The Queen And King / by E

See what the Nashville based electro pop duo, The Queen And King (Caroline Shumate and Greg Graves) have in store for fans and look for Pep Talk in 2016.

What brought you two together?

Caroline: Greg and I actually met in high school and we're always people who did back-up band for things; we both have an instrumental background and so he would either play bass or guitar for somebody and I usually played guitar or drums for somebody, so we got to know each other through high school. Then, our freshman year of college, he was like, 'I am moving to Nashville to do audio engineering school,' and I just kind of followed so, here we are [laughs].

Which musicians have you been inspired by?

Caroline: Definitely Tove Lo, Betty Who, Lights, Halsey.

What's in your playlist now?

Caroline: Our playlist is very eclectic; we listen to a lot of hip hop, pop from '80s, '90s, 2000s.

Greg: Phil Collins.

Caroline: We actually just created a Spotify playlist called 'January Jams' that people can listen to and kind of see what's in our playlist this month.

How would you describe your sound?

Caroline: Our sound is like dark, electronic pop.

You just released the acoustic version of "Trouble"; what was the inspiration behind that song?

Caroline: Well, a couple of summers ago, the show, Orange Is The New Black, was on Netflix and I was watching it and was just kind of inspired by some of the relationships in that show, so I wrote that song about that.

Could you sum up your Cavities EP in one sentence?

Caroline: Ooh, [laughs] I have to think about that for a second. I think Cavities is just the beginning: it is just kind of an introduction to TQK, because our songs have gotten better, our production has gotten better; it's just a taste of what's to come.

Greg: I'm pretty on board with that.

Could you tell us more about your other forthcoming EP, Pep Talk, and how it compares to your previous releases?

Caroline: Absolutely! The new EP is definitely more concentrated. I think, lyrically, it's very dense content and production wise we just went up a whole step.

Greg: We hired a producer. We had an actual producer make that entire EP with us and it was perfect because we had a separate set of ears, someone who was more experienced than us in actually writing songs and making music. You'll be able to tell the difference between Cavities and Pep Talk, because there's just a massive difference.

Caroline: But, I think just the songs are better, the lyrics are better, the production is better. We're just so excited to get it out there, but Cavities was a great first step for us and I think we learned so much about ourselves and where we wanted to take the next music, the direction that we wanted to go with the next music.

Is there a track from Pep Talk you're most excited for your listeners to hear?

Caroline: I don't know, my mind changes on that. Every week it's a different song that I'm excited to release.

Greg: Yeah, whenever I come back to listening to the EP again, there's always a new song that I get really stoked for people to listen to, but it's always different.

You've been putting out covers on Spotify and YouTube, why choose to do that while still working on your EPs?

Caroline: So, whenever we started the band - I guess it was a year and a half ago, almost two years ago - we kind of were trying to figure out our sound because we are both instrumentalists at the base of it. We were kind of figuring out what genre we wanted to go towards and so we thought that trading covers and experimenting with different sounds and different genres to figure out what was the best fit for us would be a great introduction to creating our own music and seeing which genre fit the best for us. And apparently, I mean, people like them.

Greg: Also, people love content and we definitely needed something out there. We wanted to put something out before we released an EP, I guess, and that's another reason. Whenever we started, we were making all of those videos, all of those covers, and it was just so that people could have something; if they were ever to talk about us they could actually open Spotify or YouTube and find us. I think that was how we started on that whole cover thing.

What do you hope listeners are able to take away from your music?

Caroline: We just want people to connect. My greatest hope is that somebody will listen to one of our songs and be like, 'yeah, I get this, I could have written this song'.

Greg: Yep, and dance.

Caroline: And dance, definitely dance.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

Caroline: We're just so excited to keep putting music out there and keep growing the number of ears that listen to our music.

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