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MERY'S KEY

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW MERY’S KEY WHAT HAPPENED?

Introduce us to you all and your musical history.

Well, we’re an unusual pairing of a singer and a bass player but let’s break this down!

 Mery: I’m Mery! I’m from Cormons in Italy. I started singing when I was about 16 years old and have toured as a backing singer for Italian artists such as Gigliola Cinquetti, for example. I play a bit of piano too! Amazingly? No, but it’s enough for me to write songs on and be able to perform them too!

Kevin: I’m Kevin, from Milton Keynes! Someone has to be. I play bass. As is true of many bassists, I’ve been involved with several bands/projects here and there. At a point I became interested in what else the instrument can do and discovered bassists like Victor Wooten, Michael Manring, Steve Lawson, but an important turning point in everything was discovering Seth Horan who combined all the technical fireworks of virtuoso bassists with beautiful songwriting. 

We basically arrange songs much in the way people would with a guitar, or a piano, but with bass guitar instead! And then we try to produce the songs around that, making music for both people who like something with a niche as well as people who just want to hear a good song.

What was life like for you before music?

Kevin: I was eight years old when I started playing music and perhaps fourteen or fifteen when I started gigging. So life before music was pretty much just Star Wars toys and school. And more hours than I care to admit on Counter-Strike.

Mery: More or less the same for me, I started music in primary school, so there wasn’t much life before that!

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

Mery: The San Remo 2001 Italian music festival played an imporant part in me getting into music. “Luce (tramonti a nord est)”, the winning song, was the first which made me go wow, and watching Elisa as a young artist inspired me to take up singing!

Kevin: That’s a difficult question, my parents and grandparents exposed me to music ranging from classical to pop and rock as far as my memory goes back.

I started playing the tuba when I was eight (only because double-bass wasn’t an option at the time) but when I heard Keep The Faith by Bon Jovi that was the moment in which I though “right, I’m going to play bass guitar!”. The point where it became “right, music is what I’m going to do” was when I heard a local band called Terrapin Trainstation play their song “Free For The Moment”.

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

Individually, we’ve both played music professionally for a long time, but clearly Mery’s Key is new, Step by Step is our first single, and so we pretty much sit at the beginning. It’s exciting and daunting in equal measure but we’ve got lots of experience and lessons learned to draw upon and hope we can use it all to push this thing along. We also have a great team behind us who are helping with all the planning.

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?

The first producer we worked with said to not be afraid to do what we want to do, that if you are afraid you’ve already lost.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

Our first gig was to a packed out theatre. Our house is a cat sanctuary.  Kevin is the king of Kolo, totally stole the show at a Serbian wedding.

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?

Just to find our audience, really. And maybe winning a boat load of money.

MERY'S KEY

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

Of course we mean no harm and hope never to be misconstrued!

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?

Aliens. They are among us. Just look at Kevin.

What was the worst experience on stage?

Aw, come on, let’s talk about the best, we like positivity; our debut gig was to a packed theatre on the occasion of presenting the life-time career achievement award for Enrico Mentana, a very famous journalist and TV presenter in Italy. If they say “start as you mean to go on” then hopefully that bodes well!

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about.

Mery has a masters in clarinet and Kevin has a degree in double bass playing! Both in classical music.

What are the next steps you plan to take as a band to reach the next level?

We’re continuing to write and refine our songwriting. We’re working together with producer Matthew Parisi to understand how we can fulfil our vision of taking what on paper sounds like a weird, niche duo and making music that is enjoyable to us, and enjoyable to the listener whilst staying true to what we are.

And now that we’ve got the ball rolling with releasing music we’re going to start playing live more often again! If we can get to the point of regularly playing 500-1000 capacity venues across the continent we’ll already feel like we’ve made it, but of course the sky is the limit!

Whats your thoughts on Elon Musks contribution to the world?

He ruined Twitter, damn it! 

I hear you have a new song, what can you tell us about it.

It’s called “Step By Step”! It strongly relates to the feeling of wanting to achieve so much more, so much quicker yet acknowledges that achieving our desires takes time. The lyrics explore the emotional journey of dealing with impatience and self-doubt, and the anthemic chorus reminds the listener that the process must be trusted, and all in all it’s an upbeat and uplifting track!

We feel like it’s a great, honest introduction to what we do, actually. The track opens in quite a minimalist manner, and we guess there probably aren’t many people who have heard a singer and bassist play off each other in this way, but very quickly starts to fill out the sound with 80s style synths. Who doesn’t love 80s sounding synths??

What was the recording process like?

The recording process was pretty interesting because we’re actually based in Trieste, Italy, but our producer Matthew Parisi is near Brighton. We recorded the vocals at Xelex, a recording studio that does multilingual voiceovers and dubbing where Kevin works. We tracked the bass at home where we’re lucky enough to have a great channel strip and interface.

We lugged our stuff over to Gorizia in a rack to record drums with Francesco Pandolfo (he’s a great musician and with such a variety of kits, snares and cymbals he’s like a walking, talking software drum package). With all the files in hand, we shared them with Matthew and worked together remotely! Using Audiomovers Listen to he streams the audio from his DAW straight to us from the UK to Italy and we would go through the whole production process together. Matthew mixed the track, and it was mastered by Alex DeTurk. 

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tune?

Mery: Trying to make the most impact with the lyrics in the fewest words possible. 

Kevin: Arranging the bass part so that it covers all the bases! I’m always looking for a way to play that means that when we perform it without all the production that it still has everything it needs.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

Yes, but it doesn’t matter. It’s so easy to think “we need to add this”, “we need to change that”, “this could be better”, and never finish. We feel like we got it to a great place and we’re really happy that it’s going out the way that it is. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

If you like what we do, please do follow us and say hi! We love to say hi back and stay in touch 🙂

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