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No Surrender | About

No Surrender is one of the pioneering Afropunk crews from NYC's indie underground, starting out in the early 00s. Their own albums, and collaborations have been hailed internationally by VICE, MTV, SPIN, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Mojo, NME, Time Out London, and dozens of other outlets. Since 2015, the band has moved heavily into production. 

Their music has been used in commercials, film, documentaries and television, as is appropriate for a crew known for their work on screen as much as they are on stage. In 2016, they unveiled Altars, a sound installation for sculptor Afruz Amighi. They are also producing material for Mike Ladd and Brooklyn Wildlife...all due out in 2016.


No Surrender is a staple on New York’s underground scene. Lording over now shuttered, legendary Lower East Side venues like Brownies, CBGB’s Gallery, and Baby Jupiter, they stepped onto the scene as co-hosts of the Revenge of The Muse parties, one of the first monthlies to bring together alt-rap, rock and dance. They shared the stage with other innovators of the late 90s/early 00s scene like Mike Ladd, Antipop Consortium, Stiffed (Santigold’s former band), and Apollo Heights (The Veldt). Members Seraphim, Steeples, and Gnomad quickly became known for their fiery performances and hypnotically awkward sound.

As their rep grew, Seraphim began popping up as a guest vocalist on tracks by underground legends like Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox, Crunc Tesla and The Majesticons. He was also pulled by avant garde composer Ras Mesinai (the legal name of ROIR’s electro-dub star Badawi) to co-star in the acclaimed theater piece Myth of Nations which did stints at The Kitchen (NYC) and Il Teatro San Giorgi in Sicily. 

In 2003, the crew offered up their first self-released CD, White Power Black Magic, a collage of dissonance, off-beat drum patterns and fierce lyricism. Subculture bible VICE Magazine hailed the debut, and with nods of approval from the critics and the alt-rap scene, the crew was poised to become a major force in electronic music…and then Eddie Steeples got a gig he simply couldn't turn down.

While auditioning for roles after his appearance in the Ice Cube popcorn flick Torque Steeples, was picked up by NBC to become a permanent cast member of Jason Lee’s cult comedy hit My Name Is Earl. The unfinished album they were working on got shelved, and the band was put on hold. 

Steeple’s unplanned TV stardom didn’t break the crew apart, however. In 2007, while in London, the guys hooked up with Seraphim’s good friend Johan of London’s electropop faves The Very Best (formerly of Radioclit). A musical alliance was formed between the crews, and No Surrender was re-born across the pond. Overwhelming crowd reaction spurred Seraphim to begin producing material for a new album. In the studio, he enlisted friends like TV on the Radio frontman Tunde Adebimpe and the aforementioned Johan of The Very Best to help craft their latest offering. 

A chance meeting with dubstep hero FreQ Nasty (co-producer of Santigold’s breakthrough hit “Creator”) led them to former Tricky muse Costanza Francavilla’s ZerOKilled studio. Camped out in the DUMBO studio, they pieced together the album Medicine Babies a seamless blend of electro-punk, dance and alt-rap which dragged No Surrender out of the underground and into the spotlight...for a minute before diving back into the deep end.

Group member Darius Jamal VanSluytman (formerly known as Seraphim) also worked on music with celebrated TV composer Kurt Farquhar and appeared in a principle role in the feature film Lifted (2010). He has also collaborated with Paola Pristini's (National Sawdust) VisionIntoArt (At the Whitney Museum), Evil Nine, Vijay Iyer, and a host of forward-thinking artists in NY's music scene. 

Today the crew produces for independent records, film, television and other media.