An Interview With Electronic-Pop Duo ODETTE/ODILE And A Premiere Of Their Newest Single, “Ceases To Beat”!
Posted On 17 Aug 2016
Odette/Odile is an electronic pop act that embraces all things creative and geeky. Their name even references the ballet Swan Lake and the 1981 animated film titled ‘The Swan Princess.’
Siblings Ashlie and Keith Burgun form this dance-pop duo. Ashlie, also known as Odette, sings and writes lyrics while Keith (codename GHOST LORD) composes and arranges the music.
They represent the two sides of a person. Odette is the silly and fun part of us that just wants to be happy. Odile is the necessary opposite, the part that makes us push for what we want and not give in. We hope that our songs convey a bittersweet nostalgia, like when you have a nice memory of childhood just before remembering how tough growing up was.
We are proud to partner with this duo and premier their brand new single, “Ceases To Beat” here:
Follow Odette/Odile Online here:
Learn more about Odette/Odile in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that we are more than half-way through 2016, what are some words you would use to describe it? What were some of the highlights of 2015 for you and your music?
A: One of the cool things with this project is that since it’s just the two of us, we find it really easy to really dive in. Things are just set up in a way so that it’s really fun to write new music, make music videos, do the social media stuff and do shows. Over the last year or so we have been writing lots of music, working on some music video concepts and other fun things like the comics and stuffed animals. We have a whole little universe and we hope other people enjoy going there as much as we do.
Growing up, did you both always want to be musicians? Can you recall your earliest musical memories?
K: Among other things. I think we both actually have a pretty wide variety of interests. I studied music in college; Ashlie studied art, but I also actually do visual art for my day job. I remember Ashlie making a song about her stuffed animals when she was like, five or six years old. I still remember the melody of it! But also I just remember playing songs with our Dad, or listening to him play songs. Music has always been a pretty big part of our family history. I was named after Keith Richards!
A: My “when I grow up”, I think was Fashion Designer/Princess! I always loved music and singing but I was never that much of the showman type. I think it helped that Keith let me sing back-up in his bands when we were younger. It got me used to being on stage. One of my first memories of this was being in Middle School when one of his bands was trying out for the High School talent show and getting to go on stage with them. It was such a big deal!
Can you talk about how this duo first formed? Why did you decide to go by Odette/Odile and not your own names? Why do you think you make such a great musical pair?
A: We are both pretty silly and we are having a lot of fun with this cartoon persona concept. We created these characters (Odette and Ghost Lord) as a way to really embrace the idea but we don’t mind people knowing our real names! One of our goals with the music was to bring forth a feeling of nostalgia. To do this, we’ve been tapping into a lot of things from our past like the music, movies and video games we loved growing up. The name Odette/Odile comes from the 1981 Toei Animation version of Swan Lake that I was obsessed with as a child. In our version Odette and Odile are two sides of one person, like Jekyl & Hyde and we hope that our music will reflect a similar kind of yin/yang balance. We may be silly but we take our music seriously.
Being siblings, I can imagine that you’ve had a few silly fights or disagreements when it comes to your music. Can you recall a particular one?
A: We’ve actually gotten along pretty well our whole lives but we’ve had times where we drifted apart because of school, work and different lifestyle. Doing art and music together has been a good way to keep us connected through all of that. It’s not really a conflict but one thing I think is funny is that Keith often writes really upbeat and fun songs and I for some reason always end up writing sort of sad lyrics.
What is the inspiration behind your new single, “Ceases To Beat”?
K: For me it’s largely trying to capture what I love about bouncy 80’s arcade video game music, as well as the Jpop compositions of Yasutaka Nakata, who’s most known for his work with Perfume and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. I wanted to do something fun but also interesting and memorable, so it’s got a simple, almost “Ramones” style folk pop melody in the verses, but at the bridge starts using some more tricky harmony that you don’t hear much in today’s pop music.
When do you hope to release more music and even an EP and then a full-length album?
A: We are working on some songs now that we are super psyched to get out there. Make sure to follow us so we can keep you posted about that!
Do you have any upcoming shows? Where can people see you perform live soon?
A: We are hoping to release some more of music first and in the meantime stick to more of a web presence with music videos and our comic for now. I am really excited to get back to doing live performances eventually though!
What has it been like keeping up with social media at the early stages of your music career?
A: It has been really fun actually! I think that you have to be really creative and think outside the box to stand out these days and we are trying our best to do that. It’s been so awesome to see people engage with us and respond to the things we are putting out there.
What if anything has surprised you about the music industry? What do you think has been your biggest challenge? And what do you think has come really naturally to you both?
K: I would say, it’s kind of early for us to say. We haven’t really had much serious interactions in the “industry” yet. But I know that for me a challenge as a composer is to speak in the language that is being widely spoken. I have a tendency to listen to a lot of eclectic and esoteric music and I sometimes have a tendency to write music that I think might come off as a little “weird” to people. My hope is to be able to deliver something that’s unique without it sounding “weird” at all. I think you can totally do interesting, different stuff and have it sound natural, but it’s a huge challenge.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you two love to work with in the future?
K:My favorite composers are Yasutaka Nakata, The Bird and the Bee, Yoko Kanno, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Richard Rodgers. Also a few video game people like Michiru Yamane and Soyo Oka.
A: Some of my biggest inspirations for both their lyrics and vocals are ABBA, Kate Bush, No Doubt, Peter Gabriel, The Clash, Ayumi Hamasaki, Utada Hikaru, Oh Land and Santigold.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
K: I would like to bring back a feeling of “fun” and sort of… magicalness to music. I think so much of pop music has this aggressive, mean, dark, sexualized, sort of dehumanizing feeling to it. I think it should be OK for adults to enjoy something that is just happy and smiley and fantastical. I guess one way to say it is, I’d like to make stuff that is fun and also earnest about it.
A: For me I feel like it’s important to come from an honest place even if you have on some outrageous costume or have a silly concept. With all the affectations and polish in music it can be hard to really see who the artist is. I think it’s important to show some vulnerability and be relatable.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
K:I also compose music for video games. I wrote half of the soundtracks to 100 Rogues and Auro: A Monster-Bumping Adventure, the latter of which came out this year on Steam.
A: Part of why I’m loving this project so much is it incorporates so many of the things that I love and I am able to contribute to it in so many ways between the comic which tells the “story” of our group, coming up with costumes for music videos and photoshoots and of course, music and writing! We also want thank you guys so much for interviewing us and to all you out there reading this! We look forward to sharing more with you all in the future so keep in touch with us on social media!