Biography / Info
Shuteye, the explosive musical collaboration of award-winning singer-songwriter Elysia Hang-fu and veteran DJ Alena Ratner, is living proof that the best things come in twos. The innovative Chicago duo has succeeded in creating their very own genre of music—a distinct, category-defying sound that is emotional, stirring and electrifying. Before joining forces, Elysia and Alena were accomplished musicians in their own right, but each was searching for something more—a fresh, new musical endeavor that would challenge and inspire their musical instincts. Very fortuitously, both artists had spent several years writing music and lyrics on their own, so each had amassed an impressive body of unused material by the time they met in 2010. Shortly after crossing paths, the pair realized they were each other’s missing piece. They fused their artistry, reinventing, adapting and blending their individual concepts into the unique electronic sound that would ultimately come to define Shuteye. Elysia and Alena’s inherent musical chemistry shines through on their debut EP Sun Night Sky, which is scheduled for release in December of 2011. The EP is the first release off their album Hush Hush which will be released in 2012.
Before They Were Shuteye….
Born in Toronto, Canada, Elysia moved with her family to Cleveland, Ohio when she was five and immediately began studying piano and performing in choir. In 2001 she wrote her first original song and knew instantly that she had found her calling. Shortly thereafter, Elysia wrote and recorded her first full-length album under the guidance of Grammy-nominated producer Simon Illa of Warner Chappell, and she supported the album’s release with live performances throughout the U.S. Elysia’s album was also licensed to MTV, which lead to her songs airing on hit shows like Real World, Laguna Beach and The Hills, as well as ABC’s Wildfire. In 2004 Elysia was a top-four finalist in VH1’s and Paramount’s national contest, School of Rock, and she was also a finalist in the pop category of the “John Lennon Songwriting Contest.” Elysia spent the last three years compiling an impressive collection of lyrics, melodies and concepts—all of which she planned to share with the world when the moment was right.
Alena's relationship with music began in Kiev, Ukraine, where she was born and raised until she was eight years old. She began studying piano and singing at the age of four, and she continued her musical studies throughout her childhood. In 1988 Alena's family relocated to Chicago—it was a move that would ultimately lead to the most significant musical influence on her life. Like so many others at that time, Alena discovered dance music on Chicago’s radio waves. Legendary house DJs were pumping out a new, underground sound and Alena was hooked from the very start. She purchased her first pair of turntables in 2000 and began to obsessively collect vinyl and hone her DJ skills. Within months she scored her first residency at famed Champaign nightclub, Orchid, where she regularly played for massive crowds alongside heavyweight Chicago DJs. Shortly thereafter, she moved back to Chicago and began spinning regularly at various local clubs. In 2001 she landed the coveted opening resident spot at Justin Long’s reknowned .Dotbleep night at Smart Bar, and she continued to play regularly at Smart Bar until 2010. In 2003 Alena ventured into the production side of electronic music and released her first track on Igloo Recordings. Since then she has released a multitude of tracks and remixes on labels such as Greenhouse, D'Lectable and Smart Bar’s Area DJ Records. In 2004 she began touring globally and played multiple gigs throughout the U.K., and in Belgium, headlining at prominent venues like The Egg and The Key in London, Sankey’s Soap and Casa Musica in Manchester, Nation in Liverpool, and Stinkey’s Peep House in Leeds.
Shuteye’s music consists of electronic and live drums and percussion, virtual instruments, vocal and instrumental effects, live keyboards, and vocals.