapolis. I think the goal is always to show out and let people know we're Naptown.