Interview: Froyo

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Interview: Froyo

We can't wait to bust out our best dance moves for Froyo when they play at our Tuesday lunchtime concert! Check out what they have to say about cultural diversity, watching Disney Channel, and their enthusiasm for movies and 2am slurpees.

Tell us a bit about how Froyo formed?

SONIA: We all met while studying music. Michael and Allyson wrote songs together and eventually started playing live shows. I joined the party later on, and it’s been fun ever since. That’s kind of the short version of the story, haha.

MICHAEL: It was actually born out of a production assignment – beginning as a brand, more so than a band. For the assignment, I made a bunch of websites and social profiles under the throwaway name of “FROYO”, one of which was a triple j unearthed page. Anyway, I smashed the assessment a few weeks later, and it was now time to delete these temporary accounts... but I was shocked to learn that this Froyo triple j unearthed page had received a whole bunch of positive attention from triple j staff, venue bookers, and total randoms. Long story short, this was a band that happened by complete accident.

What’s your creative process / How do you write music?

M: Usually, I’ll start an idea in Logic. It’s almost always just chords and melodies with no lyrics. If we like an idea, we’ll collaborate on the rest of the writing and production.

S: It can be a lyric or melody, piano part, or a demo session in Logic. We then get together and throw ideas and words around the room.

ALLYSON: Then we sit around, scratching our heads for hours on rhymezone.com and making sure to avoid the words “don’t” and  “tonight”… lyrics are really hard sometimes, haha.

Your videos are really cool! How do you go about making them and where do your ideas come from?

S: Thank you! I guess the main thing is that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We like to get a bit silly, which makes the process so much more fun and rewarding!

A: What she said.

M: Yep. I guess video editing skills help too, but just having fun with it all is probably most important.

What’s something you’re proud of achieving as a band?

A: We’re proud that our band contributes to the gender diversity in Australia’s music scene. We’re also proud that we have an opportunity to represent minorities in this industry, coming from a mix of Chinese, Indian, Papua New Guinean, and Filipino backgrounds. More so that we’ve been able to bring these diversities to a wider audience – not just via radio/streaming outlets but through numerous gigs, especially notable ones such as The Plot Festival, Hottest 100 Party in Parramatta, and Heaps Gay at Vivid Festival, alongside various emerging and established artists.

What do you do when you find yourself creatively drained?

S: Stop! Take a break. There’s no point in forcing an idea that won’t come naturally. Find a different creative outlet or hobby to pass the time – Michael picked up a camera and learnt how to take photos and videos (which also ended up being a useful skill for the band). Allyson makes art and goes on nature adventures. I even once started making dollhouses out of abandoned cardboard.

A: If I get drained, I’ll completely remove myself from that state of mind by drawing, fixing the yard, visiting friends and family, or playing video games. Speaking of video games, creativity’s kind of like a health bar. If you stop trying to run into all the battles while smashing all the buttons, then you’ll see that your health slowly regenerates. Sometimes you need to remove yourself completely to regain your energy. In saying that, you should not spend 48 hours on evolving three generations of The Sims, which I’m going to admit, I have done.

Otherwise, another way to regenerate the “health bar”, is to feed it with information – researching other people’s work and also physically immersing oneself in creative environments such as going to gigs, visiting art galleries, reading, watching films, and simply talking with like-minded people. Instead of being a passive observer, you can analyse the work. What are elements that make the work effective and what could be changed or added? In fact, inspiration can come from everywhere. In nature, in cities, in other people… but the key is to actively observe and find connections.

Everything is going to work out how it’s supposed to. Don’t worry too much about what others think, or what’s “cool” – focus on your work. You’re incredible and your story is important.

What are your interests outside of music?

S: Immersing myself in nature. Stargazing. Watching old Disney Channel TV shows (shout outs to Miley and Hilary). Eating burgers.

A: Drawing and outdoor activities. Like mowing the lawn. Jokes. But I do like doing that.

M: Movies! I absolutely love movies… particularly, GOING to the movies. I’ve seen at least 24 movies at the cinema each year for the last 3 years. Man, that’s like 2 brand new movies a month. Also, I like TALKING about movies. Can you tell?

Do you have any advice for someone looking to start a band?

A: Accept and give constructive criticism. Don’t make it personal. Respect each other’s opinions and compliment each other when you can.

M: 100% agree. Also, just know that it’s never as easy as movies make it out to be. When things get serious (be it success or failure), everything can become quite overwhelming. Taking care of your mental health is something that not enough people talk about, but it’s incredibly important. It saves lives. So, keep making music, learn and grow, and remember to take care of your heart and mind every once in a while.

Which band/musician would you love to play with or collaborate with?

A: Cut Copy, Beach House, and Johnny Jewel.

S: Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Britney Spears, and The Killers.

M: Gahh, so many to name! But I’ll keep it short… Blood Orange, M83, The 1975, and Electric Youth.

What are three things you like about yourself?

M: 1) My Papua New Guinean heritage; 2) My Australian home; 3) My ability to grow a decent beard in like 3 weeks.

A: 1) I like to seek people from all walks of life, regardless of age, occupation, economic or social status. It’s educational but also actively exposing yourself to diversity makes the whole “treating and speaking to everyone equally” concept you learn as a kid become more profound and ingrained in one’s values; 2) If you wanna go for a drive and a slushie at 2am in the morning, I’m there. Unless I’m fast asleep; 3) My septum ring. That’s right mum. It’s staying.

S: 1) That I’ve learnt how to love myself (and not compromise my sense of self for others); 2) That I never gave up on finding true friends, because I eventually did; 3) My unashamed love of Taylor Swift.

What advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A: It’s not about fitting in or being different. It’s just about being you. But truthfully, if we’re talking to 13 year old me, then it would be to make good simple habits. Wake up on time, do your bed in the morning, exercise, study, make study notes (and stop winging it on exams), allocate time for fun (not all the time). Being consistent with the simple stuff goes a long way as it can ultimately affect everything else that you do. I know this now… yes, Allyson, it’s called discipline.

S: Everything is going to work out how it’s supposed to. Don’t worry too much about what others think, or what’s “cool” – focus on your work. You’re incredible and your story is important. Keep practicing, learning, working and be nice to everyone! You never know who you’ll meet again.

M: The world is weird and full of good (and bad) people. Surround yourself with the right ones. They may not present themselves right away. So in the meantime, sharpen your skills, keep learning new things, and always focus on taking care of your heart and mind.

 

Check out Froyo on FacebookInstagram and Spotify

 

Interview by Madeleine Er

Girls Rock! Sydney