Los Angeles power-pop duo KTJ and Carly have been waxing up hot fresh tracks with the dynamic pair releasing their tracks like the club-ready dance floor starter single 'Reckless' and the moving number 'Hidden as well as its music video. The lovable songwriters and producers have been booked and busyyy having live shows across the states appearing at The Hotel Cafe, Ridglea Room. Now the glamorous team appear again to talk us through their brand new single 'Gift Me To You. The meaningful festive holidays' record which hits close to the home of good reminiscent memories, the desires of being around loved ones and also chatting with us about the strongly lyrical and production work behind the track.
1. Hi KTJ and Carly thanks for joining us, Gift Me To You is a tremendous song all about missing close ones and reminiscing on old times, what was it like working on the track?
KTJ: It was very cathartic to write, although the lyrics have quite lonely vibes, it was still very warm and inviting for me to write personally. It all came together super quick and second hand. Sometimes a song can come together super fast when you are inspired.
Carly: When we wrote this track, it was coming up on the first Christmas during the pandemic. There was a lot of families that we couldn’t see and sadly it was the last Christmas before our grandfather passed. I just remember wanting to see them and the rest of our family and not being able
to because of COVID-19. That was the original inspiration behind this song. I feel like our songs always start with a root inspiration and then evolve into a deeper meaning. Writing this song, we decided that the main objective of the lyrics would be “If I could wrap myself up in wrapping paper, and give myself as a gift just to see you, I would.”
2. The production for the track is really fresh on this one with sharp, crisp guitar melodies and together with a powerful punch of drum patterns and other percussions, how was the production process when you decided to construct it. Did you have many other ideas before choosing the final arrangement?
KTJ: We wanted to capture the essence of a hallmark Christmas movie into this song, but we also wanted to acknowledge that Christmas is not always jolly for everyone all the time and that it can be lonely for some, especially during the pandemic.
Carly: We actually did start off with a bunch of different ideas. At first, we wanted to make a fun jingle rock-esq song like All I Want For Christmas Is You, or Jingle Bell Rock. Once we started playing around with different ideas, this one just felt right. We wrote the whole song on the same three-chord progressions. After we finished the demo, we decided to keep the
production simple, because it felt best for the vibe and concept of the song.
3. You wrote this record during the lockdown period. How does it feel to finally release this track and what does it mean to you?
KTJ: The melodies and lyrics and instruments in this song take me back to a place of home from within. It reminds me that even through tough winters, you can find warmth and love if you just believe.
Carly: This track being out means a lot. This was written almost a year ago, but since the lockdown, I’ve lost all concept of time. It feels like yesterday and years ago all at once. I think things have gotten tremendously better since last Christmas so in a way it is nice to see the growth this song shows. Last Christmas was a dark place for lots of us, but this song is a reminder of how things can get better. In the song, we say “I’ll Gift Me toYou”. We are able to now! Which is wonderful and a nice testament to being grateful. There is a saying, “You can’t truly know bliss if you don’t go through the worst.” This is so true. Having a Christmas without someone and then the next Christmas getting to have Christmas with them makes you much more grateful the second time around.
4. Now we’ve seen you two in action on stage and providing magically live versions of your recent songs as well as live shows over the recent months, how does it feel to be back on stage, did you miss it a lot?
KTJ: It feels so good to be on stage. We immediately started doing live shows as soon as we could. At first, it was weird being back out in public in general, but being in quarantine made me appreciate performing live and seeing live music a million times more. It made me realize how extraordinary it is that humans are able to perform and share music and how much good it does for the world.
Carly: It feels so good. Honestly, it was a bit of a shift getting back up on stage after a while but it was so fun. It is honestly the best way to interact with your listeners and gain new fans. It’s also just so liberating playing music that you wrote for a crowd of people. Similar to how it is when
releasing music online, it’s almost a metaphoric way of saying “it's in your hands now and up for your interpretation.” That is the reason music is so amazing to begin with because it makes people feel emotions in whatever way makes sense to them.
5. Well, you know we couldn’t slide past how impressive you two are as a group and as producers, so we got to ask, who are some of your favourite ones and who would you like to work with in the future?
KTJ: Derek Ali (Kendrick Lamar's producer), POND and Kevin Parker (Tame Impala), Dua Lipa, RUFUS DU SOL, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Greta Van Fleet are some huge inspirations to me right now. The music they make and the feelings and changes they create is revolutionary.
Carly: Thank you so much!! That really means a lot. We both have a ton of musical inspirations and are constantly finding new artists to listen to. Some of my favourite musical icons are Bonnie Raitt, Alicia Keys, Jojo, Carole King, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros... Stylistically I love Banks, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo, & Lykke Li.
6. Last but never least, with all that’s coming up this Christmas season, what are you looking forward to and can your supporters watch out for anything from you?
KTJ: I’m really excited to release our EP! We have so many songs that we’ve written for 2022. I can’t wait to see what we will come up with in a year from now, because the music we made a year ago today does not compare to what we make now in my opinion. I’m just excited for growth,
collaboration, and learning new things!
Carly: I’m most excited for what is in store for the upcoming year. We have been working really hard writing and producing our second EP. It is some of my favourite work we have done yet and I can’t wait for the world to hear it!