Stage Right Secrets spoke with TELYKast to chat all about their new music, TikTok, and what they’ve been up to while in quarantine. Read our exclusive interview, below.
“Daylight” is gaining momentum on TikTok, how did you discover that it was blowing up?
Linus: I was in New York when that was going on, when it started to go on TikTok I was visiting my parents and I was doing some sessions. It was a month of hearing every day that it’s doing this or that and seeing the correlation on Spotify. Does this platform have the legs that we think it has in terms of being able to be streamed everywhere else? The answer was yes. Since day one it’s been an upward trend. It’s interesting how some companies are pushing instrumentals on the app just uploading beats to the library. It’s really interesting the virality of the platform and it’s shaping how people approach pop music.
Trevor: It was one of those things that we knew what we wanted to do with it. We wanted to do something for TikTok after we fell in love with the platform. I did a song called “Take Your Man,” which kind of went viral on there, so we wanted to see what tracks we have and if we can blow up. Obviously you still never know what happens but when it did we were super excited. It’s a really cool thing.
Have you discovered any music on the platform?
Trevor: Even like the little sound effects are so catchy. There’s a few songs I’ve found on there and looked up on Spotify, that’s what I think is so good about the platform is the discovery aspect. It really can introduce you to new artists that you wouldn’t normally find.
Without being signed you amassed over an impressive 40 million streams, what was the hardest aspect of being an independent group?
Linus: Trusting anybody else who was going to come. Me and Kyle started this thing six years ago and we worked really well as a team. He has a knack for finding loopholes and seeing things go viral, that’s where he gets his adrenaline high. It’s a combination of our personalities and what we’re good at. We put out a song called “Comfortable” but because it did well on Spotify a song that we put out a year and a half ago blew up.
We saw that you’re teasing new music, what can you tell us about it?
Linus: That’s been awesome during quarantine for us to get our live set together. For me as a DJ, that’s not in my nature, I’m a musician and a producer first. But I have been playing DJ shows for a while now, for me personally I don’t feel comfortable without an instrument in my hand. But it’s been great to combine these, we’ve been integrating live edits and mashups., figuring out the timing of breakdowns. I think that only happens for us because of the nature of the independent artist that’s been in us for so long.
Kyle: We do have a couple of really big remixes coming. We have tons of originals ready to go.
Trevor: We have pretty much been working around the clock right now, especially because of quarantine. We’re the kind of people that produce new stuff every day, we’ve always had a big batch of stuff, we’re glad that we finally have a label that’s a great fit. Even new ones that we’re working on now. The quarantine brought us together.
Your music really teeters on the line between electronic and pop, should genres matter in general or do they matter to you personally?
Kyle: I don’t think so, we pull inspiration from really everything, some of the craziest things we’ve ever heard we’ve gotten ideas from. We listen to a lot of different styles more for the songwriting side, that’s really important to us is a really good song then putting a production to the song. We pull from everywhere, but for our project, I think it’s making it high energy pop music that can still be on a main stage, on the radio, and appealing to all audiences.
I love that you play instruments and are really re-introducing that into the electronic genre, what made you decide to go that route?
Kyle: All along the thing we always preach is shifting the needle and pushing the boundaries. In the electronic space specifically, a lot of people are comfortable with doing a DJ set which is cool and still works but I think there is a higher level of what you can do. People like Odessa, they’re doing something like no one else. If we’re gonna do a project, we want to do something that is insane and really special. What The Chainsmokers are doing as well, they’re doing a similar thing, is really helping shift our goal resonate with people and make it a thing that is super accepted.
Trevor: We’ve done a few of the virtual festivals. What we do is a hybrid DJ set, we’ve been practicing to shape our set and include more live instrumentation that we’ve done previously. We still have that DJ aspect of it, which we still want to keep intact, but we’ve just been working way more in terms of creating the live parts and making everything flow together.
You came from different musical backgrounds, how did you all land on this hybrid sound?
Kyle: I’m originally from Dallas, Linus is from New York, and Trevor is from L.A. Trevor grew up playing in rock bands, Linus was classically trained, and then I had a later start. I was more into electronic music, cause I went to Sweden when I was thirteen for ice hockey. That was when I was really obsessed with it. So all of our backgrounds coming together, I’m definitely more of the electronic side, Trevor is the shredder guitar stuff, and Linus is the swervy, hip hop stuff.
Trevor: I think it makes everything better, when we are making something we add a certain element to it. Each person adds that to whatever we’re working on, it ends up sculpting the sound.
For a person who just discovered your music, what song should they listen to first?
Trevor: Definitely “Daylight.”
What goes into a typical session for you?
Kyle: So we normally start with a super basic chord progression or a lyric concept that we want to build out. The most important thing is the writing of the song, if we have a song that we’re super stoked about then we know that everything else will come. From a session standpoint, Linus and Trevor both play guitar, we can get a song arranged pretty fast. Our process is super quick, that’s what makes it convenient about having three of us.
Since most of the country is in quarantine are there any new skills you’ve learned?
Linus: I’ve really learned to cook a lot I’ve really enjoyed it. My mom used to make everything, I had a girlfriend who was making all of the food. I was kind of scared to cook. Since quarantine I’ve been cooking a lot, I really love that. I’ve gotten back to playing the blues on guitar again and back to my roots. I’ve been messing around with a new synth that they sell at the MOMA, a boutique quirky little synth.
Kyle: It was interesting at first because everyone was trying to get their bearings but for us it’s been good. Right before this whole thing started we all moved within a mile of each other, it’s good to be in a new house and start working on everything that’s upcoming. It kind of made us realize that everyone in the world is in the same situation, you’ve got to make the most of it. Creatively it’s been amazing, we’re excited for everything to pass and play shows.
Trevor: Of course I’ve been watching a lot of T.V. and documentaries. I’ve also been learning a lot more on the music side, pick up new tricks and techniques. I’ve been playing a lot of acoustic guitar and singing.
Have you rediscovered any classic music or discovered new tracks recently?
Trevor: I come from a rock background and I’ve been diving into older stuff like Bring Me The Horizon. It’s been good and cool to listen to that stuff again and see how that has influenced me.
What else can fans expect from you this year?