Artist Interview: “Found” by Carmen and Chris Venus

Q: I love the genre-fusing feel of “Found”, mixing elements of hip-hop, pop, R&B, etc. Can you walk me through your creative process in making “Found”?

Carmen & Chris Venus: The song started with just the hook and the loop along with the concept for what the song is about. Chris took a bounce and really began to formulate lyrical content around that. Going into the studio session, those were really the only elements we had and then we built out and finished the song from there with our producer Tommy Villarroel, all in a day. The genre or style of the song is where our influences and preferences intersect – a mix of alt rock, hip-hop, and r&b. 

Q: I read that this is your guys’ first collaboration in nearly a decade! How was it finally getting together again to create “Found”? Were there any creative differences?

A: To clarify, this is our first release together ever. Over the years, we have worked together on other projects, consulted with one another, and weighed in on each other’s work but never released a tune together. This track is one of many ideas that we’ve created over the years. It was pretty seamless to put together from the standpoint of feeling like we had the creative liberty to break out of what may traditionally be our own individual sound. And, we like a lot of the same bands and artists so this felt natural for both of us. After so many years of not putting out music together, to some degree a burden was lifted and we feel the proof of concept worked.

Q: Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you both decided to follow your paths as musicians?

Chris: I knew in high school that production and making beats were something that had to be in my life moving forward. I’ve always felt compelled to write and express myself through that art form. I began to branch out in high school and try to freestyle or battle rap and felt affirmed by my peers that I was onto something. 

Carmen: In middle school I remember watching some older kids jam in the band room during lunch and thought that was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. They weren’t the “cool kids”, nor was I, but people were into what they were doing. When I finally joined my first band in high school, I felt a spiritual connection to something for the first time in my life. After that point, I knew that music would be something I’d always do.

Q: The lyrical content on “Found” is remarkable; what was your inspiration behind creating this track?

Carmen:  Found is about the vulnerability and the openness it takes to actually engage with someone in a meaningful way. This idea of meeting someone and immediately recognizing that they have their guard up. But also recognizing their desire to be pursued and garner attention. It’s also about acknowledging that without letting your guard down and letting someone in, you can’t reasonably expect anything beyond surface level.

Q: “Found” is unique in the way it has many different elements, which means there is something for every listener, no matter what type of music they like. I was wondering, who are your biggest musical influences?

Chris: Lupe Fiasco, Phonte, Nas, Marvin Gaye, among many more

Carmen: The 1975, Kings of Leon, John Mayer, Frank Ocean, Anderson .Paak are some mainstays for me 

Q: Do you remember when you first fell in love with music? Did either of you have musical families?

Chris: As young as 8 or 9, I remember starting to become a student of rap, passing off other rappers’ bars as my own. I think that’s when I became compelled to write because I wanted to create lyrics or bars of my own. 

Carmen: I remember playing trumpet in orchestra band when I was 10 or 11 years old. I really didn’t care for the instrument but had an amazing teacher who instilled a passion for music in me. To watch and hear what a cohesive unit of people could create together, that’s when I felt inspired to become a musician.

Q: I need to know, what is coming next for you guys? (together & separately)

Carmen & Chris: We definitely want to put out a collaborative collection of music together at some point soon. We have the ideas and we have a formula that works for us, it’s just a matter of getting it done. Hopefully in 2022. 

Chris: I plan to release an EP of my own soon, I just need to finish the beats I’ve been working on. I feel inspired and energized creatively, it’s really just a time issue at this point. 

Carmen: There’ve been quite a few lineup changes over the pandemic which has been a challenge. We have some new people in the mix now and we’re starting to polish off the material, write some new tunes, and will hopefully be back out there gigging this summer.

Photo credits: Bianca Borghi

Interviewed by Melissa Cusano





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