CARLY

KTJ & CARLY are Pushing their Musical Boundaries with New Single ‘Falling Onto You’ (INTERVIEW)

The ever-expanding twin sister duo KTJ & CARLY have been making waves in the pop space over the last few years. Their infectious pop-driven melodies and coming-of-age narratives resonate with people across their homeland, The U.S, and beyond. Today, they bring us their latest single ‘Falling onto You‘ in collaboration with singer-songwriter Laprete. It’s an explosive, atmospheric song that captures their desperation for stability within a place that is broken beyond repair. As a rising pop act who are continuing to reach new heights of success, both in the live space and creatively, the pair have an incredibly bright future ahead of them and today’s release is a testament to that.

We caught up with Carly and Katie ahead of the release of their latest single. We discussed all things including their unbreakable bond, dream collaborations, and the future of pop!

Carly

Photo by Joseph Lee

Hey KTJ & CARLY! First off, congratulations on the new release! Would you mind telling us a bit about the inspiration behind your new single ‘Falling onto You’, and the importance of it to you both?

Thank you so much! This song draws its inspiration from the concept of uncertainty within a relationship. It explores the precarious balance where both partners are so fragile that any abrupt action risks shattering their bond. It delves into the dynamics of a toxic relationship, where one finds themselves perpetually treading lightly, fearing that the smallest misstep could collapse everything anew. This track is a reflection on the vicious cycle that such unstable relationships often become, where lovers navigate a delicate dance atop thin ice, aware that the slightest misstep might send their world crashing down. – CARLY

I’m sure a lot of people in LA know that the dating pool here operates differently than it does everywhere else. A lot of people refuse to commit and are emotionally unavailable. We see it as a reminder that if we start developing a crush, we have to remember their intentions and be realistic with ourselves about whether or not it will end with us trying to find the exit to icy waters. – KATIE

Throughout the process of this genius collab with Laprete, what was it like working with him? And how did it come about?

We love collaborating with Aidan! He is extremely talented and a great friend. Katie and I went to his studio and started messing around with some production ideas. This song came together pretty quickly. If my memory serves me right, we initially worked on the song without any lyrics, focusing solely on melodies and placeholder gibberish in the demo, haha. About a month later, we returned to the studio with SO many ideas from all three of us, which truly made the process so fun and limitless. After writing the song, Katie and I revisited it for production, (and) then we incorporated Aidan’s vocal tracks and began integrating our vocals into the mix! We all met at a BMI showcase in 2019 where we all performed in songwriting rounds. We wrote some songs together after that and have written together ever since! – CARLY

Aidan Laprete is the most incredible, down-to-earth, and unstoppable human being. It’s so great working with Aidan. On top of that, he is insanely talented and has so many beautiful ideas in this creative world. We will see him at the Grammys one day, mark my words!! – KATIE

Carly

Photo by Joseph Lee

Notably, all your releases to date tell such unique, personal stories. Can you explain to us the creative process you typically go through when starting to formulate a new song?

Our creative process usually begins with us sitting down and just talking and talking about life. Then once we come up with an interesting concept, we sit with our instruments, sometimes with a melody already humming in our heads, and start piecing together chords and lyrics that capture the essence of that initial spark. It’s like assembling a puzzle without seeing the picture first. Then we navigate through feelings, memories, and words until the song starts to reveal itself. It’s a deeply personal journey and a super cathartic one too. – CARLY

From our friends, families, and our own life experiences (good or bad), we find the most out-of-the-box creative ways to share these experiences in the world. Every time we make a song, I picture it as a music video. I don’t know why, I just think visually I guess. From there we just say what we need to say. – KATIE

What is it like experiencing all your achievements over the last few years with your sister by your side?

I genuinely feel so lucky and blessed to have my best friend and sister by my side. I have no idea how people do this career without one! We have each other’s back more than anyone in the world and it’s nice to have someone to witness the same life. – CARLY

We hit the twin jackpot. It has NOT been easy by any means. But getting to create music and sing our hearts out together is so rare and I’m just blessed that I get to experience it in this lifetime. Love you, Carl! – KATIE

KTJ

Photo by Joseph Lee

Who would you both name as your biggest sources of inspiration in music past and present?

Our biggest source of inspiration has to be our Dad. Growing up, he shared with us his experiences from playing in a band at our age, igniting our passion for music from a very young age. Both of our parents have been an incredible support system for our creative endeavors, always fostering a safe and nurturing environment for us to express ourselves. Both of our parents taught us the importance of passion and creativity.

My dad showed us the power of music to connect and communicate. His influence is woven into the fabric of our artistry, guiding us as we navigate the complexities of the music industry and develop our sound. Beyond the family, artists like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Bonnie Raitt, with their storytelling and musical innovation, have also shaped our approach to music. Our dad’s blend of timeless wisdom and these iconic artists’ groundbreaking work continually inspire us to explore new dimensions in our music. – CARLY

Everything Carly said^^! (I love you, mom and dad!!)

For some reason, one memory from high school stands out. I loved Billie Eilish then, and I still do. I remember I was in my Econ(omics) class and I had an alarm set to take birth control, lol. It was ‘bellyache‘ by Billie Eilish. Everyone started laughing as I shamefully walked across the room to turn the alarm off in the shoe cubby where the class kept our phones. Then I looked to my Econ teacher thinking I was in trouble, and he said, “This is the grooviest song ever!!” and started doing a silly dance. Together, Billie Eilish and my Econ teacher Coach Beene taught me that even when the room is laughing at you, to trust yourself.

She was just starting out, and she was just as unapologetic and honest then as she is now. And that’s something I really admire in an artist. It made me think, how would I do things differently if I was playing in an empty or laughing room? And it should be nothing. Nothing different. – KATIE

I love all the visual content that you have created to sit alongside your previous releases. Are visual elements a key component of your creative process when releasing new music?

Visual elements are super integral to our music. We believe that every song tells a story not just through its lyrics and melody, but also through the imagery it conjures. This is why we put a lot of thought into the visual content that accompanies our releases! It’s about creating an immersive experience for our listeners, giving them a window into the world of the song. Whether it’s through music videos, cover art or promotional images, we always aim to visually narrate the story we’re telling, enhancing the emotional impact and connection with our audience. – CARLY

Of course. When we’re writing a song, I’m thinking of what the music video would be like simultaneously. It helps me formulate what kind of production route we want to take. From there, we take our ideas (even if they’re deemed too expensive or out of this world for the budget of an indie artist), and we take it into our own hands to make our ideas a reality. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but it’s just fun to create visuals, try new things, and to challenge ourselves. – KATIE

Who would be a dream collaboration for you both?

RAYE, Charlotte Cardin, or BANKS are my top three dream collaborations!! – CARLY

My big dream is to have every single badass woman in the music industry perform in a huge choir and together we all write a song about how the world would literally end without the efforts of women and how underappreciated we are (mothers especially).

I would love to do a collaboration with Billie Eilish and RAYE. I feel like the four of us on a track would be unforgiving and unstoppable. – KATIE

With the music industry constantly changing and evolving, what do you see the future of pop looking like?

I see the future of pop as an ever-expanding universe where boundaries are continually pushed and genres blend more seamlessly than ever before. I see a more inclusive and diverse pop landscape, where artists from all walks of life contribute to (the) world of pop. Also, I see female artists, songwriters, and producers on the rise too. The future of pop will likely be marked by a fusion of traditional elements and experimental elements. – CARLY

I see the future of pop continuously breaking down walls of the box that so many artists are put in. Obviously with trends coming and going there will be hundreds of micro changes, like in the way artists promote, etc. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if artists began to more freely switch between genres. We have incredible icons like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé to thank for this. – KATIE

So, you went on tour last summer around the US- what is a memory from that time that collectively you will always remember?

Last summer was a bittersweet experience for us. We had eagerly planned to tour the US, excited to share our music and connect with our fans. Unfortunately, due to my struggle with TMJ disorder, we had to make the difficult decision to cancel some of the dates. This period taught me a crucial lesson (in) prioritizing health, though. Not just for ourselves but for the sake of our music and the experiences we share with our audience.

Despite all of this though, the biggest takeaway was the overwhelming support and understanding from our listeners and community. Their compassion and encouragement during that time truly touched my heart. It was one of the hardest times I’ve had to go through because I couldn’t speak, sing, or talk at all. Communication was difficult for me for almost three months due to lock jaw. However!! The shows we were able to perform turned into unforgettable moments. They were filled with joy and connection. It was incredibly moving to share the songs of ‘NUKETOWN‘, which came straight from the depths of our hearts, with our favorite people. Those performances were not just shows; they were shared experiences of love, support, and resilience. Our journey last summer, with its highs and lows, reminded us of the strength and beauty of our music community. – CARLY

Seeing my sister in so much pain was quite honestly the worst feeling. There was truly nothing I or a lot of doctors could do to ease the pain. It just made me so grateful for the moments we have to create and sing together because it could so easily be taken away. The same could be said about life in general. The support from our fans listeners and family kept us positive. – KATIE

Carly

Do you plan on traveling outside of the States for live shows in the near future? We would love to have you play in the UK!

Touring outside the States is definitely on our wish list, and playing in the UK would be a dream come true! We’ve always felt a deep connection to the vibrant music scene there. To bring our music to UK audiences would be a really cool experience. Nothing planned in the near future to share our music live with our listeners across the pond but we will do that one day very soon! – CARLY

One day we will be playing in Europe and the UK specifically, 100%. I can’t say when, but I know it will happen soon; I just love Europe so much. I would love for us to play at The Leadmill, and also I want us to one day play at KOKO. – KATIE

Finally, what do you hope to achieve in 2024, and what’s something you’ve left behind in 2023?

In 2024, we’re aiming to push our musical boundaries even further, exploring new sounds and themes in our work. We’re currently pouring our hearts into an album that’s set to be released closer to the end of the year, which is an incredibly exciting project for us. We also plan to go on tour, bringing our music to life on stages around the US! As for what we’ve left behind in 2023, it’s the fear of stepping out of our comfort zones. We’ve really tried to embrace the unknown, and it’s liberating. Stepping into 2024 with open hearts, ready for whatever adventures lie ahead, including our album launch and the ensuing tour. – CARLY

Aside from music, from the start of the pandemic, I lived in my head. I was way too hard on myself. I let myself down by putting other people’s opinions of myself before my own (opinions of myself that I made up in my head). (Here), I realized that I was the one being judgmental, assuming that others were. In 2024, we look for the best in others but we do not settle around people who are disrespectful and don’t see our worth. We are unapologetic in 2024. We are living life to the fullest this year!

As far as music goes, I second everything Carly said. We cannot wait! – KATIE

Keep up to date with KTJ & CARLY on Instagram, TikTok, and X. ‘Falling onto You‘ is out now on all streaming platforms, and read more interviews here.

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