[INTERVIEW] THEY.

VIPER caught up with LA-based R&B duo THEY. to talk about their new album, ‘The Amanda Tape’…

How did you guys meet?

We met in 2014 in LA, we were both working as songwriters and producers and linked up through a Chance [the Rapper] session. 

How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you before?

We really pride ourselves on our ability to pull from different genres so it’s tough to quantify exactly what our music is, it changes with every song. In general, I’d say we make R&B that pulls from rock and pop from the 90’s.

Who is Amanda to you?

Last year we were both were in or leaving relationships with women named Amanda, even our engineer Chris was with a girl named Amanda for a while.

What’s something that’s been getting you guys through this pandemic?

The pandemic has been good for us actually. We were fortunate that it gave us a chance to slow down and really tighten up our project and make a lot of progress on the next chapter as well. It’s been a while since we’ve dropped music consistently, so it’s been great to see the reaction from our fans through all this. 

You guys have worked with artists like The Chainsmokers, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla Sign, Jessie Reyez and more. Which one has been your favorite to work with and why?

All those features are with people we consider friends, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. On this album I’d probably say Wale just because it was a big moment working with him being from the DMV.

How long have you been working on this album?

We started working on this in 2018 and were chipping away at it up until around July of this year. It’s funny because some of the most forward thinking tracks on the album are actually two years old. 

Which song was your favourite to make?

“’Mood Swings’ was a lot of fun. We have always wanted to do something that had that 90’s boy band feel to it, while still feeling current. We were lit and dancing and shit the whole time it was like a mini party.

What was it like working with Three 6 Mafia’s Juicy J?

We got connected with Juicy right when the shutdown happened, so we didn’t get a chance to vibe with him in the studio. It was one of our first times working remotely but he killed the verse and even added a few small touches to the production that inspired us to beef up the track even more.

Do you guys have a process when you’re making music together?

We usually build everything from scratch, Start off with drums first so we have some semblance of groove going, then work out a chord progression. There is a lot of jumping around from production to writing all in the same session.

Out of the two of you, who is the best dressed?

[Laughs] It’s tough to say because we both have our own style. It really just depends on the day. 

You guys have come a long way since 2017 and Nü Religion, what are some things that have changed for you guys personally since then? 

I think we have just matured a lot and have a lot more clarity as to who we are as people and artists. The shit that was important to us back in 2017 doesn’t matter as much now. Nowadays our focus is really on making the best music we can and making it fun for our fans.

Any message you want to share with your fans?

Always be yourself and never stop fighting for something you believe in.

@they

Interview by Calvin Schneider.