The “Moonlight” Shines Bright On KTJ & CARLY Check Out Our Madame Siam Interview and Listen To Their New Single On Blurred Culture!
LOS ANGELES, CA- Blurred Culture’s mini showcases at Madame Siam is our opportunity to discover new talent and give them a stage to perform on. We get pretty excited when we find acts that are just starting to drop music into the world. When I listened to twin sisters Katie & Carly Haynes single “On Your Mind”, and some of their unreleased music, I was bitten by their synth-infused pop/soul sound. After watching these two young ladies energetically grace our stage, I could see, and hear, the potential that they have.
Their second “official” single, “Moonlight” was released on October 30th, 2019, and it’s a banger of a track with pulsing rhythms and effortless vocals. Prior to the single’s release, I was able to catch up with the sisters to learn a little more about then and the significance of their latest track.
Thanks so much for performing for us! Hopefully, you guys had as much fun on stage as I had watching you guys perform. I had asked you guys to join us because I was impressed with the single you released back in July called “On Your Mind”. To me, it’s always exciting to hear such young talent dropping adventurous music, and “On Your Mind” is pretty electric. If I’m to understand it correctly, you guys write and produce all of your own music?
Carly: Thank you so much! We had a really fun time. Yes, we write and produce our own music. Something great about that is that it gives us creative control, which is very important to us. It can often be lost in this industry.
What’s the process like writing music as identical twins? This may be silly to ask, but are you two generally in synch with each other, or do you find yourselves coming at the process with opposing ideas?
KTJ: No, it’s not silly at all!! Haha, we typically are in sync with each other. The melodies, we pick up from each other intuitively and harmonies are always in sync and instinctive. The only time we run into problems with opposing ideas is with lyrics. Since lyrics are the most important part of the song, we take our time crafting it to make sure the story is being told the right way. We both have our strengths and weakness but the other one of us always makes up for it. My strength is melodies and Carly’s is lyrics, but we always bounce off of each other and work it out. It also helps that we grew up together so we know each other well and we aren’t afraid to tell the truth when something sounds good or bad. Plus we are huge family people. Family is number one for us, so being able to do this with a sister is a huge blessing.
So, if Carly is lyrics and Katie is melody, is your last single “On Your Mind” about Carly’s “boy trouble”? And if so, how is it for Katie to drop in her two cents with regards to the lyrical content?
Carly: We both write lyrics and we both make the melodies and produce, we just have our strengths at different places. “On Your Mind” was actually about an experience with Katie. I knew everything that had happened because I was right by her side when it happened. What is really great about that is we have lived our entire lives together and we know everything about each other. We know what we have been through, and what we can relate to. We don’t always write about personal experiences, because we are so young and we haven’t experienced all of life yet. Yet there is so much in the world to write about. Art is everywhere. That is the magical thing about songwriting; we tell stories from our imagination, other people’s experiences, or personal experiences because we are storytellers. However, when it does come time to write these songs based on personal matters, we talk about it first. We say everything that’s on our mind, and how we want to approach the song. We are best friends as well as sisters so we already probably know how we feel most of the time. We put ourselves in each other’s shoes and start to write. And the beautiful thing about songs is it can be interpreted in so many ways to different listeners. Writing from a personal space with someone you trust is so important because you want someone who understands and supports you when pouring your heart out in a song. We are both really grateful we have each other to do that.
So even if you pull from each other’s own experiences, you two truly write with one voice.
Carly: Rather than one of us writing and the other putting in two cents, we talk about the experience first, how we feel about it, and how we want the feeling of the song to be. Then we write it together as one!
You mentioned earlier that family is extremely important for your guys. Is there music in your family? Are your parents, brother or sister involved in music in some way? And was it difficult for your guy to leave your home state of Texas to pursue dreams in Los Angeles? I can’t imagine your mom and pops not having some reservations about it.
Carly: Yes! Actually, my dad was in a band growing up. He sang and played guitar. He did music throughout college, didn’t choose it as a career, but it is always with him. Music is something you can always have in your life no matter what career you choose. So he definitely supported our love of music and always helped and encouraged us to pursue it at a young age. Music was always playing around the house growing up, and we had a family jam session almost every night. Our granddad was also in a band and played guitar. So music is a big part of my family, and they are all very supportive of our decision to pursue it. They had reservations when we decided to move out here instead of going to college, just like any parent would. But they weren’t opposed to it … just worried. They really miss us and we miss them, but they are still 100% supportive of us doing this and we are so lucky for that!
So, can you tell me little about the new single you’ve dropped?
Katie: We wrote “Moonlight” a few years ago after right after long-distance ended a relationship I had. The song was completely different. Lyrics, melodies, tone, everything. At first, the song was in a minor key, ten times slower and I wrote it for the sole purpose of letting my feelings escape and to let it all go. At the time, I had no intention of releasing it to the world and letting people know my thoughts. I did it for my own mental health and put it behind me and moved on with my life.
Some of the best songs are written from the toughest kinds of pain.
Katie: Being able to express myself through music weirdly allows me to move on from heartbreak faster than normal, and it helps me discover new things about myself. When we formed KTJ & CARLY, I got over my fear of letting people hear my lyrics. It’s scary to let people hear your emotions and thoughts. I didn’t want people to think I was weak etc. I realized letting people hear your vulnerable words show strength, and it changes people’s lives for the better to know they aren’t alone. We recently decided to dig the song back out, changed it to a major key, moved the verse to the bridge and added a bunch of new lyrics; it became something completely new and different … yet so much better than what it once was. Personally, it turned into a symbol of growth, a recovery from heartbreak, and a reminder that even though sometimes we feel completely alone in this world, and we feel that no one understands the heartbreak we feel sometimes, every single person experiences it in their own ways and that there’s always a light at the end of a dark tunnel.
And That “Moonlight” is shinging pretty bright.