1. How did you first get into making music, have you always wanted to be a musician? Did you grow up in a musical home?
SJO: My parents always had music on in the house so I loved it from a young age and can associate different years/moments of my life with different albums!
Playing music didn’t happen right away but that part started when I first heard Hanson and had a dream to start a band with a few of the neighborhood kids. That didn’t last long though and it wasn’t until I was 13 that I picked up a guitar and started learning Metallica riffs.
2. The influence of 90s R&B and neo-soul is obvious on this track, what attracted you to these genres?
SJO: This is partly because of Eunice’s vocals but I LOVE 90’s R&B and soul. Who doesn’t remember those middle school dances where Too Close by Next came on and you dream of dancing with your crush (I was a bit shy then!)
EK: While I have been influenced by a lot of different genres, I was drawn to the lush harmonies, melodic choices and grooves of neo-soul. In the beginning, when I first started writing, I thought of myself as a folk/rock singer-songwriter that simply used a lot of Jazz chords. Over the years my work naturally leaned more into the neo-soul/r&b genre, but on this track, you’ll probably get that sense most from the stacked vocal harmonies.
3. “Someone Real” is reflective of our crazy connection via cyberspace/disconnected IRL post-COVID world. How did you summarize this complex notion into music?
EK: The lyrics in this song talk about distance and tells the story of a person searching for authenticity. I think this is something that people can relate to both in real life and online, feeling the need to really be seen.
4. When did the idea to collaborate with Eunice Keitan come to mind?
SJO: I was hooked from the first Eunice Keitan track I heard! She came to one of my virtual music series events (Harmony Lodge Sessions) and was someone I instantly clicked with, so once I heard her music it was meant to be!
5. We immensely enjoyed the music video, how did the idea behind the making of the video come to you?
EK: We wanted it to reflect the idea of isolation. The camera moves from room to room making it look like people living in the same space but never interacting.
6. Was “Someone Real” possible at all without Eunice Keitan’s presence and artistic collaboration?
SJO: Someone Real is very much a collaboration as the vocals/lyrics that Eunice wrote give the instrumentals a whole new life!
7. How do you find your place amidst a chaotic, unsteady post-COVID music scene?
SJO: By continuing to do you. It sounds so silly but if you’re consistent and authentic people will notice and opportunities will arise.
8. Why do you think your music resonates with so many people?
SJO: They can feel the energy behind it and it stays with them.
EK: As songwriters, we write from our own experience and hope the song will speak to someone else in a similar situation. I think particularly with ‘Someone Real’ it’s also the timing of it. After 2 years of the pandemic and spending large parts of that time in isolation, it’s made people reevaluate their lives, relationships, and priorities.