Photo Courtesy GetIn PR! Matt Halper and Eli Sones aka Two Friends have been perfecting their art production since high school and it has shown during their , which has been selling out across the country. The duo known for their remixes The Killers ” and MGMT’s ” are certainly worth following this year as they continue to tour and release new music. Only The Beat had the opportunity to attend their recent show at Soundcheck in Washington, D.C. and catch up with the guys shortly after.
Only The Beat: Take us back. Where was your first ficial gig together? Two Friends: I have a feeling you’ve never gotten this answer before— ours was a high school assembly in Chicago, where neither us lived haha. A friend’s organization was planning a celebration assembly for a school in Chicago that had improved their test scores significantly, and asked if we’d come to DJ. I remember being so nervous and practicing our set over and over beforehand. OTB: Who or what has been most inspirational or helpful in your music careers? TF: There have been a ton people- it’s 100% a team effort. Our managers, our agent, our friends giving us feedback on all our music, the producers that have taught us so much more than just tangible things, the singers and instrumentalists we work with, the fans and people who have ever listened to our music, the bloggers who supported us early on, the list goes on and on. And then course we try to push each other too.
OTB: If you each had to each pick another career? Matt: Chef Eli: NBA player OTB: You have done so many great remixes. What are your personal favorites your own remixes and a remix by another artist? Matt: That’s hard. I’ll go with our ” or ” remixes. And I’ll give two. A TBT would be Alesso’s ” remix and a more unknown one would be ” (Au5 & Fractal Remix) – Singularity Eli: I’m gonna go with our ” remix for Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson. My favorite remix overall, man that’s tough. I guess I’ll say the Dimitri Vangelis & Wyman remix a song called ”. One the first songs that got us into dance music. Good times. OTB: Last year you did a remix Lil Yachty’s ‘iSpy’, which is one my personal favorites. Can you tell us a little more about this project? TF: That one started one day when iSpy came on the radio when we were in the car together, and we kinda both looked at each other and realized we loved this one whenever it came on, and it would be really cool and fun to remix- definitely switching things up a bit as we hadn’t remixed much hip-hop. I remember finishing that one up the day our set at Electric Forest this past summer and playing it that afternoon.
KYLE ft. Lil Yachty – iSpy (Two Friends Remix)
OTB: How do you maintain the status being a top duo in such a competitive market? What advice do you have for aspiring artists? TF: Best advice is probably cliché, I don’t care, it’s to make sure it’s fun. If music, producing, DJing, or anything feels like a chore, it’s not a good sign, and there’s something that needs to be fixed if it’s gonna last. Have fun with it, and then put in the hours. And those come hand-in-hand because if you are having such a good time with it (and for us it helps that we also have our best friend to do it with), you’ll only be wishing there were MORE hours in the day you could devote to it. OTB: What are your producing styles and work environment where you feel most creative? How do you get over creative differences working as a duo? TF: I guess you could say we are pretty traditional. We like to be at our studio, which is in the basement Matt’s house. There’s always gonna be creative differences when there’s more than one person (in pretty much anything that you are doing), but we know each other so well and always know where the other person is coming from, so if we have a difference, we know it’s based on valid concerns and try to work through it like any friends would. We know we’re gonna still be friends at the end the day haha, and we can always call each other out on any bullshit without hesitation. We tend to have better sessions when we have multiple days being in the studio in a row. You gotta find some peace in the travel craziness!
OTB: Last month you released ‘Just A Kid’. Can you tell us a little bit about this track? TF: We wrote ‘Just A Kid’ so long ago, probably the first song we wrote together when we graduated college. It just took a bunch iterations to get where we really wanted it. Super happy how it came together, especially working with Camp Harmony and the kids there for the chorus. We played it on Saturday live in LA with the featured singer Kevin Writer- what a treat.
Two Friends – Just A Kid (feat. Kevin Writer)
OTB: You are currently on the “Just A Kid” tour. What are some highlights from the tour so far and what are you looking forward to in the cities to come? TF: There have been too many good moments so far on the tour to name! For real, every city has brought so much energy, it’s been amazing. I guess if we need to think a specific highlight, it’s always extra-special doing the hometown shows, and this past weekend in Los Angeles was no exception, it was pretty surreal. For all the upcoming dates, we’re looking forward to having even more new music to share and hopefully a bunch more special guests too. OTB: Where do you see the dance music industry going in the next five years? New technology? Changes? TF: Obviously sounds are always morphing and trending. But more big picture on the music production side, I totally see it eventually getting a lot more intuitive. Like even now from when we started producing certain plug-ins and things have made our lives easier. Whether it’s touch-screens or something else I definitely see 10 years in the future being completely different production process. Just like it was 10 years ago and 10 years before that. OTB: What is the top personal milestone in your careers so far? Eli: That’s a hard one, but there’s nothing like the first time you hear your song on the radio. Matt: I’d say selling out your first hard ticket show is pretty awesome. It’s a, ‘These people are here for us? Wtf?’-feeling. OTB: Can you tell us a little bit about what it takes to be successful on promoting your brand and the business side your work? TF: We’re by no means saying we’ve “figured it all out” but it takes what everything else takes, hard work. Watch others, take what works, brainstorm. You can’t half-ass it, and you can’t ignore it. But that stuff shouldn’t feel like a chore either, it should hopefully be interesting and satisfying. There are so many entrepreneurial aspects being in music, and while some parts are certainly mundane, the majority is exciting to us. Just like with actual producing, on the business & branding sides there are gonna be a lot challenges that are difficult, yes, but also very rewarding. OTB: How about technology…what are your preferences for tools your trade? TF: We produce in ProTools, which is actually not super common for dance music producers and not necessarily the most recommendable haha. But, it’s one those things where you pick a program and that’s the one you learn from Day 1 and that’s the one that you stay loyal to haha. OTB: What can we expect from you this year and big releases, collaborations, shows? TF: We like to say that you should expect everything we’ve always been doing- just bigger, better, and friendlier. More originals that we are pumped about, remixes for sure still, , and definitely lots touring!
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