R&B/Hip Hop duo GOLDSPACE is premiering their brand new single “Rules” exclusively on Talk Nerdy With Us.
In addition to premiering their single on our site, Maia Quin and Andre Samuel, who make up the duo, took some time to talk to me about where the name GOLDSPACE came from, their musical influences, the writing process for “Rules”, their upcoming EP Stupid Mind and so much more. Keep reading to see what they had to say!
For those who aren’t familiar with GOLDSPACE, can you give me a brief history of how you guys met and how the duo was formed?
Well, we met while attending Berklee College of Music and kinda became a group by accident. There was no plan. Andre came to me a couple years ago with this beat he wanted me to topline which became the song “Heavy Hitter”. When we put it out, people were reaching out and all of our friends and other Berklee people were like, “Where’s the next one?” So we came up with a band name, re-released “Heavy Hitter”, and started making more music. That was when we started to take it more seriously.
Where did the name GOLDSPACE come from?
Well, we were really trying to create a vibe with our name. It’s kinda one of those random things one of us thought up – I don’t even remember who – but when we really listened to it, we thought it represented our sound well.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey to listeners with their music. So if you had to describe the music you make without using genre names, how would you describe it?
Our music is all kinds of things. Some of it is dark, heavy shit you can kinda rage to and some of it is fun, more pop-y stuff. We’re obsessed with synths, new drums sounds and the vocals have a lot of catchy moments but also like to fall into a sorta stream of consciousness. Does that make sense? Fuck, I didn’t realize how much we relied on genre names. Our shit is new – something you haven’t heard before.
Kind of going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
Our influences come from all over the place. Andre’s lie in hip-hop/rap like Young Thug, Kanye, Mac Miller and other stuff like Kaytranada and Tame Impala, while mine are more eclectic. From rappers like Kendrick, MF Doom, Isaiah Rashad to singers like Fiona Apple, Nora Jones and SZA. On a song we released a few months ago, “Think Twice”, my main influence in mind was “Our House” by Madness. I don’t know if that’s an influence you can hear, but it’s useful to have vibes to emulate in the studio.
Let’s talk about your new single, “Rules”, which I absolutely love by the way. What is this song about?
This song is about me as a teenager and struggling with school, sobriety and self-love. It’s about feeling out of control but kind of being okay with it and being kind of cheeky about it.
Something I’ve always been curious with songwriting is how topics come to mind. Did you know what you wanted to write about going into the song session that birthed “Rules” or did it just come about organically once you were in the session?
I rarely go into sessions knowing what I want to write about. Sometimes I do, but in this case I didn’t at all. It just came really organically when Andre started playing the main riff on guitar.
What was the songwriting process like for this song specifically?
I started with the hook. The vibe made sense to me as Andre was making the chords up and the words sounded cool. I pay a lot of attention to how words sound when I write. I started to see the story at that point and wrote the verses. We wrote the song on guitar first before translating it into Ableton and Andre used this plug-in that turned his guitar into a synth sound for the opening riff.
Was there any major changes made to “Rules” once you guys got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
Not really; most of it was done in the first night. From there, it was just polishing the song and creating little moments that can pop out at you. We flew out to LA while we were still living in Boston and re-cut the vocals at a studio in Hollywood and then we spent a few months working on the production, focusing on the small details. One of the things we added was a vocoder behind the hooks that really fills out the space and makes it sound really big. After that, we spent a few months going to New York and working with our incredible mixing engineer, Rachel Alina, to get it sounding just right.
The upcoming EP, Stupid Mind, touches on mental health, addiction, and themes straight from your personal life and experiences. What do you hope people take away from listening to it when it comes out?
We started this EP before we knew it was an EP and before I had become free from my addiction. The opening song is me trying to explain where I was at during that part of my life. I think what we want people to take away from the project is some reality of what addiction is like. It’s not glamorous and it’s not fun – it’s dark. And for the people who do struggle, they’re not alone. I’m still learning how to get out of that dark place, but it’s fully possible.
You guys are still relatively new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
We’d love to tour. That’s our biggest goal because our favorite part of all this is playing the songs live.
Lastly, we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
Andre’s been nerding out about synthesizers recently. He recently got a Sequential Prophet 6 and has been playing with it non-stop. I catch him browsing synths online almost daily or watching a lot of YouTube videos about it.