One word to describe Denitia and Sene is transcendent. Not being defined by one genre, the Brooklyn-based duo creates progressive music inspired by their lives and art. Prepping for a new release and continuing an east coast tour I got a chance to pick their brains about all things music. I asked them about their upcoming side fx EP, this new generation of diverse music fans, and the sitcom that would be based off of their life (Sorry Urkel).
You guys have a unique dynamic and appeal. Why do you guys work so well together?
DENETIA: I think that we just overlap personality wise but at the same time we’re both really different. It really helps the situation. We also both take things seriously. We believe that if we’re going to spend our time making music we’re really going to go for it and make the best we can. We have that mind frame in common. That kind of helps things move forward.
Your music is that it’s very vulnerable. How do you find a balance between being personal in your music and still making it relatable for listeners?
SENE: I think that’s a balance a lot of people have a problem with. They worry so much about doing one or the other that they end up focusing too much on one. Back when we weren’t traveling so much, Denitia would mention an art gallery opening that we got invited to and we would go just to support and check it out. So when we make our music, there’s so much going on in our heads, we just naturally relate to so many people. At the end of the day we share a lot of interests with other people without trying to. We are cognizant of that. We also listen to our fans and what they tell us they love about our music. We know what they want and we do our best to give it to them.
What can you tell us about the upcoming side fx EP?
D: It will be out in January. At this point we’re just now rolling out content like singles and videos. We have people doing remixes as well. We just released a remix to “side fx” by Ellie Herring and were really excited about it. It’s great to be on this tour talking about the EP performing songs off of it.
Being on the road so much lately, what have your fans and other people you’ve met taught you about your music. Have they reaffirmed your direction and ideas or steered you in a new direction?
D: The love from the fans is always reaffirming and humbling. It’s also a little overwhelming at times. Like the other day, we were in DC and DC is an amazing place. We love playing there. People knew the words to a bunch of our songs and going for it. It was like a reflection of the fun that we have making the music. We were so humbled by that experience.
In the past couple of years with the rise of producers who are consistently progressive and breaking down the traditional genre restrictions, how do you think that helped your sound and music as a whole?
D: I think that genres are melding. Personally, I grew up listening to every single thing. There is no doubt that affected my taste in music today. I believe we are loosely part of a movement, not on purpose but generationally a lot of people in this era are interested in all types of music, genres and styles. It’s exciting because there’s a lot of cool new music coming out that you can’t really define. I’m not even offended when people ask us to define the genre of music we make because it can be called a lot of different things. It’s not a black and white type of thing.
S: I think we lucked out. In my older brother’s generation, you had to pick a genre. These days, kids don’t care. They have no problem playing all kinds of music in one sitting. The shuffle playlists of today are nothing like what they used to be. We fall in the category of kids who aren’t ashamed of what they listen to. Kids walk down the street and you can’t assume what they’re listening to based on how they dress or what they look like. We’re really lucky to be making music in a generation full of fans with open minds that are shameless about what they listen to. It’s really been a blessing and we’re excited.
With SoundCloud growing the way it is with thousands of people posting new music every day, how do you guys stand out amongst the crowd?
S: I’d be making something up if I said anything other than the fact that we just do what we love to do and have the best intentions behind it. We honestly just try to share our music with people that support us and we’ve been able to grow a lot through word of mouth. I wish we had some fancy other way but we just try to make sure we both love how it sounds. Once we get to the point that we both love it, we know it’s time to give it to everybody.
What do you guys do on your days off?
D: I like great food but what else is there outside of music? (laughs) These days it’s either something to do with music or creating itself.
What creative things do you do outside of music?
S: I just finished filming a new movie. I have a lead male role in a movie with a bunch of cool people in it. I am dipping into acting and stuff like that. Also, Denitia and I have also been producing music for other acts, which is a new thing for us.
D: I like to play guitar and dabble with other instruments. When I unplug, that’s what I’m up to. I just like making tunes.
If you guys were to make a sitcom about your lives what would you call it?
D: “Family Matters” (laughs)
S: I agree. I don’t care if it’s already taken! (laughs)
DENITIA AND SENE W/ BLUE GOLD. MIDDLE EAST UPSTAIRS, 52 CHURCH ST., CAMBRIDGE MON 11.24. 8PM/$10/18+. denitiaandsene.com