Heartstreets live in Montreal, November 2016
“We know it all, but we still act as if we were blind,” are the lyrics that ring out from Heartstreets’ newest single. The Canadian female duo – made up of Emma Beko and Gabrielle Godon – broke their silence following the debut of “Blind” at the end of September. The track is the latest release since the inception of the group’s first EP You and I in 2016. Though the two have a relatively fluid style and float between genres, any fan can find their distinguishable vocals sifting in and out of familiar R&B tones. Read the interview* below to find out more about the message behind “Blind,” how Heartstreets keeps grounded, and what the future has in store for the pair.
(Mad Sounds): How would you describe your new music and how does it compare to the EP you released last year?
(Heartstreets): The latest EP was more about a love story that unfolds through our songs, and the new song (“Blind”) is about a more general subject than just personal imagination … We are in the process of writing new music, we always are, but there is no designative project that we have planned specifically. For right now we’re focusing on our new single and we’re really, really excited for that, as well as the music video that is coming.
How has your music evolved over the years?
It’s always evolving, we’re just getting more comfortable … we know more about what we like and what we don’t like, and we’re also more comfortable with the fact that we want to try out different things, and we don’t mind if we don’t fit in to a category of music. We own the fact that we really want to explore and try different styles and get creative like that.
What were your inspirations for “Blind”?
It came naturally to us to sing about it and write about the feelings that we both feel related to the world right now and people in this world right now. It’s very personal in the way we approached it, it’s a more general topic so it can reach even more people than just [singing] about relationships. It comes from a personal level. We’re always inspired by what we feel in a specific moment and what we want to express in that specific moment.
When you’re writing and producing music, what kind of goal do you have for the finished product?
Something that is important to us is that all our songs have some sort of a message that we can share with the listeners; messages, morals or thoughts that we have and that we value. When we release a song, if we feel that we’ve shared those emotions with other people or connected with the people though the message or thoughts behind the song, that makes us very happy. We find there’s more meaning to the song that way.
What is the message you try to share in “Blind”?
There’s not just one message, but the main one – which we talk about in the chorus – is basically that it’s time to stand up for who you are and your values. Even in the crisis that’s happening around us, don’t act blind about everything and think it’ll go away because you’re closing your eyes on it; [if] you’re not facing the facts or the truth, you’re acting blind. It can apply to what you believe in or what your passions are … most of all being true to yourself and honest with yourself, even if you haven’t been for a while, you can change that now and it’s important to do so.
How do you stay grounded?
We naturally are, and we’ve always been that way. It’s much easier to connect to the music if it’s down-to-earth and seemingly tangible. After a show we will take time to talk to our fans … we want to get to know them as much as they want to get to know us. We think that’s what keeps us grounded, too, because they’re the ones who make it possible for us to make music.
As a Montreal-based group, how do you think that affects your music and yourselves as artists?
It’s been a challenge to be artists in Montreal and to be successful because there aren’t a lot of resources, especially because we sing in English [rather than French], so we have to put in twice as much effort to make it out of the city. There are a lot of grants here for musicians but they’re mostly for French-speaking artists, so that’s been an obstacle, but it’s made us work even harder to get what we want.
What do you see for the future of Heartstreets?
Touring. That’s something we’ve never really done, but it’s something that we really want to do for sure. And keep growing our fan base and making more music.
Heartstreets will be going on tour in Quebec City, Montreal, and Toronto in November. In the meantime, you can follow the duo on Instagram to keep up with all things Heartstreets.
*This interview has been edited for clarity and length.