Featured

DVBBS / ‘NOTHING TO SEE HERE’ IS THE PRE-ALBUM

September 22, 2020

Read the full interview on Flaunt.com!

If you’re a fan of electronic music, you’re a fan of Dvbbs. Composed of Chris Chronicles and Alex Andre, the DJ/producer duo came together in 2012 in Toronto, Canada, and has since exploded into the mainstream light. Best known for their standout remixes, the two brothers have collectively garnered billions of streams and achieved numerous plaques to date.

It was their 2014 breakout hit “Tsunami” that allowed them to gain an international fanbase, going on to tour and shut down stages all across the world. One year later, they threw their own Mount Woozy Festival, performing back home in Toronto on top of all the other prestigious festivals from Tomorrowland to EDC to Ultra Music Festival.

Most recently, Dvbbs unleashed their highly-anticipated new album titled Nothing To See Here, spearheaded by singles “GOMF,” “Need U,” and “Somebody Like You.” The 9-track LP showcases the duo’s growth in both lyrics and production — while staying true to their signature sound which combines multiple genres of music into one melting pot. They’ve also done some all-star collaborations: with Cheat Codes and Wiz Khalifa on “No Time Now,” and blackbear and 24KGoldn on “Tinted Eyes.”

Flaunt caught up with Alex via FaceTime, who revealed him and older brother Chris had been “trading music since they were kids, having fun on a wild journey together since 13 years old.” Read below as we discuss how they ended up producing their distinct sound, working with Martin Garrix, the new project, goals, and more!

Photo Credit: © Nathan James

Love seeing you link with Blackbear & 24kgoldn on “Tinted Eyes,” talk about donating proceeds to BLM charities.

What were you guys dreaming for yourselves at 13 years old? 

Honestly at 13, we were in England playing soccer. We’re really competitive soccer players, spent a few months traveling around England playing with all the academies. When we got back home, we picked up some instruments. I got a guitar, Chris got some drums for his birthday. We started jamming in our parents’ basements, learning genres of music. We had our punk phase, our reggae phase. We expanded with different genres of music as the years went on.

When Chris went to University, he got a soccer scholarship. The first time I was ever apart from my brother, a good way we connected was sending music and ideas back and forth. That’s when Chris called me: “hey, I’m learning how to produce on Ableton.” I’m like “that’s so cool.” I’d send him little vocal ideas, he’d send it back with a beat behind it. It was awesome.

Photo Credit: © Nathan James

Photo Credit: © Nathan James

If you’re a fan of electronic music, you’re a fan of Dvbbs. Composed of Chris Chronicles and Alex Andre, the DJ/producer duo came together in 2012 in Toronto, Canada, and has since exploded into the mainstream light. Best known for their standout remixes, the two brothers have collectively garnered billions of streams and achieved numerous plaques to date.

It was their 2014 breakout hit “Tsunami” that allowed them to gain an international fanbase, going on to tour and shut down stages all across the world. One year later, they threw their own Mount Woozy Festival, performing back home in Toronto on top of all the other prestigious festivals from Tomorrowland to EDC to Ultra Music Festival.

Most recently, Dvbbs unleashed their highly-anticipated new album titled Nothing To See Here, spearheaded by singles “GOMF,” “Need U,” and “Somebody Like You.” The 9-track LP showcases the duo’s growth in both lyrics and production — while staying true to their signature sound which combines multiple genres of music into one melting pot. They’ve also done some all-star collaborations: with Cheat Codes and Wiz Khalifa on “No Time Now,” and blackbear and 24KGoldn on “Tinted Eyes.”

Flaunt caught up with Alex via FaceTime, who revealed him and older brother Chris had been “trading music since they were kids, having fun on a wild journey together since 13 years old.” Read below as we discuss how they ended up producing their distinct sound, working with Martin Garrix, the new project, goals, and more!

