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Cameron Alexander and Cody Nadeau may be based in Los Angeles, but that hasn’t stopped the duo from creating feel-good music and quickly gaining momentum within the electronic music scene under moniker BRKLYN. The duo started to make a name for themselves after releasing “Steal Your Heart” in 2015, and from there, they have toured around the country opening for larger names like Audien as well as headlining their own shows. While their style fluctuates from progressive house to commercial crossover releases, they have found a way to keep each track they make fresh and original in a cluttered landscape of catchy vocals and predictable drops.
Both Alexander and Nadeau grew up playing the piano and the guitar, eventually joining bands that kickstarted their musical journey. They then joined forces to make electronic group BRKLYN, but their first shows under the moniker included the artists playing guitars during their sets and bringing out singers to perform live. The duo sat down with Dancing Astronaut and notes, “We will always play instruments and will always incorporate live instruments into all of our records and live shows.” In addition to infusing instrumentals into their live shows, every track they write is built on the foundation of a guitar or a piano.
While impressive that both artists create thanks to a foundation of instrumentals, they are quick to call out that claiming to play an instrument and infusing it with a live electronic show is becoming overdone to the point of inauthentic. When asked about their response to the stigma that electronic music artists are not ‘real musicians,’ the duo claps back, “You either write good tunes or you don’t. And you either have a killer live show that blows minds and creates experience, or you don’t.” They continue, “Now it almost feels like a gimmick. Everybody is so dire to prove they are talented musicians, so they started playing drum pads. I could never find the strings on those things.”
BRKLYN has released their first EP titled Things I’ve Learned with five tracks spanning from feel-good “Gotta Have It” to infectious “Good Vibe,” which has the capacity to be a radio fixture. Things I’ve Learned features collaborators including Zack Martino and Disco Fries among others. The duo spoke about what it feels like to finally have their first EP out, saying, “For us, an EP rather than just a single was something we always felt strongly about.” They continue, “We wanted to finish a body of work that our fans could listen to on repeat that captured this shared time in the world.”
In honor of the release, BRKLYN put together an hour long mix for Saturday Night Sessions, and the set takes the listener all over the map whether it be current hip hop releases or old school Skrillex infused drops. For those curious what a BRKLYN live show would be like, this mix is the perfect taste of what is to come.
Read the full Q&A with BRKLYN below:
What jobs did you work before becoming full time musicians?
Cameron: Lighting technician at a local music venue called Chain Reaction.
Cody: I taught guitar lessons And was an Intern at Sunset Sound Studios in LA.
How important are instruments to your creative process when you start working on a new song?
BRKLYN: Live instruments have always been crucial to our creative process. Every song we write starts on a foundation of guitar or piano.
Although it is becoming better, what do you say in response to the stigma that electronic music artists are not ‘real musicians’? Especially curious since you both are skilled instrumentalists
BRKLYN: I think it doesn’t matter anymore, and the whole stigma is whack. You either write good tunes or you don’t. And you either have a killer live show that blows minds and creates experience, or you don’t. Now it almost feels like a gimmick. Everybody is so dire to prove they are talented musicians so they started playing drum pads. I could never find the strings on those things. But I do think there is a distinct advantage for writing records if you know how to play an instrument. For us, all we know is guitar and piano and instruments. We grew up playing in bands, and to gain any type of success or recognition, we had to be better at playing, writing, and performing than anybody else. During our very first BRKLYN shows we played guitars live in our sets and brought out singers. So, we will always play instruments and will always incorporate live instruments into all of our records and live shows.
How does it feel to finally have your debut EP out?
BRKLYN: It feels tight. We been crafting these tunes and felt it was ready to release into the world. For us, an EP rather than just a single was something we always felt strongly about. We wanted to finish a body of work that our fans could listen to on repeat that captured this shared time in the world. We are all tapped into the same energies and some of us are better at identifying what they are and others will know it and it will feel familiar or like an answer when they do experience it. I feel songs are that. So, we are very happy to share a mutual experience with our fans. And hopefully they are expanding and learning through our music just like we are expanding and learning through them.
What is one thing about each of you that your fans would not know?
Cameron: I want to have twins.
Cody: Hmm… One of my favorite places is being inside a theatre. Musicals, plays etc… Such a creative vibe in there.
What other hobbies keep you sane as you balance living the lives of touring artists?
Cameron: Exercise, meditating, and reading. My physical, mental, and spiritual health has been an important journey for me.
Cody: I love working out to clear my mind, running outside specifically.
What is your musical guilty pleasure?
Cameron: French Horn and Christmas music.
Cody: John Mayer has been my favorite artist since about 8th grade.
What kind of a Saturday night is your mix getting us ready for?
Cameron: This mix is tight! This mix will get you ready to blast off into another dimension that you didn’t know existed. This shit is hype and lit at the same goddamn time.
Cody: This mix is a little heavier for the pregame vibes. Throwing in some things y’all might hear at our shows!