me n ü: Crafting Raw, Emotional Dance Music

by the partae
"me n ü's Hope House: Dance Music's New Wave

Can you tell us more about your journey into music production during the COVID-19 pandemic and how it shaped your sound?

Before the pandemic, we had always wondered about producing but had never taken the leap. It was a time when we were unsure of our future as we were graduating high school and deciding what to do next. When the world stopped, we thought we’d have a few weeks to learn about production and be creative. We quickly fell in love with producing and realized that it would be a huge part of our identity as artists for years to come.

What challenges did you face while transitioning to dance music, and how did you overcome them?

Transitioning to a new genre can sound challenging, but for us it was exciting. We had so much fun learning new things, listening to new sounds, becoming beginners again. There’s always the learning curve that’s challenging, and the questions surrounding our identity in a new genre, but that was a welcome struggle for us! In our minds, struggling means growing, and growing is a good thing 🙂

Your debut single “JUMP” has been incredibly successful. What was the inspiration behind this track?

Thank you! To be honest, nobody’s more surprised than us. We made “JUMP” because we couldn’t find the perfect house song that felt like sunset, summer, and hope. We were also going through a transitional period in our lives- we had always wanted to make dance music and DJ, but had never had the courage to do it. We really related to the message, as it was what we needed to hear. Making “JUMP” inspired us to release it!

How did you come up with the term “hope house” to describe your music style, and what does it mean to you?

Hope house was just something that fell out of our mouths during a phone call- what a happy accident! We were trying to explain how the way our music makes us feel is the defining element to it. This music came out of a dark time for us, and the raw emotion that we poured into is what we think defines it.

Can you describe the creative process behind “JUMP” and how you achieved the sound that “sums up” hope house?

The finished product of “JUMP” is very close to its original demo. The piano chords came first, and they came out of nowhere. Once we played those, the idea was to create a song around them- whatever that song would be. We relied completely on instinct, as we are new to making dance music. Because of that, we had no expectations of how it should sound, and we let the art exist without judgment. That is the sound of hope house- raw emotions, not trying to be anything other than what it is.

What role has social media played in your rapid rise, and how do you engage with your growing fanbase?

Social media is 100% what we attribute to our rise. We’ve been so lucky to have amazing opportunities thanks to how incredible the EDM community is. JUMP has been played on Sirius XM and playlisted— all “fancy” and “legitimate” accomplishments, and we are grateful. However, those opportunities only came because real fans, real reactions, and real people choose to stream our song every day. That’s from social media. With every amazing opportunity we’ve had, nothing has moved the needle more than the social reaction and support of JUMP. Creating amazing art, content, and relationships with our audience is the single most important thing for us, after creating great music.

With over 100,000 creations on Instagram Reels using “JUMP,” what do you think it is about the track that resonates so widely with listeners?

That’s a great question. If we knew the answer, we’d be millionaires by now! We think that because we were so vulnerable with our story, we were able to reach a lot of people who related to our struggles. We were able to create something that resonated with others like it resonated with us. But really, there was probably some lighting in a bottle and we hope to keep capturing it. We’ll put a lighting tower on top of our studio! Maybe some tinfoil will work the same.

Can you talk about the editorial support you’ve received from major streaming platforms and how it has impacted your career?

We’ve been so lucky to receive a lot of editorial support from major streaming platforms, particularly on our second single. It’s a great talking point and it’s so fun to see our songs next to artists we’re fans of. To be honest, we don’t know how it has impacted our career. Maybe that’s a “wait and see” kind of thing.

What are your thoughts on the importance of female representation in the electronic music scene, and how do you see your role within it?

Before we made dance music, we were one of 2.8% of female producers in the industry. This has been something we’ve dealt with for years. There are a lot of female fans in the EDM genre, and we would love to cater to them. We want to get something straight- we LOVE men. Men have been so supportive of us, men have made amazing music that we look up to, and men have given us many opportunities. But so have women!!! We definitely feel a responsibility to represent them well, to be there for them, to cater to them. We especially want to show young girls that they can be anything they want in this world, a lesson we learned from the trailblazers before us. It’s an ongoing priority for us to continue to support the AMAZING female DJs and producers we encounter. They’re huge role models for us.

How do you balance the technical aspects of music production with the emotive elements that define hope house?

This is another great question! We used to be more technical, which made sense because we’ve only been producing for a few years. But about a year ago- something hit us: why do certain songs connect and others don’t? They’re all produced well. In fact, some that are produced worse do better. So is it all about production? Our answer is no. Once we started focusing on how things made us FEEL over whether they were “right or wrong”, we started making our best music. We really believe in that philosophy. The good thing is that we’re still new enough where we don’t have any real bad habits. We also never worried about having the fanciest equipment. It was all about what we could do with our software, not what our software can do for us! So, this was an easy and enjoyable mindset change!

What are some future projects or collaborations that fans can look forward to from me n ü?

There will be a couple of great announcements soon in the remix space! Meantime, we’re constantly releasing new mashups and remixes on SoundCloud, we’re starting to play festivals, and of course, new original music is always coming.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians, especially women, who are looking to break into the dance music scene?

Do it and don’t think about it! Don’t look back, don’t worry. It’s supposed to be hard because it matters. Things that matter don’t come easy. Hate to quote our own song, but if the shoe fits…. “You gotta just go for it. Don’t think about what comes before or what comes after. You just gotta bend your knees, take a deep breath, and jump”.

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