Looking for some chilled-out music to heart to? We’ve got you covered: electronica duo and We Heart It users ODESZA.
Harrison Mills and Clay Knight (yes, they have real names!) recently took some time to chat with We Heart It about their creative process, producing music in the middle of the night (seriously, who hasn’t found inspiration past 2am?!) and their visual aesthetic. Check out their answers below and don’t forget to follow their We Heart It profile. Side note — fans of the muted colors tag will dig it.
Your hearted images definitely have a commonality — they all seem to feature muted colors, natural elements and modern fonts. What message are you hoping to convey to your fans through your art, which is obviously carefully chosen?
[We] think we’re just drawn to a certain aesthetic. A melancholy brightness for lack of a better term. [We] think that shows in our use of fall colors. The season seems to represent that idea well.
While we’re on that topic — how often do visuals play into your creative process? Do you take inspiration from photos, movies or other visual mediums?
Yes, very much so. We’re big fans of film and their soundtracks. A carefully curated soundtrack can make a film look and feel ten times better. Drive is one that did that very well.
How important is your physical environment when writing songs? Do you have any crazy rituals?
No crazy rituals. We feel most inspired at 2AM when everyone’s asleep and were at home working with headphones on.
As a duo, there must be times when you disagree about the creative direction of your music. How do you work through that to find a compromise?
We try to inspire or impress each other. If there is a disagreement (which is few and far between) we try and prove to the other one why something works by either tweaking the sound or telling the other person to sit with it and wait to make a judgment on it.
Describe the journey you’ve been on as musicians. Has it always come naturally or easily? How do you stay motivated when things get tough?
It’s had its ups and downs but we’ve been very lucky to have people take us under their wing, like Emancipator taking us on his tour bus for our first-ever tour, or when we first started and our friends let us borrow their more reliable car. We stay motivated because this is something we love and believe in, and having great friends that believe in us too doesn’t hurt.
Other than creating music, what do you like to do to express yourselves creatively?
Harrison: I like doing design and illustration.
Clay: Reading and coding.
What were your favorite ways to get creative as kids? Do you find yourself ever going back to those childhood hobbies just for fun in order to gain inspiration?
Harrison: I use to skateboard and ride my bike with my headphones on and listen to movie soundtracks. That really helped with the flow of ideas.
Your new album is awesome and really chilled out — how would you describe it to someone who is unfamiliar to the electronic music scene?
[We're] not sure exactly. [We] guess [we'd] say it’s a melodic album mixed with indie-pop-electronic-ambient-world music influences. But [we're] not sure that would make it any more clear!
Don’t forget to follow ODESZA on We Heart It — and feel free to leave your comments for the guys below in the comments section!