Musical duo Macedo dishes about latest single Supernatural, and filming Blood Heist with James Franco
By: Daniel Hoyos | PHOTOS COURTESY Ryan West
- Los Angeles, California
Musical twins sisters Michelle, and Melissa Macedo dish about their latest single "Supernatural", and filming "Blood Heist" with heartthrob James Franco. Macedo also tell us about the writing process for their groundbreaking debut album "Flags & Boxes".
Congratulations on your latest music video for your single "Supernatural"! Can you tell me how you guys started the musical duo Macedo?
Thank you! Sure, we started writing songs together when we were about 10 years old. We had both been playing musical instruments and singing together for a while. Michelle had been writing poetry at that point and it just made sense to just put it all together. Even then, we were writing harmonies together. It sort of happened naturally because we work together really well.
Recently you just finishing wrapping production on the feature film "Blood Heist", starring heartthrob James Franco. What was it like working with James Franco, and filming in Ohio?
We filmed in Hamilton, Ohio during the summer. It was a lot of fun and we met so many amazing people on that set. It's a very small town which was perfect for getting into the characters and their lifestyle. It was so much fun and at times emotionally challenging. We are so grateful to James for the experience. It was a true privilege to see him work as an artist. We had incredible castmates that really brought their A game which was inspiring to be around. Also, every set or project is like a different little family, you get really close with everyone and you always keep that special experience with you.
You grew-up in Pasadena, California, and you're father is a pianist/guitarist who exposed you to all different kinds of music. If you could collaborate with any artist who would it be, and why?
Yes, our father exposed us to all types of music. In terms of musicians we'd love to work with, we love Haim, Lianne La Havas & Lorde. They are all strong women with unique voices.
How does being a twin translate into your professional life, and booking roles in Hollywood?
We love being twins! Firstly, you have a built-in best friend. We know we always have each other's backs and we support each other entirely. We would both do anything for the other. The best part of being a twin is that it's very easy to communicate. We've had our own way of communicating for as long as we can remember. It's like speaking our own language. We're constantly bouncing ideas off of each other. We're each very different but very much in sync. Sometimes, there are twin roles that are perfect and sometimes we go out for individual roles. We aren't competitive with each other. A win for one of us is a win for the team. I think being a twin makes us more compassionate.
Your full-length album "Flags & Boxes", has a very indie rock sound that you don't hear in most modern rock songs. Can you give us some insight into how you go about writing lyrics? Are your lyrics based off personal experiences?
Yes, often times we write from personal experience. We observe real life situations & relationships around us, sometimes Michelle or I will be in a situation and the other one of us will feel inspired to write about it. Also writing about difficult times in our own lives can be very therapeutic and cathartic. It's helpful to turn something difficult into something beautiful, like alchemy, that's an amazing gift that art can provide.
Michelle is really strong with lyrics and Melissa will add a melody to it, but it can be switched as well. We sort of go with the flow depending on the song. Every song is so different. Michelle does a lot of the writing in general. We wrote the song "Sea of You" together based on a melody idea that Melissa had, then Michelle flushed out the lyrics added some melody onto the edits of it. You never know when inspiration is gonna strike. As sisters and as musicians, one of us will supply what the other one needs. That is just a part of who we are, our relationship is integral to our art.
Can you tell us what can we expect from your new album, that's different from your previous work?
"Ghost Town" emerged from a really difficult time. I (Michelle) had just ended a very long relationship & was experiencing health issues. I felt so terrified and alone. I cut myself off from the world for about 6 months just writing constantly. That utter isolation (besides from Melissa) brought about Ghost Town. It's a reflection and exploration of the ghosts that we all have and the ways in which we are haunted by our past. I think the music since "Paper Doll" has grown because the themes of this album go much deeper. This album is a lot about the past and our relationships. We've grown and developed more as artists since the last EP. "Ghost Town" is a reflection of memories in the past that became a part of our identity. In essence, how we're each being haunted, in good and bad ways. It was a very raw experience to write this album, there was no holding back.
What advice would you give musicians/singers who are looking to break into the music business?
The best advice we've gotten is to stick with it, keep your head down, keep going and focus on the work, on what inspires you. Treat yourself kindly through the whole journey and trust you're exactly where you're supposed to be.
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Macedo new single "Supernatural" is now available on iTunes.
Pop singer Mason Ashley talks single "Paper Planes", shooting inside an old mansion, and advice for aspiring singers
By: Daniel Hoyos| PHOTOS COURTESY Travis Reinke
- Los Angeles, California
Pop singer Mason Ashley talks about her latest single "Paper Planes", and shooting inside an old mansion for her latest music video. Mason also raps about giving us professional advice for up and coming singers looking to break into the business.
You grow-up in Magnolia, Texas with music in your blood since childhood. Can you tell us how you first go started singing professionally?
I started performing when I was 12 after doing a songwriter camp and I have performed ever since. I fell in love with the way it felt when the lights came on and when I would look out and see a stranger so drawn into what I was singing about that I felt a connection to them. It's a powerful thing.
Your latest single "Paper Planes" is out now! How did you come-up with the lyrical content for that song?
I really wanted to write a song that summed up the beautiful, tragic chaos of relationships. I met someone that I thought at the time was kind of bad news and I wrote the song the day after I met him almost like I was predicting how the relationship would go.
Your new EP has a soulful feel to it, but mixed with upbeat lyrics. To what extent were you involved in the production of your upcoming EP?
I was lucky enough to get to be a big part of the production side of things. My producer let me help mix the tracks, pick my vocal tracks and be a part of the editing. I learned so much about music production and music in general through working on the album.
We often talk with young musicians/singers who are interested in a professional career. What advice would you give them?
My advice for young singer/songwriter/musicians is to write everything. Live in a constant state of writing. When I was younger, I would just be writing songs in my head all day no matter where I was. Just use music as a way to express yourself not only to other people, but also to figure yourself out. Music is one of the most powerful things in the world and to be a part of that is an honor.
Your vocals are just spectacular on Paper Planes from the first note. Do you have a vocal couch or did you take singing lessons?
Thank you so much! I did have a vocal coach through the recording process and took a lesson every once in a while just to refresh my technique.
The music video for Paper Planes has such a simple yet, unique look inside that old mansion. Can you give us any behind the scenes stories of shooting the video?
The shooting process for that video was really a BLAST. One funny story I remember is on the last day of filming we lost the key to lock up the old building we were filming in. We searched all three stories of the building for what felt like forever and eventually found the keys in a super obvious place right by the door.
Lastly are you planning on going out on tour? How do you prepare for a live show?
I have no plans for going on tour at the moment but I would love to in the future. My live show preparation usually includes lots of coffee and my "Pre-Show Pump Up Playlist"...which includes everything from Drake to John Mayer.
Visit Mason Ashley's official website to purchase her music.