Posted On 23 Nov 2016
NYC-based retro-pop duo, Fly By Midnight (Justin Bryte and Justin Slaven), are ready to delete their Tinder & social dating profiles in their new single “ VINYL ”! Taking listeners back to the days before texting & Snapchat, the guys describe wanting a relationship that doesn’t require internet interaction.
After gaining mass critic & fan recognition from their first two singles “BROOKLYN” & “KARAOKE”, the band continues to produce the retro-pop vibes with an eclectic mix of genres that include dance, electronic, experimental pop, bass drive and groove.
Known for their infectious energy and unique harmonies, retro-pop duo Fly By Midnight was formed after a casual songwriting session in their NY based studio. Former MTV’s Dream Bigger reality star and multi-instrumentalist, Justin Bryte, was introduced to The Emergence Music Group’s producer Slavo back in 2015. After collaborating on several projects the two saw an undeniable potential for combining their artistry.
Generating quite a buzz among the media, the duo they have been featured in The Wrap, Aussie Word , PopMuzik , Wolf In A Suit , Beats4LA , The Most Definitely , UpToTempo and charted to TOP 40 POP on Reverbnation, as well as #6 on Spotify’s Viral 50 Globally. FBM continues to grow their fan base through means of making their performances a uniquely interactive experience.
Contrary to the expected atmosphere of a live show, they’ve turned concerts of theirs into an all out party event. With over 150K subscribers on YouTube, the guys have been the headlining act at YouTube Space NY’s #MusicMonday showcase, main stage acts both for Playlist Live D.C./ORL, & StreamCon NYC, as well as the supporting act for Third Eye Blind, DAYA, and The Score. Their recent acoustic session performances at Penn State University, Edinboro University, HACC University, Monmouth University, and other campuses on the Northeast have quickly grabbed the attention of the college music scene.
Fly By Midnight’s cover of “We Don’t Talk Anymore” by singer/songwriter Charlie Puth, recently went viral internationally with over 2 million YouTube & 6 million Facebook views. The guys are currently in the process of touring and establishing a release date for their upcoming EP Party Favors.
Learn more about Fly By Midnight in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that we are well into the fall of 2016, what are some words you would use to describe this year? What have been some of the highlights for this duo your music?
Justin: Thanks for having us! I think for us 2016 has been the year of discovery not only as artists, but also just as normal dudes. We’ve really taken a lot of time to craft our sound & embark on new adventures. We write based on our personal experience so lately we’ve been overly inspired.
Slavo: Epiphany feels like an appropriate term to describe the majority of 2016. Like Justin said a lot of our time as a duo, up to this point, has been spent molding the Fly By Midnight package. This year specifically we’ve had many necessary light bulb moments that have shifted us into an exciting place musically.
Growing up, did you both always want to be musicians? Can you recall your earliest musical memories?
How did you two first meet and then decide to start this band? How did you come up with your band name? Was that a hard choice to make?
Justin: At a young age I knew I wanted to be creative, but pursuing music as a career didn’t pop into my mind until my first couple of years in high school rolled around. Earliest music memory.. singing the Backstreet Boys Millennium album while my mom chased me around the house with the camcorder. *crosses fingers that video never surfaces*
Slavo: I was always “the entertainer” of the household growing up, but I wasn’t fueled by music until I witnessed a family friend captivate a small audience with a guitar and his voice at a Christmas Eve party back when I was 9 or so. Justin and I met a few years back through a studio we were mutually working with. I moved to NY from FL to pursue music as a producer/engineer. Luckily, I eventually came across ET Studio Productions and met Justin.
Justin: We started writing together with no intentions of forming a duo. Just two guys who vibed unusually well not only when it came to the music, but also just as really tight friends. Slavo had laid down a harmony on a record we had wrote & walked out of the vocal booth. In my typical dramatic & overly hyped up way I pitched the idea about creating a duo and pretty much taking over the world. In perfect Slavo fashion he shrugged his shoulders and said “okay.” *laughs*
Slavo: The name Fly By Midnight was birthed via a group chat between us and our production team TE Music Group. After about a week of cringe worthy names (Full Grown, J Squared, etc.) Laura had brought up Fly By Night, which morphed into Fly By Midnight because we felt it would be fun to have a name that represents how we’re always in the studio making fly music by midnight.
Justin: J Squared… *laughs*
What do you think it is about each other that you are able to work together in this duo? What are your working dynamics like?
Let’s talk about your recent singles that you’ve released. What has been inspiring your songs lately? In particular, how did your track, “Brooklyn” come to be?
Justin: As cliché as it sounds we both share the same outlooks on life & exactly what we’re looking to get out of it. Slavo & I are extremely motivated when it comes to our music, but we also know how important it is to live a little. Our insane adventures are fuel for our music.