Photo Credit: © Nathan James

Photo Credit: © Nathan James

Love seeing you link with Blackbear & 24kgoldn on “Tinted Eyes,” talk about donating proceeds to BLM charities.

What were you guys dreaming for yourselves at 13 years old? 

Honestly at 13, we were in England playing soccer. We’re really competitive soccer players, spent a few months traveling around England playing with all the academies. When we got back home, we picked up some instruments. I got a guitar, Chris got some drums for his birthday. We started jamming in our parents’ basements, learning genres of music. We had our punk phase, our reggae phase. We expanded with different genres of music as the years went on.

When Chris went to University, he got a soccer scholarship. The first time I was ever apart from my brother, a good way we connected was sending music and ideas back and forth. That’s when Chris called me: “hey, I’m learning how to produce on Ableton.” I’m like “that’s so cool.” I’d send him little vocal ideas, he’d send it back with a beat behind it. It was awesome.

Starting out, did you have a direction? Your sound is a blend of all genres, which is so dope. 

Definitely, We got really lucky with understanding the early stage of the electronic boom. In 2011, Aoki and LMFAO, all this electronic crossover music was really starting to boom in North America. We got put on a few of those early tours when we made our first 3 electronic records. We moved to LA in 2012, wrote a song called “Gold Skies,” which then became a song with Martin Garrix.

3 weeks after that, we worked on “Tsunami,” which put us into this house electronics scene. That was the ticket in. It put us in a little bit of a box but ever since then, we’ve been jumping out of the box. We take pride in being so unique as producers and writers with all sorts of genres. We can be in the room with Blackbear doing a pop record, the next night Wiz Khalifa doing a hip-hop record. We’ve expanded our knowledge on the production side and the songwriting side, that’s what’s in store for us. Growing as musicians, we love to be out of the box at all times.

How did you get in with Martin Garrix so early in your career?

We sent “Gold Skies” to a Dutch record label called Spinnin’ Records. Spinnin’ was actually managing as well as publishing Martin’s record label. They put out “Tsunami.” We moved to LA wit h$1000 dollars in our pocket, from north of Toronto. Chris drove 3 days, a Volkswagen Jetta all the way to LA. When we sent one of the songs after “Gold Skies,” which was “Tsunami” to Spinnin, they ended up doing this marketing rollout on the song during festival season. It instantly over the summer became one of the most anticipated records in the festival world, in the circuit.

Then drop the song in August and it hit, went #1 in a bunch of countries. Went Platinum all over the world. They said “hey, we’re also working with Martin.” I was young at the time, like 21. Martin’s 16 or 17. They said this would be a really cool time for you guys to connect. Our song just reached #1 in the Netherlands, so we’re out there a lot. I showed him what I wrote with “Gold Skies,” he put his own flavor on the record. We had interest in the World Cup, putting it as one of the anthems of the World Cup.

How was that?!

It was really crazy, the whole experience of coming from Toronto to Los Angeles, then instantly going to Europe. They have a whole different training ground out there. They’re born into this little scene where they’re raised in the studios. So crazy. We did a bunch of summers touring Europe and getting really close with a lot of cool people out there. Everyone’s still really close, we all keep up and work with each other. It’s really funny how the internet and music has made everyone so internationally connected still, daily.

Congrats on the release of your project, Nothing To See Here. Why’s that the title?

Nothing To See Here is funny, that’s our pre-album to an album. I told our fans this year, they’re getting a project. We’re finishing up our main album right now. We haven’t been doing that much livestreaming because we’ve been in the studio working during this crazy pandemic and year. I decided if we package some old stuff and throw some new songs on there, I can make everyone happy, keep my word and drop a little project called Nothing To See Here. A pre-warm up album to the album, like Travis Scott’s Rodeo before the Rodeo type situation. We have a whole other finished project on the way right now. Crazy crazy records coming, I’m really excited to show everyone what we’ve been working on.

How has your production and songwriting evolved since you started?

On this record, we came back to our house music roots. Even with the Bear records or crossover “radio” records, they still had some house elements to it. Even though we structure them like pop records, it still works in our sets. That’s really important to us. Around 2016, we started working in the studio with a lot of different pop artists and hip-hop artists. The issue we’re having was like, “okay if we’re in this festival setting, if we’re only going to play remixes of these records, how are we going to transition these records into our live show. This year and last year we’re really adamant in working on. Making records that when we drop them, we can still actually work them into our set. They still have the same energy, they work with the crowds. You can read the rooms properly with these records.

The dopest one out of that whole thing was the “Get Out Of My Face” recor,  the first time we ever saw a viral moment with an Instagram guy doing a dance to it. Pre-TikTok, in the beginning of all that. It became one of the top kicked off songs of last year. So crazy to see how it starts from an idea, then all of a sudden now a year later, Tik Tok is the marketing way of labels now. There’s no other rollouts, they’re like “okay, TikTok.”

What songs mean the most to you on the project and why?

“Need you” is a record I wrote right before I left for tour. I used to sing on a lot of our early records. After a 2, 3 year hiatus of singing on records, I came back and sang on that one. The first song, that one definitely means a lot to me. We’ve worked with Saro, an amazing vocalist on “Somebody Like You.” That was really cool. “Loyal,” we put that out at the end of the summer there. Also on the project, pretty special.

I was watching a 21 Savage interview, he says “I don’t even believe in love, it’s only trust.” I threw that into a lyric, then we flipped it into a pop, house record. They’re all special, they all have a moment. They all come out of nowhere. I can remember the day or the week of what I’m feeling. Went from a small little idea to all of a sudden, it’s now being listened to by a bunch of cool people. Playing it live.

I saw you recently link with Cheat Codes and Wiz Khalifa on “No Time Now.” How did that collab come about? 

Wiz is probably one of the coolest guys out there, I can’t even front anymore. I’ve always thought Wiz was cool. I always grew up on Wiz. I was going to a gym called Unbreakable, where they do cross training and boxing. Wiz has been on his MMA and UFC pretty heavy, so I’d box with Wiz.

Oh wow, is that how you guys first met?

Yeah, I knew his manager Will. I’ve been in the studio now with a lot of these hip-hop guys. Listen, I love hip-hop. I love the whole process of making a record in the studio where you can come up with crazy sounds, these guys come in, find a little pocket and flow over it. That’s really cool, such a different opposite way of writing pop records or EDM records. I had a really amazing last few years working in studios with Rich the Kid, Wiz, Smokepurpp, Belly, all these people.

Then I’m boxing with Wiz.  I’m never trying to be like,”hey, I also make beats.” I’m trying to keep it cool. Will one day said ”send me some stuff that you’re working on,” I sent them a beat and no lie. 24 hours later, I get sent back a song with Wiz. Completely cut it, front to back. His verse is crazy. It’s not “pay me money, I’ll give you a couple of lines.” He liked the beat, he hopped on it. He gave me quality content bars, the best bars I’ve heard Wiz do in years.

I go way back with the Cheat Codes boys, we’ve done a bunch of shows together. We had a different hook on that song. When I went over to Trev’s house 7 months ago, they asked “what’re you guys working on?” I showed him some records, “hey, I have this Wiz verse and like this record that if we kind of put a hook on it like we can put it on like a Cheatcodes stuff. We wrote a hook and it all flowed together. Next thing, we have “No Time.” Another fun pandemi record to bump out too. Very organic, very cool. Later on in life when I look at my catalog, I just smile. These are homies,  friends, people I look up to. Now we have songs that 10 years from now, reminds me 2020.

How much do you miss performing? Or do you not? 

