Sam & Charles better known as GLASSIO met at a music production class at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute. “Morning House” ft. CHARLES FAUNA was streamed over a million times, however, I have to admit I discovered the duo with their latest single “Back For More”.
And when it was released it became a number one on my Indie TOP 39. The song spent two weeks at the top of the chart. I was curious to have a more detailed conversation.
How would you describe your music?
Always so difficult to get this one right. We’ve been told it’s euphoric, uplifting, orchestral, a little emotional. People say it makes them nostalgic. We draw from lots of influences so for us it’s hard to pinpoint. For now, based on the songs we’re writing, we’ll say it’s introspective-electronic-pop.
How does your creative process look like?
We’re drawn by melody. A melody or lyric will come to us most of the time when we’re walking down the street or doing something very boring like selecting onions and avocados from the supermarket. Your guard is let down in those situations, so it’s easy for melodies to start coming at you.
Usually, the best melodies come when your brain is on autopilot.
Then the beat and the chords come after. Laying down chords is the most fun, you get to play with the context of your idea.
How do you know when the song is finished?
A song is finished when you’re able to play it from your laptop speakers, walk to the other end of the apartment and digest what you’re hearing. We look at production in such micro terms. We’re so obsessed with making things individually work whether it be the EQ of a floor tom or the sound of a vocal effect. These things are important, but you cant forget to listen from the other room. You have to listen from afar because that’s how most people will be introduced to your music. Get to know what your gateway looks like.
What is your favourite track to perform live?
A few sticks out in live sets. Our previous single we released at the end of last year “Daydream” always feels very powerful.
“Back for More” gets people shuffling. There’s a new song we’re working on called “Dancing” that we’ve been closing our sets with. The ending of that track is the highlight of the set. Feels like a carousel lifting you higher into the air.
How do you choose who to collaborate with?
I think the vocal texture is extremely important. Character. Who’s gonna carry this song better than us? Those are really important questions. For “Daydream,” we felt the lyrics we had written would sound more compelling with our friend Nakaya’s voice as opposed to our voices. A lot of different people are on our radar.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Amber Mark, Tirzah, Flint Eastwood, L’Rain, Phoebe Ryan.
Music to us is an escape.
Who are your idols in music?
Neil Young’s songwriting has forever been a powerful force in my life. Magnetic Fields’ Stephen Merritt’s lyrics never cease to floor me. David Byrne, Brian Eno always test us to try tilting things in our music a bit. They’re the kings of putting the character into music. We’re big fans of hip-hop too. As well, Trevor Horn, Randy Newman, Lou Reed, Massive Attack, Cocteau Twins.
What are pros & cons of creating music in the 21st century?
An obvious pro is an unlimited access to music we enjoy today. We hear music from different eras and genres daily while running errands. Discovering the language of music through Motown, Factory Records and XL Recordings within minutes is unique to us millennials, and I think a great source of knowledge, creativity and inspiration.
It’s a challenge today to hone in on identity as an artist and find value in your stride because success perhaps has never been more relative than today.
What is your opinion on music streaming services?
They’re creating a space for new voices to be considered by listeners and that’s great.
“Morning House” (ft. Charles Fauna) was streamed over a million times on Spotify. This must be an exciting milestone of your career?
It was exciting to accomplish that. The song came out of a natural collaborative moment and seeing it find its way to that many listeners was great.
Looking back at the very start, how did you come up with the idea for the video “Try Much Harder?
When working on songs for the first EP, we were interested in the aesthetics of funk and dance music through different eras, and that inspired some themes in the video. Sam came up with a concept for a Spike Jonze-esque scenario to the video involving us and the New York Subway. A good friend of ours and a few partners of his helped us put the idea into the picture, and that was that.
What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
Releasing the music has been an exercise of balancing and maintaining creativity and productivity. I think it’s allowed us to see the value in trusting ourselves.
How would you define success in the music business?
Most artists want to be a household item to enough people that they can live off the fruit of their work. Recorded and/or Live.
In the United States, music reality TV shows like The Voice, X Factor, American Idol are extremely popular. What do you think, is it worth for someone who is just starting out to try their luck in one of the shows?
It’s a real option for people who have excellent skills and feel they’re ready to sign a contract with a major label. It’s a kind of path that maybe leaves less room for control over one’s choices but has its perks.
What would be your advice for those who want to create music but feel stuck or are afraid to show their work?
As the saying goes, “Just Do It”.
What can we expect from you in 2018?