EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: EARCANDY
EARCANDY is a brand new acapella group that started out on TikTok! The group consists of Jonathan Tilkin, Sri Ramesh, Anthony Gargiula, Taylor Edlin, Kavya Borra, Ryan Narciso, Jilaine Marie Orton, Naomi Joy Turner, Nina Ann Nelson, Lyric Slaughter, and Lyn Lapid. EARCANDY released their formal debut last month, a holiday album, and we got the chance to talk with the founding five members on it all.
What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Kavya Borra: Every holiday season my two sisters and I get together and decorate the Christmas tree. We blast our favorite Christmas music, and begin putting up our favorite ornaments. This year, decorating the tree was really special because some of the songs on our Christmas playlist were actually from EARCANDY’s Christmas album! It was so cool to be able to enjoy music that my friends and I made together, while simultaneously continuing one of my favorite holiday traditions 🙂
What was your experience recording this Christmas album during COVID?
Anthony Gargiula: Recording An EARCANDY Christmas was such a crazy and unique experience! Working on an album during a pandemic was definitely not “normal”, but we were so driven and passionate, that we were able to make it happen! Five of us had the opportunity to live in a house (with a built-in studio) together in Los Angeles, where we quarantined and recorded our vocals for the album. The other six members were recording their vocals from home. This meant that we had a lot of phone calls and zoom meetings to make sure we were all keeping up with each other. Thankfully, everybody in earcandy is so talented and hard-working! Everything ended up working out and we’re all so proud of this project.
What are some songs you’d love to cover together?
Sri Ramesh: I would LOVE to do any and all Ariana songs. I’m a huge fan of not only her music but her as a person and she keeps us fed with boo after bop & I would love to do as many of her stuff as I can
How do you manage to stay friends while in the group?
Jonathan Tilkin: Maintaining friendships when you’re in business together is always a tricky situation. Luckily, we’re all genuinely big fans of each other’s work as musicians, which makes it really easy because we always want to see the best in each other. We also decided when we started that the most important thing was that we keep moving forward and not get stuck on any decisions. So, at least right now, we operate on a “majority rules” basis. Basically, all of us express our opinion on a given idea and we have a real dialogue until there’s a unanimous decision. If at the end of the talk we still don’t agree, we’ll go with the majority that way it’s never coming down to one person to be responsible for making a tough decision. Spreading out the work and decision making like this really helps us preserve our friendships.
You have only been a group for a few months. What has been the biggest learning experience so far?
Taylor Edlin: The biggest learning experience so far has been perfecting the craft of creating viral group content without being in the same place. We all have learned to work together via technology to produce a product that we are all proud of.
What do you think makes for a good TikTok?
Sri Ramesh: Looking at it from a viewer’s POV, I think a captivating and engaging TikTok is what makes for a viral one. We always try to fit them in a 15-30 second limit so rewatches happen frequently and of course we make the arrangements complex but still something that our viewers who love to sing can imitate and put their own fun twists on!
who remembers this iconic collab from when EarCandy was born? • from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for 1 million 💞🍭
What are some of your biggest goals in the group?
Kavya Borra: I have a lot of goals for EARCANDY’s future. They start with us continuing to produce Christmas albums each year, because Christmas music is honestly super fun to arrange and we all really enjoy it! I also would love for EARCANDY to collaborate with some of our favorite artists on songs/ features! So far, we’ve built connections with artists through video collaborations on TikTok, but to extend these collaborations into the world of mainstream music would be absolutely amazing.
What have you been listening, reading, and watching during quarantine?
Anthony Gargiula: I’ve spent a lot of my quarantine working, actually! We post a few times a week on our EARCANDY social media pages, and of course we spent a month and a half working on the album. But when I do get downtime, I listen to my favorite artists like Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Tori Kelly. I also spend time watching my favorite YouTubers, and playing a lot of Among Us!