With their debut single 'Paper' proving to be an instant smash-hit upon its release last year, California-based collective Less Popular are now looking to do it all again on their latest gem 'All Night'.
Channelling a distinct mix of genres that include soul, hip-hop, electro-pop, and indie, 'All Night' sees them take their diverse direction to the next level. With a bright and bouncing direction blended perfectly with their driven pop intentions, this new effort showcases them as a truly innovative name emerging right now.
So with the new single doing the rounds, we had a chat with them to find out more about their background and what has inspired them most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Sohil - I fell in love with the piano. It was the first instrument I learned, and ever since I’ve been attached to learning new instruments and creating music.
Letran - Yeah, he knows piano, guitar, flute, accordion, viola and I don’t even know what else. I’m personally just a pianist and I’m happy with that.
What was the first song that inspired you to make your own music?
Letran - Good Life by Kanye West… my cousin showed it to me on her iPod and it changed the way I viewed music. The production and flows were next level, and the way they used the P.Y.T./Michael Jackson sample in the chorus was genius.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
Sohil - Back in middle school and early high school, I was super into punk rock. Everything about it was so cool to me — the distorted guitar, the rebelliousness of it, the live aspect. The simplicity of the chord structure made it really easy to start learning guitar and right off the bat, play things that I loved to listen to.
What do you find is the best environment to find inspiration for your music?
Letran - That’s a funny question because I feel most inspired by sunlight and being outside, but we record all of our stuff in a really dark room with no windows. We really find inspiration anywhere though, we could be in line at In-and-Out and we’ll start dissecting the mix/arrangement/instruments of the songs on the radio (we’re obsessed with understanding music).
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
Sohil - Recently, we’ve been listening to a lot of Black-Eyed Peas, Lil Durk, Ant Clemons, Kygo, and Kehlani. We start every session by just sharing our favorite songs from the last couple of days.
Letran - Yeah, so our music taste is all over the place, but the thing all those people have in common is great melodies. Like, amazing melodies, both in the vocals and production.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Letran - So we only have two songs out, so I guess technically the answer is two. But the dozens we have in the vault are all about real people. Sometimes it’s about a direct relationship, but I also find us writing from the perspective of our friends. I think bringing in outside experiences is super important in storytelling.
What has been the most unusual moment in your career so far?
Letran - I recently quit my job to do music full-time and telling people that I’m leaving my 9-5 was just a surreal experience. I felt like I could be honest with people at work for the first time — and they were really accepting! I didn’t want people to think I was unfocused at work so I kind of just swept the music under the table… even though I was working on it every night and doing 12 hour sessions on the weekend.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Sohil - I never really thought about that before, but it would be so crazy to get to open for a group like the Black-Eyed Peas. I know they aren’t really touring right now (and no one is for that matter). We really respect their production and the diversity of sound they bring to the table.
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Letran - It’s pretty corny to say, but we both worked in tech… so tech. That’s just what you get when you go to Berkeley. It’s inescapable.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
Sohil - The best piece of advice I ever have received was from my music teacher back in elementary school - “practice makes perfect.” These same words are probably permanently etched in the brains of every kid who took music lessons. And as simple and generic as that statement may seem, it truly is the root of how musicians or any artist truly refines their craft.
Letran - Yup, couldn’t agree more, practice is so underrated… it’s the only way to elevate!
Less Popular's new single 'All Night' is available to stream and download now. Watch the new video for it in the player below.