In anticipation of their new single“Best Shot”, we let siblings Matteo and Stella create the questions they would ask each other. Here is the result of their interview:
What are your musical influences and how do they affect the music you make together?
Matteo: I spent time listening to piano-based artists and singer-songwriters. Randy Newman, Billy Joel, Elton John and Stevie Wonder, as well as Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones were big for me. These aren’t the same influences that Stella has so when we mix our influences we are able to get what I think is a unique sound. At the same time some of the production choices I want to make have Stella rolling her eyes since they aren’t pop enough for her.
Stella: My musical influences are constantly changing! Yesterday, it was Emily King, FKJ and Claude Debussy. Today it’s YEBBA, Dodie, and Daniel Caesar. Tomorrow it’s a completely new set of musicians… but I have a feeling that it will be a Frank Ocean kind of day. Because we have different influences, collaborating is always a unique experience for us.
Performing at the Fall Fair 2014
How has your musical relationship changed while growing up together?
Matteo: I think when we were younger I did most of the work for both of us, but now it’s a true collaboration process and Stella brings certain skills that she possess, so her and I are able to work together. All the years spent working together also means we have a strong relationship and both of us aren’t afraid to speak up when we don’t like something.
Stella: For as long as I can remember our musical relationship has been a constant one. There was no breaks ups or unforgivable fights, although I imagine that would have been a great topic for a kickass song. Although we started writing and performing separately, we soon realized that it was always more entertaining to perform as a duo. We continue to write and perform together and if anything our passion for music has made us closer as siblings.
What are some of your differences as siblings?
Matteo: Stella is more methodical in everything she does. She also likes to run something I really am not capable of doing. Her focus is on balance and I tend to be more obsessive.
Stella: Matteo thinks he’s the funny one… he’s not. I’m loud; he’s louder. He’s more optimistic when it comes to our music career, I tend to be more of a pessimist. He’s a social person 24/7, I am a social person 20/7.
What was your first big musical performance together?
Matteo: When I was 16 and Stella was 13 we wrote an original song for the first day of school for our high school. I’m pretty sure 300 people were there and the room was silent. I think that was the first moment when we released it as something we could do together and something that could hopefully have an impact on other people.
Stella: Our first big musical performance together was in our living room with our family. There may not have been a huge crowd but that was where our career began.
In one word describe your sibling?
Matteo : Empathetic
Us in Cape Cod sometime in the early 2000s
What was it like working on an E.P. together?
Matteo: It was great, Personally it’s so fun to have her voice on my music, and also to produce tracks that I didn’t write. Having another mind around that you trust is a great way to work.
Stella: It was many hours of hard work. But every time we left the recording studio we were on a musical high. I would record another EP with him again in a heartbeat.
What is as aspect of your sibling you appreciate that they wouldn’t know you do?
Matteo: Whenever I don’t see her for some time, I always seem to forget how funny she is, her sense of humor is really great!
Stella: I appreciate the confidence that he has in himself, and his music. It may come across as egotistical, but I know he just believes in himself, which is truly honorable.
What’s the song that you are most proud of from the E.P and why?
Matteo: I’m proud of the single “Best Shot” because unlike some of the other songs, I didn’t have a complete vision when we went in. It also wasn’t truly a complete song until Stella lent her voice. It really forced me to embrace a new production sound and the end result was better than I imagined it would be when I went into the studio.
Stella: I am proud of all of them, especially “Unbroken”. I never imagined beginning or ending one of our songs with a large choir. It’s breathtaking to hear too many voices singing at the same time.
Outside of Rockwood Music Hall 2017
What are your personal future plans?
Matteo: I’m starting to co-write more with other artists and am building a home studio, while also finishing college, as well as continuing to push the music I’ve released over the last year. I also will be taking a break sometime in January because I’ve released two E.P.s in a calendar year, but it’s full steam ahead after that.
Stella: I plan to study songwriting and music therapy in college, while still writing and performing with my brother.
What is your single “Best Shot” about?
Matteo: Well seeming as I wrote the lyrics I can tell you it’s about finding clarity and positivity through losing someone. At the same time it’s a bit of a screw you song since my life is so much better now they are gone.
Stella: It’s about Matteo’s failed tinder date 😉