DELUNE TALKS WITH TMI ABOUT THEIR NEW SINGLE “Wild West Side Highway”
Can you tell us a little something about each of you?
We are DELUNE – sisters, songwriters, producers, recording artists. When we collaborate on music, we bring our own interests to the table. Izzi’s interested in architecture and visual art, and wrote her thesis comparing American public schools to American prisons. Kate’s interested in theater and performing arts, and last week her musical “Notes from the Basement” was workshopped in NYC. We share a love for memes, sociology, conspiracy theories, and the absurd. Above all, DELUNE is in pursuit of freedom, of thought, mind, body, and spirit.
What inspired you guys to pursue music?
We’ve been creating together since we were kids. Imagination has always been a huge part of our identities: we’ve always created videos, cartoons, stories, songs, and plays in our living room as a means of understanding the world around us. Our family has always been an ensemble and creative team. As DELUNE, we’ve found solace in music in particular as a way of communicating beyond spoken language – “when words fail, music speaks.” (Hans Christian Andersen)
What is it like being in a duo with your sister?
It’s like being in our shared bedroom playing when we were children, except this time, we’re in our twenties and other people are watching and listening.
How would you describe your musical style as a duo?
Our debut EP is what we like to call “adventure pop.” We love pop music as a means of communicating with a broad audience, and want to take this audience on unexpected journeys. Each of the songs on our upcoming EP establishes its own distinctive world. Right now, we’re in the world of Wild West Side Highway, reimagining New York as the Wild Wild West.
What artists do you guys look up to right now?
TBH, God, “Good Orderly Direction,” the flow, the divine. The OG artist.
We admire all artists for their courage, regardless of how much exposure they have.
Musically, we are strongly influenced by sacred choral arrangements. Several recording artists come to mind as direct influences: Sia, Imogen Heap, Frank Ocean, Kanye West. We love the early 2000’s soundscape: Destiny’s Child, Backstreet Boys, Evanescence. Anything produced by Max Martin in that era. Ear candy harmonic pop music explosions.
We’re very into surrealist painters: René Magritte, Salvador Dalí. Symbolism, Alphonse Osbert.
We look up to avant-garde theater director Robert Wilson’s aesthetic. He is one of our artistic mentors and we admire the beauty he finds in stillness on stage.
We admire the artwork of the video game Zelda on N64. The Orcarina of Time was a pretty big influence on us and our music.
Hayao Miyazaki = goals.
We went to high school with DC-based rapper Beau Young Prince and we dig his authenticity and work ethic. Go Beau!
You guys just released your debut single “Wild West Side Highway”. Can you tell us how this song came about and the meaning of the song?
We wrote this song 2 years ago. We were living in the basement of our childhood home, having just moved back from Berlin, where Kate had founded a performing arts program in a refugee camp called The Hutto Project. It was a weird time. We were trying to figure out who we were, and the world seemed pretty crazy (backdrop: Fall 2016, if you recall what was going on then…) We were missing New York City, but had mixed feelings. We had gone to college at Columbia University, spent our young adult years in Gotham, and experienced the highs and lows of The City that Never Sleeps. So we wrote a song recasting NYC as the American Wild West — the golden frontier, full of opportunity, bandits, and surprises.
Are their any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
Gonna start shooting music video #2 soon 🙂
Why do you think social media is so important for singers today?
We have been told that music has now become a visual art form. Today musicians are challenged to present a sonic art form visually. Music is only a component of the entire oeuvre a recording artist presents to the world these days. DELUNE is a music duo, yes, but we are also an in-house media production team. We make beats, songs, lyrics, web design, video content, you name it. It’s a time-consuming grind, but also revolutionizes our ability to share and connect. Social media provides an amazing opportunity to interact with different people across the globe and we love that. For example, we are able to share our music and keep up with our former students living in refugee camps in Germany. That’s pretty amazing.
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
We want our relationship with our listeners always to be honest, open, and free. We envision a community where people are able to express their deepest selves, the self that society might have persuaded them not to be. DELUNE embraces anything weird, quirky, ill-fitting, unfiltered — real.
We like discovering the world, alongside others. Sometimes the truth is most succinctly represented in fiction and stories. We like playing pretend and staying open. Nothing is off-limits. We want to play together, collaborate, create with our audience. Art does not exist inside a vacuum. All art is co-creation.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
Instagram has been a good home for us the past weeks. We love the polls and questions features, and we’re enjoying getting to know our people – from launching a movement to free the horses in Central Park to sharing favorite procrastination techniques. We’re still learning how to utilize Instagram to its fullest potential as artistic medium – collaborations very much welcome! We know you teenagers are on top of it.
What’s an average day like for you guys?
“There is no average day for Delune” seems overdone, but it’s true. We’re constantly creating, and honestly, the creation process is messy. One day we’re in the studio recording until 4 AM, the next days we’re making videos, the next we’re rehearsing in the basement of a church, the next we’re facilitating a hip-hop workshop for teenagers in Crown Heights. One constant is that we’re pretty much working around the clock.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years in your career and personal life?
In five years, we hope to still be creating and exploring the possibilities of the imagination. We envision we’ll be several albums down the road at that point, with establishing cross-disciplinary collaborations in the worlds of theater, film, fashion, etc. We’re very interested in collaborating with musicians who contrast us genre-wise; hip-hop & classical musicians, we’re looking at you. The longterm dream is being able to create art sustainably, as DELUNE, and with communities that don’t easily get the opportunity to access art. We ultimately want to create a foundation for the arts to facilitate workshops and provide people with the tools necessary to become an artist. We see expansion in detention centers in the United States on the horizon. If you’re interested, hit us up.
How has this whole music career experience been?
We’re just getting started!
Do you have any advice for aspiring music artists?
Yes – protect and honor your inner voice, the one that tells you to create. You are never given a dream without the ability to make it manifest. And not everyone has to like what you do. Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime, and it was to his brother.
Do you have any last things you want to tell your supporters?
We are excited to go on this journey with you!
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview 🙂
Thanks for having us. PS – we love teenagers. Your questions are valid — so keep questioning the structures you’re in. You are the future.