Siboney + Andy are two Ausie mates who decided to start making music on the recommendation of a mutual friend a few years ago. The pair moved to London to pursue a career in music. Now the duo have just released their debut EP “Secret” accompanied by the visuals to the namesake single. We caught up with the guys to find out a bit more about their secrets.
You guys moved to London in 2011 and decided to become Siboney + Andy in 2014, what took you guys so long?
We met and were playing in bands back in Australia before then. I think at the time we were headed in different directions musically – Siboney was focused on her solo aspirations, and I was working the session scene and doing production work for other artists. When we started working together as a duo we both considered it more as a side project – but it caught us by surprise, we had a great response and it quickly became our main gig and focus.
You are originally from Australia. Is the music scene any different here than Australia?
The scenes are different, for sure – probably more due to size/scale than anything else. Having said that, there are a lot of similarities. Australia, like the UK, really embraces home-grown artists. We’re from Western Australia and Perth has a vibrant live music scene, with loads of talent and lots of original music and great bands – which is kind of crazy considering how isolated it is. The musicianship and standard is very high. In both Perth and London there’s this great comradery, kinship and support within the musical communities and we really love that.
What challenges would you say you are facing as upcoming artist?
I think we’re in a particularly difficult genre to crack – independent pop music. The biggest challenge for us at the moment is to continue to expand our audience and get our music to the ears of music lovers, which is difficult without the big label budgets for promotion.
Andy you produce the music for you guys, how do you pitch a track to Siboney and have you had any disagreements yet?
Yes – there have been artistic disagreements, ha! Not so much now, but definitely when we first started working on the EP, as we started to find our sound and figure out who we are as artists. Siboney comes from a pop background and my influences are fairly eclectic. But, I think that the conflict of influences helps to create something unique – we both want different things from the music. We’ve also influenced each other a lot throughout this EP – the other day I found myself checking out the production on a Selena Gomez track, and could hear Siboney listening to the latest Beck record in the other room… that really made me laugh.
The production process usually starts after we’ve written the song. I’ll pull together a quick demo so we can track Siboney’s vocals. From there I usually work alone and lock myself in the studio, often overnight (around 2am seems to be my creative peak). At that point I go for the nod of approval from Siboney, and continue to work on it and tweak – although there have been a few times when we’ve shelved a track at that point, which is always hard, letting something go that you’ve put so much creative energy into. But, sometimes you just have to move on, it’s all part of the process.
Your “Secret” EP is out now, what are your favourite tracks and why?
I really like them all, but I think my favourite off the EP is the title track, ‘Secret’. I remember writing it, and even the demo just had this vibe about it that I loved. In fact, that was the biggest challenge for me with that song – to not ruin the vibe of the demo by over-producing it. I love Siboney’s vocals in it as well. ‘Secret’ was also a bit of a turning point from a production point of view, I really felt with that track I’d figured out our sound. I then used that as a reference as I worked on the production for the other tracks. I also really like the last track on the EP, “Can’t Love You Any More’. We co-wrote that with a friend of ours, Nick Kingswell (Guy Sebastian, The McClymonts) who is a talented solo artist and session guitarist.
Without sounding too cliché, I think that a big part of creating music/art is about conveying an emotion – that is something that was very much on my mind, and something that we were striving to achieve over the whole EP; and I hope that initial intent makes its way to the listener. The 4 tracks we selected for the EP I think do that, but particularly in ‘Secret’ and ‘Can’t Love You Any More’, I feel like the emotion that was present in the songwriting process made its way through to the final cut.