THEY. are Drew Love and Dante. Mind Of A Genius-signees, genre-defiant vigilantes. 2015 newcomers and 2016 prospects. Beyond the DJ Khaled antics and the third person plural personal pronoun, those are pretty much the basics.
THEY. are less of an enigma than they are a force. With just a single EP, the LA-based duo are touring the world off the strength of three songs. Their first time on stage was the first stop on this tour, opening for Bryson Tiller's Trapsoul global excursion. A month ago, they had never even been out of the country and now the pair are in London today and Paris on Monday. And THEY. aren't taking it for granted.
How has the tour experience been so far? The first tour stop was your first show ever, so how has that been, the good and the bad?
The fact that we got "thrown into the fire," so to speak, at the jump of the tour was the best thing that could've happened to us. It allowed us to make adjustments and learn from each other's tendencies on stage at a moment's notice. We've grown a lot in that area, and as far as preparation, we just pray every time before we hit the stage. Dante and I almost got yanked off stage by fans. We learned real quick about reaching our hands out.
What are you most looking forward to on the European leg?
We've never been out of the country so just getting a glimpse of other cultures and tearing up the stage in each place is going to be surreal.
What have you learned about the experience of how have you felt growth? What's the most valuable piece of advice you've been given?
"Take each show for what it is, take all in stride, and have fun with it. It's about enjoying yourself." We're both still learning on how to do that.
So you're touring the world off the strength of your Nu Religion EP. How do your lives contrast now vs where you were during the making of those sessions?
We're just really busy all the time now. It's almost as if we're still going through the shock of it all and balancing that with taking care of ourselves, keeping an even keel and continuing the work ethic that got it all started. The entire process of us meeting and creating the music itself was so organic. Nu Religion stemmed from just a nearly identical vision musically and an identical passion for what we made.
Sonically what can we expect from the new music?
It's best going into listening to any project without expectations. We feel like since this group of songs is an expansion on a borderless sound, it'll be a unique listening experience. We tried consciously to make the process for this new music the same as the process for the first three. We take little lessons we learn along the way and apply them here and there, but for the most part, repetition draws perfection.
You use the word genre-defiant when speaking about your music. What impact are you looking to make on this evolving young rap culture at the moment with that sort of sonic defiance?
As music listeners, we've grown dissatisfied with the limitation mainstream urban/hip hop/R&B listeners put on their ears. Drum patterns, melodies, subject matter, and cadences are starting to merge together and become redundant. We really want to make it acceptable to throw all types of genre sounds into one experience and create a new feeling from the music itself.
You also tweeted, "we live in an age of music where people would rather be a tiny ember in another dying trend than dare to spark their own fire." What are you looking to spark?
We just want to blaze our own musical trail and encourage all other artists to do the same. There are so many dope ideas waiting to be thought of, waiting to be turned into art.
Moving away from DJ Khaled mentions I suppose as well would be something you're planning? How has that been in regards to forming your own brand?
They don't want you to have a brand.
How about moving together as a pair? Is that always something you wanted to do or did you or still do you have hopes for THEY to become I? What are your long-term goals there?
We'll always have our own visions — every artist of any type always does. But to us, this is the humble beginning of a statement making empire that we both want to be at the forefront of, together.
What else do you have planned throughout the rest of the year?
Music, music, and more music. More traveling, and just growth in general as people and musicians. This is an exciting time in life for the both of us.