Q: “Centuries” is a dreamy electro-pop track with a chorus that will have people singing along after one listen. Walk us through the making and inspiration behind this track?
NAOMI (of Prinze George): We wrote “Centuries” in NYC in 2018 with our friend Verskotzi. We we’re making an album (Happy Garden) and we felt that we’d mostly accomplished what we’d set out to do but that it was missing a couple final tracks to round out the album as a whole. Centuries was actually the last track that the three of us wrote on the album. I was feeling really exhausted, I think we all were. We’d been pulling a lot of all nighters working on the album and honestly, it’s just really hard to do this job with your life partner. We’ve been at it for awhile, so I don’t have to look very far for inspiration. The making of “Centuries” began with the boys just setting up a really beautiful, minimal, emotional track together…it felt both sad and uplifting to me, so I just kinda responded to it immediately and the song wrote itself. It’s just time and place really. We try to record everything the same day we write it, so I can be as close to it as possible in my vocal performance.
Q: What is the key to your sound and how do you make your music stand out?
NAOMI (of Prinze George): I think my voice has a distinctive sound naturally and Kenny is very careful not to over-process it. I also hold myself to a very high standard when it comes to the lyrical writing. People will say that lyrics don’t matter as much as sound but I think they deepen the sound. That’s what makes people connect with you on a personal level, so everything is hitting multiple senses harder at once . Kenny is also a classically trained multi instrumentalist and vocalist with a very deep heart, which is always going to give his production/musical composition an edge. We also try to embrace play and welcome happy accidents and improvisation into our recording process.
Q: We see you’ve played festivals such as Austin City Limits, Eaux Claires, and Firefly. Which show has been your favorite so far and why?
NAOMI (of Prinze George): Austin City Limits was definitely our favorite. We played both weekends to great crowds and had some really exciting, happy moments watching other artists and just being together as a band. We played the Tito’s vodka stage and kicked it with Tito himself, who watched us play both weekends and told us he loved our show. He made us drinks even though he wasn’t there to bartend. Told us the story of how he started his business. We loved it.
Q: You’re originally from Maryland; however, you launched Prinze George in Brooklyn. What drew you to Brooklyn? How has the music scene there influenced your music?
NAOMI (of Prinze George): We draw most of our inspiration from Prince George’s County, MD (where we’re from) but we knew that NY was where we had to go in 2013 in order to take our music to the next level. I got a nanny job for two little girls and Kenny did children’s music entertainment while we took meetings and answered emails about band inquiries for a little over a year. When our second single “Victor” came out and took off on SoundCloud, we we’re so humbled by the love we received from fans at our very first shows as PG…all of which were in NYC…shows that we know were not that great, because we just weren’t ready. That NYC love is still there somehow, no matter how much time lapses between shows or releases…NYC is truly our first experience with what it means to have a real “following”, something you can feel on a physical level. We would absolutely not be where we are if it wasn’t for being in NYC when we we’re, even if it was just a year.
Q: You’ve worked with various artists including Carnage, Diplo, G-Eazy, and Wiz Khalifa. What did you learn from these collaborations? Is there a particular collab that you are proud of or that was challenging?
NAOMI (of Prinze George): Sometimes the artists that are in a completely different genre than you are the best artists to collaborate with. Often, we have the most to learn from people who are very different from us and learning always leads to growth. We love Carnage. He’s a friend and has always been a champion of us as a band…our collaborations have been very natural and have pushed / inspired us as a writer / producer team to be as ambidextrous as possible every time we get in the studio.
Q: You’ve been making music for quite some time. What advice do you have for up-and-coming bands?
NAOMI (of Prinze George): Be true to yourself and your own sound. Don’t be afraid to block out the noise in order to feel and hear your own sounds…you can draw inspiration from other artists without over-referencing and being super hip to what’s brand new. Collaboration is fuel to evolve.
Interviewed by Brynn Hinnant