Our new Center Stage artist are brother and sister Connor and Karlee- A pop-alternative duo from Sacramento, California, whose sound marries acoustic vibes with a youthful energy. Inspired by the integrity and lyrical genius of such artists as John Mayer, Young the Giant, and Sara Bareilles, Connor (20) and Karlee (18) strive to create music that is emulative of their idols but unique to their own experiences.
Stuart Walthall, producer, musician and director for 4U Productions, wrote in an article in the Rio Vista Beacon: “these two performers create a huge wall of sound. Their original works exhibit complex changes in tempo, rhythm, and dynamics usually found in the music of much older and seasoned professional musicians.”
Growing up in a musical household and having solo side projects for much of their upbringing, it was no surprise that when they decided to start playing together on a regular basis, the only logical name for the band was, of course...themselves... Connor and Karlee. Connor and Karlee began playing together in 2010 on a local grassroots level at cafes, wineries, and even a middle-school multipurpose room. As they developed their fan base, they began consistently playing larger venues. 2014 proved to be the biggest year of their young career – their song, “I Swear” was featured on radio show 98.5 Local Licks, they opened for a number of artists including John Foreman, Tyrone Wells, and Brad Corrigan, and they released their self-titled debut album in July.
Following the release of their album, Connor and Karlee headlined shows throughout Northern California for the remainder of the summer. Currently, Connor, studies Audio Engineering at American River College, while Karlee is pursuing a degree in music industry at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. While they may be geographically separated, the duo continues to write songs and hopes to carry the momentum of 2014 into the new year and beyond.
Describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence
Our sound is pop, fun, young, and alternative!
What inspires you to make music?
K: Life in general is really inspiring. In particular though, I’m always inspired when I see people doing what they love and following their passions. I think life is too short to not do what we love. No matter what, I will always be making music.
C: The feeling that music gives me when I listen to it makes me want to create it. There is nothing like being in that perfect place at the perfect time listening to the perfect song. Nothing comes close to that feeling for me.
What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?
K: Writing is the most exciting for me right now. Being away at school I am inspired by new experiences and people. Especially after releasing our debut album, we both really understand what kind of music we want to write and create. More alternative/folk inspired music.
C: I think that every aspect of making music is very exciting but the writing and recording process is really something special. Being creative and letting your mind run with ideas and letting them flow is the best. Seeing the way that people react to the new songs in a live setting brings everything full circle.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a musician?
K: I think the biggest challenge I face as a musician is finding time to completely tune out the world and solely focus on music. When I do get that opportunity, it’s the best feeling.
C: Spreading the word about our music has happened, but it’s not easy. Getting more and more people to listen has been a challenge but the hard work is starting to pay off and we are very thankful for that.
What's one of your all-time favorite recordings?
So hard to choose! …so we each chose a collection of songs.
K: John Mayer: Battle Studies Album
C: Lord Huron: Lonesome Dreams Album
Name three people who have influenced your music, and tell us why- Living or dead.
CK: We’ve been influenced by so many different artists and genres and always draw inspiration from our favorites.
-John Mayer for his diverse writing styles.
-James Taylor for his storytelling.
-Young the Giant for their energetic onstage performances.
-Sara Bareilles for her sheer talent.
Do you have any recent or upcoming projects you'd like to share with us? Tell us about it.
CK: We are always working on new and different projects. If we’re not playing shows, we are in the studio working on new material. We are also currently in the process of recording some outdoor acoustic sessions and new singles.
What is your ideal or target audience?
CK: 13 – 35 yrs old split male/female. Anyone that loves music.
Do you write your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process.
CK: Yes we do. We do a lot of writing individually but love to write together too! Each process has different outcomes, as we each have our own writing style, but that’s what helps make our songs different from one another. When we write together, we typically take turns writing different parts of the song, like the chorus or verse, and the best idea wins.
What do you like the most about Radio Airplay?
CK: Radio Airplay allows us to reach listeners all over the world. Without it, we wouldn’t have fans in Canada or Korea!
Gone – Connor & Karlee