I definitely miss performing. We went really hard 2013 to beginning of 2018, we did between 150 to 200 shows a year. I remember one of the weeks was LA to Bolivia to Brazil, to South Korea to Japan to Portugal, back to LA in a week and a half, I was upside down. I definitely know what it feels like to be burnt out, what it feels like to miss what I love doing. I’m fully back itching to get back on stage to play new music. To not go on after your third, fourth year of touring nonstop, you’re off a plane to a stage, to a plane to a stage to a hotel to a stage. By the end of that tour, you may be only giving 60 to70%. That’s my biggest pet peeve, knowing that I could’ve probably given a little bit more but I was so drained that I didn’t.

I’m so well-rested and so good that I’m going to go give 150% now. I miss it a lot. We had 35 shows in the summer cancelled, all postponed until next year. It’s a bigger time than performing, I respect it. I understand that, but it’s a great time to finish up a lot of songs. That’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve been taking a lot of this time, not sitting around and complaining. Also finishing contracts with artists, they’re not on airplanes all day. A lot of people are actually like “oh yeah, let’s finish that.” That’s really cool.

Photo Credit: © Nathan James

I love that you collaborated with blackbear and 24kGoldn, love them both.

We actually had that record finished in November. bear had “hot girl bummer.” He comes out with a massive smash every year,  then he’s gone. The timing of “Tinted Eyes,” he calls me “I’d really love to get someone on the second verse.” I had Rich the Kid cut it, a few people cut it. It was such a hot record to me, just wasn’t really flowing the way I thought. We had 24K come over to our studio here on Melrose. We did a record with him, then I said “hey, we also have this record with Blackbear,. Would you want to give it a shot?” He said “send me the record. I’m heading back to the Bay right now.” It was March, the week the whole pandemic shut down to the max. He couldn’t get into a studio anywhere, finally gets someone in the Bay to let him through the backdoor into the studio. He cuts “Tinted Eyes” and sends it back. Bro, this is exactly what we’re all waiting and looking for.

Talk about donating to Black Lives Matter charities. 

We’re sitting on that record, trying to figure out when to put it out. With his album and blackbear’s album coming, Interscope and Sony and all these labels planning, they plan it for June 5th release. Around that time was one of the craziest parts of the year. George Floyd incident happens, the whole world erupts. We understand there’s way more important things happening but after speaking with 24 and bear, this is our life. The only way we actually feel good is by doing music.

If there’s anything we could do in the world, it’s actually give back through our music. We all got on the phone: “listen, this is our single for our project. I know it’s a big one. What do you guys think if we all do this?” There were no ifs ands or buts, everyone agreed to donate the record. Now we’re trying to get the labels to do their part too. It goes deeper than us donating our portions.

Goals for yourself as an artist at this point in your career?

Keep growing as songwriters and producers, keep breaking these barriers we’ve been doing. Working with records all over the spectrum. We were in the studio, got some cool stuff with Kane Brown on the country side. We’re sitting on 10 records with my favorite hip-hop artists. Ski Mask The Slump God. Being able to get in the room and be so updated with where music’s going, then taking that to the studio and advancing our live show. Making a spectacle. We’ve always been very happy with our performance skills. We’re very confident on stage, but if we can continuously bring more instruments back on stage, make it more of a live show, up the production. We get blessed by having these guarantees to get paid to come to these concerts, I’d love to blow it into the performance.If people leave with an experience like “I’m for sure going to come watch these guys over and over again, because they’re putting that right back into their show.”

To stay happy and healthy, keep using our platform and our fanbase to spread what really matters. Music,money, touring, all this stuff’s amazing, but it’s also a really really amazing time to use everything we’re doing to spread amazing awareness. I always feel better of myself and of our brand by being able to help if we can in any way shape or form. You have to say yes and dedicate time, not be closed-minded. I want to say yes to a lot more things.

Anything else you wanna let us know?

Love Flaunt. You guys came to our video shoot for “IDWK” with Blackbear, you guys were mad cool and gave us our first Flaunt experience. I’ve been looking forward ever since to do something else, so I’m really happy this is happening.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply