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Interview: M w S


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We are all in the dark about how much Brexit will affect the music industry. However, it is likely to affect live music and make touring harder for international musicians. The National Student speaks to M w S, an Italian indie pop duo who coincidentally arrived in London on the day of the EU Referendum.  

Image credit: M w S via Sonnet Music

Giulia and Francesco began recording music together in their seaside hometown of La Spezia, Italy. After changing direction, the name M w S seemed to fit their new style because the acronym stands for "music we see" and they "like to use a lot of 'images' taken from films and dreams in [their] songs".

The move to "magnetic" London was decided on because of the increased opportunities for their style of music there, which were lacking, at the time, in Italy. Three years on, and the duo is more optimistic about Italy's "quite varied and growing" music scene. They add, "apart from the mainstream and hip-hop, there are a number of 'indie pop' artists that are doing great [...] there's a growing nu-soul revival in Italy too."

Since the move in 2016, London has delivered what the band were searching for. This has come in the form of greater collaboration opportunities with all sides of the creative industries including photographers, filmmakers, producers. They have also had the chance to explore their individuality, which has been encouraged by open-minded audiences.

As a result, they've developed a unique sound, which can be described as a contemporary electro-pop with a distinctly dreamy ambience. Despite this, their songs always start life in a humble, organic way; more often than not with just a notepad and a guitar. Speaking of their writing process, the duo says that the songs are honed before entering the studio - "nothing gets recorded until we're both absolutely sure we love it" and that there is no creative imbalance when it comes to crafting their tracks - "it's 100% collaborative."

This dreamlike ambience finds its way into the lyrics to an extent, but they take inspiration from all parts of everyday life as well. "Even though we start writing songs inspired by a dream, a film, or something someone said, they all become very personal [later on], so they're about our own experiences and feelings," the duo explains. For the live set-up, they play with a full band "because [they] really want to add that 'human' element to it. [...] We need the groove of real drums when we're on stage."

Over the last few months, M w S have released the singles 'Moonlight' and 'Show Me Love'. The former was inspired by singer Guilia's dream about the film La La Land and the track explores the feeling of breaking out of one's comfort zone. 'Moonlight' is "an invitation to focus on the positive side of things in order to reach your full potential." 'Show Me Love' comments on the clarity that a certain person can bring when it comes to navigating friendships, life and big decisions. Both are perfect for a summer soundtrack with their disco-pop vibes.

Looking ahead, this summer brings a lot of exciting things for M w S. They have an as-yet-untitled EP due for release in the near future and have been releasing singles throughout the year in the lead up to their first London headline show at The Servant Jazz Quarters on 12th June and have a slot confirmed at Wilderness Festival on 3rd August.

After that, it is hard to tell how this international band will be affected by the current political climate in the UK, but the duo is still optimistic. "We're really confident that London will stay open artistically because that is one of the most beautiful and unique parts of it."

It is clear that London has made a big impact on the progression and sound of M w S and they, like so many other artists who reside there, clearly remain hopeful that it will continue to be the lively, creative city that it is.

M w S play London's Servant Jazz Quarters on Wednesday 12th June.

Lead image credit: Sonnet Music

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