Slavo: Justin and I are both extremely involved with every aspect of FBM, which is super imperative for future success. There’s not a moment you won’t catch me in front of a computer working on productions, while Justin is in front of his computer hustling for that next big opportunity. We also both have very fortunate upbringings so kudos to the parentals. Brooklyn was inspired by an experience Justin had shared with me from his time at Brooklyn college. Long story short, he met a girl who easily persuaded him to do outlandish things. With the privilege of songwriting we embellished here and there to recreate the adventure and titled it Brooklyn.
How do you go about selecting the songs to cover? What are you working on now?
I’m curious to know what it’s been seeing the kind of view that your YouTube videos have been getting? Was it sort of shocking at first to realize that that many people are watching your videos on there?
Justin: Reinventing another artist’s song has become a completely different passion project of ours. We think it’s important that fans of our channel know that it’s more than “I’m going to sing someone else’s song so more people click on us.” We genuinely enjoy reinterpreting top 40 pop hits & the world of YouTube has allowed us to reach fans all over the world quicker than we could ever imagine. It’s even cooler now that that support has transitioned over to our original material as well.
Slavo: We try not to let the numbers excite us too much because we’re always striving to push the margin, but I’d be lying if I said we didn’t cheers a time or three to the internet success. There’s an interesting balance between personal interest and strategy when picking a cover song. We never want a cover to seem random, but at the same time we won’t do a song that we can’t listen to and enjoy ourselves. Once we mutually agree on something, I’ll start production and it all comes together pretty quickly. We’re currently working on more original material.
How was your college campus tour been going in the Northeast? What did you learn from that touring experience? Where do you hope to tour next?
What was it like opening for Third Eye Blind, Daya and The Score? What did you learn from those shows?
Justin: It’s been really cool being able to take the energy from our videos we post online & bring them to college campuses. I think we’ve learned how to make an audience feel like they’re part of something. If you just want to watch Fly By Midnight you can click on our YouTube videos, but if you want to experience this interactive, energetic, & party-esque performance come see us live.
Slavo: We’re actually going down to FL in a couple months for a little college tour, which will be nice cause I get see my family and share the FBM experience with my hometown. Opening for an artist is a privilege, so being able to say that we warmed up a crowd for such notable performers is an experience we genuinely enjoy. The important thing to take from these shows is finding new ways to work a crowd that didn’t necessarily show up to see you. It’s our job as performers to captivate them enough to want to join our movement.
When do you guys hope to release an EP? How different or similar will it be to anything else that you’ve already put out?
Justin: We’re constantly writing and creating new material every day, but the idea of an EP is one we’re not exactly sold on yet. If we’re really feeling a song we wrote & recorded this month what’s stopping us from shooting a fun video & releasing it to the world? Hiding songs until we have a compilation just seems kind of odd in this new world of technology where clicking one button releases a song to every platform.
Slavo: That decision is not only based on current technology, but going back to the fact that we’re indie and still learning how we want to share our project day by day. As far as the music goes, we’ve always been narratively detailed writers, so you can expect more of that. Being two dudes in our early 20s, we’re experiencing life in emotionally exciting ways. One song might be in the realm of Brooklyn where as another may vibe out and strike a moodier tone. It’s all contingent on the moment.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you both? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
Slavo: My go to is Billy Joel, but more current would have to be The 1975, Jon Bellion, Drake, and really any artist with interesting groove and melody. Musicality inspires the FBM project, so keeping up with the innovative sounds today’s artists/producers are shaping is a necessity. Jon Bellion is definitely at the top of my list of people I’d love to work with. Dude is stupid talented.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you unwind from it all?
Justin: Like typical guys in our 20s we’re always up for grabbing a beer with friends. A lot of the time one beer in a dive bar in NYC turns into an all night adventure throughout the boroughs. *laughs*
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? Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Justin: Our music is essentially a diary of our adventures. The ups, the downs, the excitement, and the confusion of two guys figuring out life. I think it’s relatable & real. I’d say an overall message of our music is “to experience everything the world has to offer.”
Slavo: FBM is all about the hustle. Anyone out there with eyes on our project can never deny the fact that the two of us work non stop and will continue to work non stop till our goals are achieved. Hopefully that inspires up and coming talent because success in this industry is heavily reliant on persistence and self motivation. As far as the music goes, we strive to share the emotion of our personal experiences with each and every listener. Hear our story and make it your own.
Justin: I think for those who are just learning about us it’s important to know we’re just a couple of dudes from NYC who enjoy making music & want to do it for the rest of our lives. Any supporter of that is a huge piece in our puzzle.
Slavo: Agreed. We’re lucky enough to have found the one thing we’re passionate about. If you choose to tune into our program be ready for an adventure.