American Pop duo BLVCKBOW recently talked to ai love music over email about their musical influence, how did the duo form BLVCKBOW, and their debut single “Memorize U”. A gravity-defying electric guitar arcing into a soaring violin, honey-toned harmonies, and a rhythmic touch of the trade winds: Across a radiant aura of cascading sonic colors, Jasmine Crowe and Brittni Paiva are the duo BLVCKBOW.
Continue reading on to find out how “Memorize U” started off and how composing the song was like. And, what does the duo want to take away from the song? While you reading, please make sure to listen to BLVCKBOW’s “Memorize U”. Let me know what you think in the comments.
First of all, please introduce yourself. How did BLVCKBOW come to be?
Jasmine: Brittni and I have been longtime friends growing up in the same hometown of Hilo, Hawaii. We’ve both had our own music careers independently as artists but have never connected musically in this way until now. I’ve been living in Los Angeles as a pop recording artist, and songwriter, and Brittni is an internationally renowned ukulele multi-instrumentalist.
When I wrote and released my pride anthem, “Love is Love,” earlier this year, the rainbow being the symbol of Hawaii and Brittni being one of my friends as part of the LGBTQ community I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for collaboration. She flew out to shoot the music video, and we decided to write together afterward. By the third song, we knew it was a special thing. In my song “Love is Love,” there is a line that says, “all the colors of your heart.”
One day Brittni and I were joking around, and I said, “my heart is black right now.” And she said, “Like a black rainbow! BLACKBOW! That’s our duo name.” BLVCKBOW (black rainbow) is also symbolic to us alluding to the Hawaiian legend of Kumulipo, the darkness that existed before creation. Color is one of the languages of the universe and blackness contains all the colors as the absorption of light in the spectrum.
What musical genres and/or artists inspire the duo?
Jasmine: Brittni and I come from a background of so many types of music. I started out singing musical theater and playing classical violin at age three, but I was also exposed to rock music, jazz, and folk music influenced by my parents and pop music growing up. Of course, there’s always the island flavor mixed into our sound because of our roots in the islands. Being pop songwriters, we fuse all of our musical backgrounds together into a cohesive, powerful yet consistent eclectic pop sound with a rock edge.
How did each member get into music? How has that journey been?
Jasmine: I’ve been playing violin since age three, performing in musical theater and classical recitals. As I got older, I wanted to write and perform my own songs, so I picked up the guitar and started composing on the piano. I grew up in a very musical household, my dad being a concert pianist and my mom playing folk guitar. I also started learning music production as a teenager experimenting with Protools and eventually Logic. As I continued writing and performing in rock bands in the island scene, I knew I wanted to move to LA and pursue music as an artist.
Moving to California, writing in my home studio, I won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest Song of the Year with my first single, “Breaking Things.” I started networking and recording in various studios, finding the core of my team, and going to songwriting sessions collaborating with other artists. When I released my debut album, ‘SYMPTOMS’ my single ‘Chess Game’ charted on the Billboard Dance Charts. Music is my first language, and part of every ounce of my being, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Brittni: Piano became my first instrument at the age of three. I continued my classical piano training until age 11 when my grandfather gave me my first ukulele. I had so much fun with the ukulele that I decided I liked it better than the piano. When I was 14, I started learning guitar. I had such a hunger for learning everything I possibly could about music that I realized that playing only those instruments wasn’t enough. When I was 16, I picked up the bass and started vocal opera training, followed by drums at 18.
Throughout the years, my journey through music has taken me all over the world and has given me so many opportunities to perform with such Carlos Santana, Tommy Emmanuel, Tom Scott, and many others.
As 2021 is winding down, what is something you want BLVCKBOW to be challenged in 2022?
We already have a full album written that we’re working on finishing production for. We are looking to release a string of singles next year prior to dropping the album, coinciding with a few new music videos and touring. Mainly, our biggest goal is to go on tour in 2022 have been so isolated from covid after all this time and get our sound and show in front of as many ears and hearts as possible, spreading and expanding our community and the message of the music. Simultaneously we can’t help but continue writing through it all, so we have the next chapter ready for 2023.
Let’s talk about your newest single “Memorize U”. What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
Jasmine: “Memorize U” was the very first song we wrote together before we formed as a duo. Originally we were just going to release it together under both our individual artist names as a collaboration. “Memorize U” has very special meaning to me lyrically as it’s a kind of a sad, longing, sexy love song.
It started as a poem I’d written earlier in the year, but when Brittni brought me this beat idea, I started singing the words over it. It felt like the perfect vibe. It’s written about being with someone in a moment of time – loving them, cherishing and memorizing every second with them so you never forget what it feels like being together even when you may be apart.
What is the most important thing you wanted to express musically or lyrically in “Memorize U”?
When you love someone, be present at the moment with them. Life is short and can be so unpredictable – and if you realize how deeply that person means to you, hold onto them.
What was the single’s production like?
Jasmine: Brittni started off sending me a simple hip hop drum groove with a kind of chill Rhodes piano. She was back in Hawaii, and I was still here in LA, so we were pretty much collaborating, sending voice notes back and forth via text. At first, she was like, “do you like this beat? I don’t like it.” And I responded, “yeah! I do like it! It’s giving me vibes.”
Both of us being multi-instrumentalists and producers, we kept expanding on the track, and I started adding some synth sounds, violin, vocal sounds, mixing things into it, and sending it back and forth and she added a rock guitar solo while I finished the lyrics and melodies at the same time. By the end of it, we realized how much power this song had – it instantly became one of my favorites.
Brittni: The production for “Memorize U” was so much fun. It’s was extremely liberating to finally write and produce a pop song — something I have always wanted to do.
What do you want listeners to take away from “Memorize U”?
Jasmine: When people listen to this song, I want them to feel the meaning and emotion behind the lyrics and the power behind the track. Music is cathartic…music is therapy, music is healing, and if I can help one person let out their inner emotions with what they are going through, I’ve done my job as an artist and songwriter.
Any future plans?
Touring next year, releasing more singles, and performing at various festivals in 2022!
Make sure to check out BLVCKBOW at the following: