MillionYoung Is Also Chévere; Performing at III Points Music Festival This Weekend
It's not unusual for dedicated artists to play under different monikers or with different bands at the same time. Sometimes you need different projects to get out the different sounds in your brain, to flex your musical muscles -- but for one band to have two names?
Aright, it's not like they're just one band, but Mike Diaz and Kristof Ryan are doubling themselves up. They've already found success recording and touring the country as MillionYoung, but now they're pushing themselves to new heights as Chévere.
"We're workaholics, essentially," Ryan said laughing. "It's masochistic is what it is."
While MillionYoung is beloved by fans for sweeping, nostalgic melodies and thoughtful, lovelorn lyrics, Chévere is all about the beats.
"We're kind of at the crossroads of French house and hip-hop," Diaz said, "that's what were' trying to do."
The guys are drawn to the similarities between the two genres. Hip-hop was born from DJs cutting disco records deciphering new rhymths from the breakbeats. As Chévere, Ryan and Diaz live on the bridge between the two, experimenting with French house techniques of compression and use of synthesizers to create flavors and rhythmic melodies usually reserved for the streets.
The band prides itself on an intimate knowledge of the similarities between the two genres and the relationship their sounds share, a relationship they want to express through their productions.
"People think that the whole disco era was Saturday Night Fever, but there's so much more to it," Ryan said. "There's a lot going on there, it's not just a movie. And hip-hop is not just what you hear on the radio."
Chévere was born about a year ago, when Ryan approached Diaz with a simple idea.
"I just took this idea for doing something and (Diaz) said well 'let's just write it tonight. Let's just write the whole EP in one night.'" So they did.
Alright, maybe it was a couple of nights, but by the time they hit the road touring as MillionYoung in late 2012, they'd finished a handful of Chévere tracks and uploaded them to Soundcloud. When they returned from tour in December, they buckled down and focused on the beats again, turning out their three-song EP Love Changes in July.
While MillionYoung was originally Diaz's project, Chévere is wholly a duo.