SOUND OFF: CARLY AND MARTINA
Jul 21, 2020
At first glance Carly and Martina might look like your average teenagers, but they’re powerhouses making music with a message. Music was ingrained in the 18-year-old twins who were both classically and jazz trained in playing piano since the age of four. The success of their first single caused a chain reaction for the girls.
“Make Me Happy” emotionally resonated with fans, helping the musical duo gain a large, loyal fan base on social media of over 360K fans. It’s something that’s in part due to their overwhelming sense of positivity and desire to connect with their fan base, but has also grown due to sharing a plethora of acoustic originals and covers during the past eight months.
In 2017, the sister duo got the opportunity to talk about the importance of using their music to instill confidence in others during a TEDxTalk. They’ve also continued to make a difference with their music in a recent partnership with United Way of Metro Chicago, helping underprivileged kids through songwriting workshops in the local communities as well as judging the Girls Scouts USA Top Cookie Pro Contest alongside executives from Swell, Brit and Co, and MSNBC. In the 2018 school year, Carly and Martina also partnered with Little Kids Rock to host songwriting workshops at several Chicago Public Schools in underprivileged communities in Chicago. They’re focused on empowering others and being unapologetically themselves.
Carly and Martina have collaborated with an array of songwriters for their next chapter including Victoria Shaw (Garth Brooks, Christina Aguilera), Big Al Anderson (Zac Brown Band, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts) and Marty Dodson (Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney). They’re not limited by genres, but inspired by catchy pop hooks and acoustic elements, producing their own work and playing their own instruments live.
Last year, Carly and Martina released the summer anthem “Block His Number” and “Love Me Later.” Both tracks dominated the #1 spot on Radio Disney’s Total Request Now as well as received support from publications like Girls Life and Pop Dust. Off the back of their radio support, Carly and Martina are also Radio Disney Correspondents, traveling the country to interview the hottest names in music. With their unwavering positivity and high energy, Carly and Martina have built their own sound – and they’re not backing down.
1. For starters, Congrats on graduating HS with 4.0’s! Was there a pivotal moment that made you realize you wanted to pursue music full-time?
Thank you so much!! The summer before freshman year, our parents really wanted us to focus more on schoolwork and make music a hobby, but we convinced them to let us go to New York for a month in the summer to try our luck at pursuing a career. During that month, we dragged our 88-key keyboard up and down streets of Manhattan for hours every day, playing everywhere from the streets of New York to open mics. Each open mic ended up booking us for our own show, and we started booking ourselves professionally every night in New York. That was really the month we truly fell in love with what we do.
2. Whether you’re heading to college or not, what would you be interested in studying and why?
We’d probably study law or marketing since we’re already in those worlds a little thanks to our career. We’re also really interested in STEM, so maybe we’d study that.
3. Being a part of ‘Gen Z’, what are you tired of hearing about “your generation”?
That everything bad that happens is because we’re “on our phone too much” :) Our grandma is on her phone more than we are!!
4.You mentioned having music on shows on Hulu, Freeform, and being on Radio Disney! Can you tell us a little more about that journey?
None of that was expected at all. With Radio Disney, we thought they were just going to play our song once, but it was requested so many times on the station, it ended up staying for a couple months until another one of our songs was played! That was definitely such a surreal experience because we grew up listening to Radio Disney. To have their listeners love our song so much they secured it in the rotation – that was huge for us. In terms of our music being on TV shows, it’s really humbling to have your music and your voice take up a permanent place in pop culture. We were just making songs, so to have TV shows love them so much they wanted to include them in the show is definitely something we don’t take for granted. Every time an episode of a show with our song on airs, we get the whole family to sit around and watch it!! It never stops being exciting.
5. Give us a glimpse into your musical upbringing. Who or what initially influenced your passion for music?
We’ve been taking piano lessons since we were four. We started with classical and transitioned to jazz. We owe a lot of credit to our piano teacher for teaching us how music works and the theory behind what we were playing – that was helpful when it came time to make our own music, since we knew how to structure things. We also picked up bass, guitar, and drums along the way. When we were younger, our dad used to play a lot of The Beatles and other oldies, which is where our passion for music really came from. As we grew up, we started exploring different genres and artists for ourselves, which led to us finding our current influences.
6.Your new track “Your Song” is beautiful. How is the creative process split between you two?
Awww thank you so much!! Glad you love it :) The writing process on that one was really fun. We were in our kitchen at 2am having a late-night snack (aka doing our nightly ritual), and Martina started messing around with some chords on the computer, coming up with what ended up being the chords of the chorus. As I was hearing that, I just started singing the melody and some lyrics of the chorus as they came out. After that, we knew we had something awesome and finished writing it in about 20 minutes. We take everything lightly when creating and never overthink it, and everything is truly 50/50 between us. Sounds weird, but it works!
7. How much of an influence is social media on your day-to-day life?
Even though we’re always on social media, it doesn’t really influence our day-to-day lives. It’s always on our minds to post and to document our activities because we genuinely enjoy sharing our lives with the people who support us, but we don’t let trends on social media dictate how we view ourselves, the world around us, or our music.
8. How do you use social media?
We use it a lot! We try to use it as a way to document what we do, what we’re interested in, and who we’re friends with. We like the idea that it can act as a personal reality TV show! We also love that it allows us to connect with so many people around the world, so we’re always trying to answer comments, dm’s, etc. We’re always reaching out to people we find fun and talented. We also really want to make our socials a positive outlet because there’s too much negativity in the world for us not to.
9. In a world where everyone has a platform, how do you differentiate yourself from your peers?
We differentiate ourselves by being ourselves :)
10. You have huge audiences across all social media platforms. What do you love most about your fanbase?
Our favorite thing about our fanbase is how kind they are to each other. Our fans don’t take each other or anybody else down. In fact, they’ve formed real friendships where they’ve actually met in person based on their love for our music, which is the coolest thing ever!! They’re extremely nice people and we love them for that.
11. You’ve openly talked about the importance of using music to instill confidence in others. How do you see music as being that important outlet?
Music allows people to express themselves and feel things without directly saying it. In our experience, whenever we have bad days, turning on the right song can completely change that and make us feel so much better! Not only can music help through it’s words, but also through the overall sound and rhythm.
12. What do you want people to hear and take away from your writing/music?
We hope people feel like our music was written for them and their lives. Whether some songs make them happy, or some make them sad, we hope all of them make people feel SOMETHING. We don’t want to say what because it’s for them to decide :)
13. Tell us something you want your new listeners to know about you.
We wrote and produced this music ourselves in our basement during quarantine and we hope you LOVE it!! Oh and we’re twins.
14. What is a question you wish you got asked more?
We love when people ask us about the writing and production process, so any questions about how we created something or what inspired the music is really exciting for us to answer.
15. What does popular mean to you?
Popular just means well-known, not necessarily well-liked. There’s nothing wrong with it as long as it’s used for good instead of evil.
16. Do you have any future plans for upcoming projects?
After this first single “Your Song,” we have another single, “Honeymoon,” and then our debut album, “Are You Listening?” We’re already starting to conceptualize the second album and we’re already excited for it!
Keep up with Carly and Martina on all platforms
- Photographer (Img 1) Jordyn Pritsker
- Photographer (Img 2) Self Credit