Dreamy, ambient, melodic pop created by two guys whose name kind of reminds me of a Pokemon, what’s not to love? Coming from the northern reaches of England, Aquilo have been making some dreamy waves with the release of their über-euphoric and chilled track Calling Me. If you haven’t had a chance yet to have your body washed over with their intense and strikingly beautiful production, then you’re missing out. I had a little Q&A with the duo, Tom Highman and Ben Fletcher, about the natural ease with their production, playing live and their overall artistic vision.
How did Aquilo come to be?
We both live in a little village called Silverdale in North Lancashire. We had been in separate rock bands but then decided to start writing music together.
Is there a meaning behind the name? Just from my standpoint, it kind of reminds me of a Pokemon’s name from when I was a teenager.
Haha, yeah it does sort of sound like a Pokemon. But it actually means a ‘northerly wind’ in Latin. It kind of makes sense as we’re from up north.
There is quite a few other dreamy electronic acts out there at the moment yet Aquilo seems to have it’s very own soul and sound to it. How did you go about creating this sound that distinguishes yourself from other acts?
We haven’t intentionally gone and made our own sound. It’s just sort of happened. The way in which we naturally produce has just helped us form the sound of Aquilo.
There’s a quiet intensity to your work that builds throughout your tracks. Is that something you purposely set out to create or did it just happen?
Again, this just sort of happened. I think it’s just the way we write music. We like it that way.
You’ve had such a large response when you released the first cut from the EP, something like 300,000 SoundCloud plays and counting. Did it come as a surprise that the public have been so taken with your music?
Yeah, that was a huge surprise. We’d never have imagined people would really want to listen to our music or care so much. It’s a wonderful feeling though. It sort of encourages us that we’re doing the right thing.
Your press shot for the EP standing on the cement structure is absolutely amazing, as is the cover for the EP. Where were these shots taken and who was your photographer?
The photographer was Jack Davidson who is a lovely guy. The two of us, Jack and art director Matt De Jong worked together to find a structure that represented big man-made objects placed in the middle of beautiful places. Both of our last two EP covers were shot at these interesting structures both on the coast of the UK.
Your music and visuals have a very artistic feel to them, they almost don’t look like music visuals but more pieces of contemporary fine art. Can you tell me a little more about the Calling Me video?
We both prefer music videos with a meaning to them, and especially a storyline, I suppose that’s just a preference thing. David Silis who directed the video came to us with a few ideas on how to get the message across. The story is basically about pursuing what you love, no matter what the consequences may be, because at the end of the day, if you’re doing what makes you happy, then you’ll find a way through all the problems in life.
Are the visual elements something you were thinking about when creating the EPs?
No, funnily enough they weren’t.
What inspires you when it comes to your music and the visuals that accompany them?
We suppose the sound of the track, whether it’s mellow or intense. Theres no specific way to combine both the music and the visuals. It’s just what feels right at the time we suppose.
You’ve played some live shows recently, how’s that experience been going for you?
The live shows have been pretty incredible. We still haven’t really played much, so it still feels really new to us. I mean, we used to play 3-4 times a week when we were in rock bands, but this project didn’t start with any intention to play the songs live, so it’s been a hell of an experience trying to work it all out.
Would you consider a trip Down Under sometime in the future?
100% yes. We’re dying to travel the world with our music.
Thanks guys, loving the EP and can’t wait to hear more. Plus, fingers crossed we get to see you live sometime in the future.
Yeah thank you x
Enjoy Calling Me: