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20 Questions With Kelly & Gibson

The B.C. electro-pop duo talk ear-lickers, mini-goats & their shared love of TayTay.

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Photo by Maya Hunter-McMartin.

Earlier this summer, Kelly & Gibson were good enough to share the video for their latest single Chasing Feelings in these pages. Today, I chase down some more information from the electro-pop duo with the help of my stupid questions. Let’s see how they feel about that:

 


 

Introduce yourself: Name, age (feel free to lie), home base and other details you’d like to share — height / weight / identifying marks / astrology sign / your choice.
Hi we’re Chris Kelly and Nicole Gibson, a dynamic, Taurus X Leo, electro-pop duo based in Vancouver, B.C.!

What is your musical origin story?
About five years ago now, Chris was opening for my old band at a show at a bar in Montreal. After both our sets we sat and chatted for like five hours at the merch table and have been hanging out ever since. Before this project Nicole played in a hardcore progressive-rock band and Chris in an alternative rock band. We started off by making covers of songs on YouTube. For some reason, looking at our musical backgrounds, whenever we write together we always write pop music, so we became an electro-pop duo.

What do we need to know about your latest project?
Our latest project was our EP Affinity, which was made possible by the Amplify Program run by the wonderful people at Creative BC. For this EP we worked with NYG at NYG Productions. When writing for this EP we were very inspired by relationships, hence the name Affinity. We wrote about our first loves and the complexity of relationships. The ones we have had, and the ones those around us have had. I would say the EP is electro-pop, with interesting beats, pitch vocals and catchy vocal lines.

What truly sets you apart from other artists?
I think the fact that we are a duo is pretty interesting and also that we are both lead singers. We really have found a way to bounce off each other’s energies and coming from different musical backgrounds it blends together to make something interesting. At least we think!

What will I learn or how will my life improve by listening to your music?
I think this EP is a good example that life is pretty complicated and messy and everything is grey, nothing is black and white, but in the end everything seems to work out.

Tell us about the first gig you played and what you got paid.
Nicole: The first gig I played was at a bar that no longer exists in Vancouver. I was 15, trying to pretend to be 19 so they wouldn’t kick me out. I sat down at the bar for like three seconds before being asked to leave and come back just before my set. I also forgot all the lyrics to the first song and just stood there, I also didn’t get paid. So overall it was a good time.

Chris: My first show was for a music competition and was at Club Soda in Montreal. The show was sold out and I had never played in front of anyone before. It felt amazing and solidified I wanted to do music for the rest of my life.

What is the best / worst / strangest / most memorable performance you gave?
Once we were playing in a very dodgy bar and someone came on the ‘stage’ (it was really just a taped-off area of the floor) and we thought they were going to hug Nicole, but instead they licked inside her ear. I think about that moment often.

What is the best / worst / strangest / most memorable performance you’ve seen another artist give?

Nicole: When I was 15 I saw Youth Lagoon at Sasquatch Music Festival at sunset; the setting was so beautiful and the set was insane. Also The Tallest Man on Earth at the Vogue Theatre was pretty incredible. His set was so stripped-down and beautiful, just him. I cried like 20 times.

Chris: I was lucky enough to be able to attend the tribute show at the Hollywood Bowl in L.A. for Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. It was of course very bittersweet and sad, but the love shared by the 20,000 people there was an experience I will never forget.

What do you want to be doing in 10 years?
Nicole: I want to live on a farm with mini-goats and be doing music full time.

Chris: I hope to be living on Mars and playing shows for aliens. SpaceX, come through.

What living or dead artists would you collaborate with if you could?
Nicole: Taylor Swift.

Chris: There are too many. Mike Shinoda, Taylor Swift or Ryan Tedder.

What artist or style of music do you love that would surprise people?
Chris: I can go from Frank Sinatra to Taylor Swift to Slipknot. I am a fan of lots of different music!

Nicole: Listening to Chris’s playlist is a trip.

What are your favourite songs / albums / artists right now?
Nicole: I have been listening to a lot of ’80s music and full piano albums, like Reinbert de Leeuw.

Chris: The last two albums I have really loved are Lover by Taylor Swift and Coming Home from Falling in Reverse, which also happened to be the last live show I saw before the pandemic started.

How about some other favourites: Authors, movies, painters, you name it.
Chris: I love movies. I like anything to do with space, so the Alien movies, Interstellar or anything weird like Donnie Darko.

Nicole: Donnie Darko disturbs me to this day. There are so many, but Salvador Dali is the coolest and a favourite of favourites always.

Who would you be starstruck to meet?
Both: Taylor Swift.

What do you drive and why?
Casper: A white dodge 1996 caravan. Sometimes the alarm goes off randomly so we’re pretty sure it’s haunted, hence the name.

What superpower do you want and how would you use it?
Nicole: I want the power to make mini-goats appear whenever I want. And I would use it to make people (and myself) happy 24/7.

Chris: I would fly.

What skills — useful or useless — do you have outside of music?
Nicole: I am pretty good with herbs. All the different herbs and their herbal properties and how and what to use for specific things.

Chris:  I am pretty good at drawing anime.

What do you collect?
Nicole: Too much. I am trying to purge through my things by rewatching Marie Kondo and cleaning videos on YouTube to get inspired. But will I never get rid of all my black ankle boots … No. Chris is super-clean and collects nothing.

If I had a potluck, what would you bring?
Nicole: A vegan dessert. Although I am not vegan. But it tastes the same and is fun to cook and bake that way!

Chris:  I would bring Popsicles for everyone for after dinner.

What current trend or popular thing do you not understand at all?
Nicole: TikTok. But I think it is mostly because I am trying to avoid yet another app that I would probably spend wayyy to much time on.

Chris: Social media in general. I’m just really bad at it.

Tell us about your current and/or former pets.
We have a 22-pound orange, asthmatic cat named Aslan, a five-pound cat named Bebe and a bunny named Houdini. We also have a dog named Elle who is a mix of a sharpei and ridgeback and is a rescue from California. She ate our couch and now we have rocking chairs instead to sit on because of this, but we still love her. Sometimes.

If you could have any other job besides music, what would it be and why?
Chris: I would be an astronaut or rescue dogs. Too many interesting things!

Nicole: I think I would maybe be an herbalist or a naturopath. Or a ghost hunter.

What’s the best advice and/or worst advice you were ever given?
We both think the worst advice we both ever got is ‘fake it till you make it’. Authenticity rules and wins every time.

Watch the video for Chasing Feelings above (along with their covers of Taylor Swift & Frank Sinatra), listen to more of Kelly & Gibson’s music below, and find out more about the duo on their website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Photo by Kelli Lane.