DUETS AND STUFF
I have been speaking with DUETS AND STUFF…
about their debut single, Serve Somebody, and how the song came together. The duo discuss their formation and what they have planned coming up – I ask whether there are any new artists we need to get behind and support.
I ask whether there is a good music scene in Sweden (where they are based) and how music came into their lives; if there are any gigs coming up for DUETS AND STUFF; the advice they would give upcoming musicians – the guys end the interview by selecting some cool songs.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
We are fine, thanks! Our week has been relaxing. We are currently on vacation in the most northern town of Sweden, Kiruna. We have been catching up with some friends and visited the local music festival - and also watched a little bit of the FIFA World Cup.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are Raimond and Greta and we are the duo behind DUETS AND STUFF. We make minimalistic and simple Pop with an Indie vibe.
How did DUETS AND STUFF get together? When did you meet one another?
We are a couple and have been together for nine years. We have always been playing music together - since that’s a mutual interest - but we just recently started writing together. Serve Somebody is our debut single. We met for the first time at a small music festival where we both played in separate bands - and we got together a few years later.
Serve Somebody is your debut single. Is there a story behind it at all?
There’s actually a kind of funny story behind it...
Raimond had written and recorded this catchy marimba melody-jingle and it was very different from the stuff he usually writes when recording and writing under his own artist name (Rain on Monday). I (Greta) was laying on the couch, reading or something, and I heard him playing the jingle over and over and I just started laughing out loud asking what the heck he was recording - and it was so out of his usual style.
I thought at first it sounded kind of dorky. A few weeks later, we just felt an urge to record something together and we tried to write something from scratch. The first attempt did not work out too well but then Raimond played the marimba song again and he had a half-finished lyric to it. At that point, I felt the song immediately and we wrote the rest of the song together and recorded it.
Will there be more material coming later this year?
Yeah. We have plans together with our label, Bolero Recordings, for more upcoming releases later this year. Currently, we are writing songs for our debut album and things are going well.
Did music arrive in life at a young age? Were there particular artists that influenced your decision to make music?
We have both been into music since childhood, more or less. For Raimond; U2 has been the biggest influence in starting playing music. For Greta; it’s been more a natural thing starting playing music since she has musicians for parents.
Is there a good music scene in Sweden right now? Is it a great country to record music in?
We think that the music scene in Sweden is strong. There are many good artists, bands; producers and songwriters here. That’s both inspiring but also makes the competition harder to reach out with your own music.
Where are you heading on tour? Where can we catch you?
We hope to make some touring in the future: right now, we are focused on writing and recording so we can release more new music. Our first shows will probably be in Sweden/Stockholm but we would like to extend our venues to maybe Norway, Denmark and the other Nordic countries. Also, Germany would be great to visit!
Can we expect some U.K. date very soon?
We really hope so! That will probably be the plan as soon as we start touring.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
We are aiming to finish our debut album and we also want to do more live shows.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
When we first released Serve Somebody, the response way better than any of us could have imagined. That was a real boost in confidence - so we continued writing together. So, we guess how it all started is the greatest memory. We also found something really fun and rewarding to do together, which is the most important thing to us right now - enjoying this together.
After the release, we got several offers from labels and publishers but, at first, we wanted to do this on our own. Later, we got in touch with Lars at Bolero Recordings and he has been such a great support and we think our collaboration works out good.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Peter Bjorn and John or The xx would be cool to support. Our rider would, for sure, include pizza and beer (smiles).
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
To have the energy and spend time promoting the music: otherwise, it's hard to reach out in the anthill of new music coming out every day.
IN THIS PHOTO: Oddnesse/PHOTO CREDIT: Daniel Johnson
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Because we also have a relationship besides the music, we try to take some time to disconnect music and do everyday things. We like spending time with our golden retriever, Bono; exercise and watching T.V. series and movies.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Check out our label rooster colleague Mi von Ahn's latest single, Childish Games
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