1- Where did you grow up?
Sophia - Clarence Center, a town just outside of Buffalo, New York.
Dan - Jackson, NJ, about 15 minutes from the beach and 2 hours from the snow.
2- What is one of the first songs you remember liking as a kid?
Sophia - Time to Say Goodbye, sung by Sarah Brightman and Andre Bocelli. Not your
typical kid’s song, but I loved it so much I taught myself how to sing the Italian
art song in third grade
Dan- Bruce Hornsby - The Way It Is, still one of my favorites to this day.
3- What influenced you to get into music?
Sophia - My parents noticed my love for singing at a very young age, so they asked me
if I wanted to audition for a community theatre show, and from then on, I’ve
been performing ever since.
Dan - My mom played clarinet when she was in school, and she pushed me to join the middle school band. Every Sunday, my dad had records playing in the living room and would pull out the guitar or keyboard whenever he had a free minute. My older brother played guitar from the time I was 7 or 8. It was a very musical house, and I loved every minute of it.
4- At what age did you start playing/singing?
Sophia - I began playing the piano in first grade, followed by the saxophone in fourth
grade, and I finally started singing in actual performances in fifth grade.
Dan - I started playing in the school band at age 10, then picked up the guitar around age 12. Every year or so after I would pick up a new instrument - sax, bass, drums, piano, etc.
5- If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself
after finishing school?
Sophia - I haven’t finished school yet, but advice I would give myself in high school
would be to have more confidence in my talent and to not be afraid of putting
myself out there.
Dan - I’m incredibly grateful and I don’t think I would try to change anything that’s happened
since finishing school. I think a lot of what happens in our lives relies on timing, persistence and a large heap of luck.
6- What are some of your favorite songs at the moment?
Sophia - Right now I love the Miley Cyrus version of Heart of Glass, My Type by Saint
Motel, Crazy Bitch by Buckcherry, Sweater Weather by The Neighborhood,
Paradise by Coldplay, and Sugar by Robin Schulz. I also always love listening to kpop, especially Blackpink and Red Velvet.
Dan - My wife seems to have her finger on the dial when it comes to new music, she’s always
showing me something new. Lately it’s Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish. I also just
(re)discovered the group Ready for the World and their track Oh, Sheila - very Prince meets MJ. Some others are Good Enough by Yatte and Monsters by The Midnight.
7- Do you listen to your own music?
Sophia - I listen to my music during the production process until it is completely ready
to be released. After that, only when my mom plays my music for everyone
who steps foot in our house.
Dan - Same as Sophia; until it’s released. I’ll occasionally check the sound quality or volume on streaming services but that’s about it.
8- Which musician would you like to collaborate with next?
Sophia - I honestly have no idea. I never thought I would even have the opportunity to
produce and release music during this time of my life, so the thought of
collabing with another talented artist also seems like a dream! Collabing with
Patrick Russell was really fun though, so I definitely wouldn’t mind doing that again.
Dan - There is so much talent in the synthwave/retrowave community, Primo, Yatte, Betamaxx, Sandor Gavin, A Dollar Underwater just to name a few...working with anyone of them would be amazing.
9- What is one of your favorite memories so far in your music career?
Sophia - Each time Dan and I finish a song. It was so rewarding to hear the outcome of
our hard work and hours of recording, especially for our song Promises because it was the first song we released. It was also so nice seeing how proud my parents were when Promises was first released.
Dan - We worked on our debut record, American Summer for just over a year. Finally releasing that record into the wild was incredibly rewarding. We have received so much positive feedback from it and already can’t wait to work on our next album.
10- What advice would you give to someone that is just starting to get
Sophia - Have fun with it! Music is a beautiful thing, so you need to enjoy it as much as
you can. Things might get stressful at times, but always remember where your passion for music stemmed from because it isn’t a chore; it’s a way to let your imagination and creativity run free, connect with others, and express yourself. Don’t take music for granted!
Dan - Step outside your comfort zone and your “genre.” Don’t be afraid to try new things, new instruments, new production techniques, new rhythms and harmonies and song structures. You might just stumble on something that brings your music to the next level and sets you apart from the crowd.
Be sure to check out more music and info on Lavalette at their profile page below.