Photo courtesy of Sandra Pena

Delshaun Holtzclaw, and Chris Buchanan, both 22, enter the Starbucks coffee shop with radiant energy and open-arms. It doesn’t take long to see music is in their blood. From being music students and marching band members at the University of Nevada, Reno, to playing over 15 instruments, music defines the pair. As they talk about revolutionizing the music industry, their faces light up.

Originally from Las Vegas, the music duo known as The Revolutionists works to create its own sound and change the way that music is perceived.

“The way we want to think about our music is that it’s going to be a change,” Buchanan said. “We want it to be better than it is now and go back towards the old school. It’s a revolution; there’s always a change, and as the Revolutionists, we’re bringing the change.”

The Revolutionists describe their genre as a mix of hip-hop, classical, funk, R&B and jazz fusion. From rapping and singing to playing instrumentals, Holtzclaw and Buchanan take pride in bending genres and expectations.

“We tell people all the time, we’re not rappers,” Holtzclaw said. “We’re artists, we’re musicians, we love music for what it is, you know. That’s why we create every kind of it.”

Their main purpose is to be original and authentic with their art. Every instrument is recorded live to give listeners the ability to feel each element of the music. When writing lyrics, The Revolutionists are vocal about experiences they have been through. Holtzclaw explains that the most important part of creating music is being honest and always expressing your genuine self.

“Coming out from Vegas, you see everything,” Holtzclaw said. “Everything is so exposed. Coming out to Reno, we’re really trying to find ourselves and that’s through the music, that’s true expression. I feel like the only message is to be yourself and really find what you love doing. Stick with it and stay in your lane, don’t let anyone else persuade you otherwise.”

Not only are the musicians focusing on creating a voice for themselves, but they want to give other artists opportunities to express themselves to a larger audience as well. In 2017, Holtzclaw and Buchanan won the Billboard Jackson Entrepreneurial grant through Phi Beta Sigma’s Bigger and Better Business conference, which allowed them to establish Effortless Entertainment, an independent record production company for artists who have the mindset of making a difference in the music industry.

“We can be the independent label for the independent artists,” Buchanan said. “We want to give everybody a voice. Just the way we set it up and the way that we try to give back to everybody once we get it going is going to be a phenomenal way to give more people buzz and get more people excited to work with us.”

Through Effortless Entertainment, The Revolutionists want to plan events, provide cinematography for music videos, photography for marketing, resources to record and apparel for music artists. Currently, Holtzclaw and Buchanan are working “effortlessly” to legitimize the business and plan a show at Jub Jub’s as the company’s debut performance. Eventually, they want to hold gigs at venues across Northern California and Las Vegas. The music duo hopes to release an EP under the independent label by the end of 2018.