INVT Talks "Velvet Seas", 'Concrete Beach', & Collaboration
After the release of their Concrete Beach EP and their debut video “Velvet Seas”, INVT has secured themselves as the 19-year-old duo to watch. Luca and Delbert have worked together on making music for nearly half their lives, and finally, after making their way from Miami to New York, are releasing what can only be described as a compilation of growing up, moving to a new city, and the experiences, both mundane and extraordinary, that they have every single day.
These two don’t play around; literally, they locked themselves in their rooms this past winter to get to where they are right now. It’s not easy to find a pair of creatives who not only make their own music, but who also collaborate on album artwork and even clothing, too. INVT have a powerful, albeit rare project on their hands, and if only one thing is certain, it’s this: it’s just the beginning.
You guys just premiered “Velvet Seas” with us, how has the reception for that been so far?
L: It’s been good, we’ve got some people reaching out to do more videos and stuff so that’s cool. We’re trying to do a lot more videos. This is our first video we put out so it is kind of a milestone for us.
D: Yeah this is kind of the first time we’ve shown our faces. We’ve put out stuff before but we’ve always been behind the scenes.
So is this your first time doing something like this together or solo?
L: We’ve been making music together since we were 10 years old. We’ve played in orchestras together, we’ve played in metal bands together, punk bands, jazz bands, and produced a bunch of electronic music together. So it’s been kind of a long time coming now. Almost 10 years. I’m 19, he’s about to turn 20 in September.
Because this was the first time you guys had done a video, what was it like to bring a song to life visually?
L: We wanted to play with the idea of changing spaces, changing environments and all that. The Concrete Beach EP follows our transition from Miami to New York. The first two songs are stylistically more tropical, chill, Miami vibes and the last two tracks got sounds from the subway, crowded streets, and overall a more New York City-influenced sound. So with the video, we wanted to keep that idea going, we wanted to incorporate the ocean somehow, but we also wanted to shoot a video in the desert. We found this crazy place in Cali, with sand dunes on the beach. So the idea was that we just had a crazy ass night, we wake up in the desert, and it’s like, “How’d we end up in the desert?” but also, “Yo, don’t worry, there’s the ocean. Y’all are not going to die here.” It was a cool experience, we shot and edited it all ourselves. We’re very visually-oriented, I’ve done all the covers for our records. We shot the music video DIY-style, which is cool because it’s how we always intended this project to be, we want to be a multi-media project rather than just a music group. I make a lot of clothing, so there are times where we’re in the studio, our home studio, and Delbert is making a song, and I’m over there sewing some shit. He’ll be like, “Yo, that sounds cool, the sound of the sewing machine, let me sample that.” So it’s super natural for us to incorporate the visual element into the music. They go hand in hand.
Since you talk about going from Miami to New York, were the songs of your EP, Concrete Beach, a compilation of a story? Where they all kind of fall into each other as they go?
D: Pretty much how we started the EP was uplifting, dancing, tropical vibes, and then as it progressed it got more sophisticated. We’ve been really inspired by the music scene out here and the places we’ve been hanging out at, especially the jazz bars and massive warehouse parties. We don’t really get that in Miami.
L: I’d say stylistically, it’s a very transitional record. The first song is “Sofa”, which is just like a house meets Caribbean kind of thing that we did with Langi, who is a super dope, Jamaican pop sensation. And the second song is more of a down-tempo style track, with Cult Exciter. The third song is with our homie PU$$EIDXN, who we’ve done a few songs with before. I went to high school with him. Yeah, so that song with PU$$EIDXN, the inspiration behind that was when we first moved to New York he came to visit us and we made a song called “SSLOWW”. After that we knew we wanted to work together again so we made a beat that reminded us of chilling in New York together. We ended the record with an ode to New York, with some jazz. I’d say more stylistically, we wanted a very diverse, but cohesive piece. This is the first thing we’ve put out on Spotify and Apple and all that, but if you go on our Soundcloud, you can see that we have a bunch of dark, electronic music, and chill, house music, and also some jazz stuff. I’m a drummer and he’s a bass player, so we do straight up jazz also.
When did you guys move here?
D: Last August?
So it’ll be a year soon. In this time, exploring New York and what not, for Concrete Beach, where were you emotionally?
D: It’s always been our dream to come out here. Our plan for years was to finish high school in Miami and one day get to New York and really break through with our music. So we got the opportunity to go to these really great schools for music production, and now we are here with a purpose.
Right, and for both of you I guess, is there a song on the EP that you love over the others or holds a special place in your heart?
D: Definitely for me, “Velvet Seas”.
L: Yeah, for sure, that’s why we decided to do the video for “Velvet Seas”, even though it wasn’t one of the singles we did, it was just that song that holds a place in our hearts. I don’t know, we just really liked that. We really enjoyed working with Cult Exciter.
So I know that this is your first release, is this kind of how you’re going to continue defining yourselves? Is it going to be within a synth pop type thing, that moves into jazz, or what’s the plan for the future if you even know?
L: We’re just continuing to grow our body of work. We’re developing a live electronic set with just the two of us, so we’re just trying to build 45 minutes to an hour worth of content that we can play live. We’ve done a lot of collaborations, but those aren’t necessarily ideal to do live, its kind of hard getting someone from Jamaica, California, or Miami, to come out and play in New York or at a festival. We love collaborating, that’s always been an important part of this project, so we still want to keep doing that, but we’re really trying to develop music that can be just us two, you know?
And what’s your creative process like working together?
D: I’d say it’s pretty natural, because we’re into the same types of music. Every time we show each other music it’s like ‘Oh that’s awesome,’ we share the same connection. We’re inspired by similar things daily.
What do you get your inspiration from?
D: Definitely artists like Archy Marshall, Mount Kimbie, Monte Booker, Smerz, BadBadNotGood and Odd Future.
L: We’re both into a lot of different types of music, but we like the same shit, you know?
You said you’re really into clothing, so I wanted to talk about your style and how it comes into play as your brand as an artist. How does what you guys do and get inspired from play into that?
L: I love wearing my own shit, you know? I’ll be walking down the street and on a daily basis, any time I wear my own clothing, I get these looks and people are like ‘Yo, that’s fresh as hell,’ and it just sparks some sort of conversation.
D: I feel like he’s also really open, too, when I’ve seen his process. No limits, he just tries different things on a blank canvas.
L: Yeah, how I originally started was I’d go to thrift stores, buy a couple of pieces and cut them up, reassemble, paint or embroider them, add pockets or zippers.
Tight, well now that your EP is out, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
D: We’re really focused on developing our live set, and definitely producing a lot more content, from music to videos and clothing.
Are there any tour dates? I know you guys talked a bit about Tokyo at some point?
L: Yeah, so in the winter we were focused on producing and in school, but now that it’s summer we’ve started going outside again. No NYC dates planned at the moment, but we’re going to Tokyo at the end of the month so we are working on get something booked out there. We have some festival dates to announce, but not yet.
Anything else you want to include that we haven’t touched upon?
Big thanks to Point Records, we are very grateful for everything they’ve done for us. Big ups to Panda killin’ the South Florida dubstep scene. Shouts out to Etone and Casper for the visual inspiration. Shouts out to PU$$EIDXN, shouts out to Victor Machin for laying down those keys, shouts out Tyler Goodman for clarinet, shouts out Langi, shouts out Cult Exciter, shouts out Thea, shouts out to Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and Sonic Arts Center at City College for hooking it up with resources. We abused the shit out of those recording studios, so thanks.
Featured image courtesy of Valentina Gomez
Stay tuned to Milk for more dynamic duos.