Christchurch duo Nat & Jono have grown up together making music and worked for nearly 10 years to find their sound – a fusion of indie pop and indie folk that work perfectly together, enhancing youthful lyrics with oftentimes melancholy melodies.
Asked about how it all began, Nat relates how much of a big impact their mentor, musician and founder of new Christchurch music school Sole Academy, Sacha Vee, was to their budding music careers.
“Sacha came and talked to our music class at St Margaret’s and I thought she seemed awesome and got in touch with her. We’ve been working with her ever since. She’s been kind’a the backbone to both of us, she is such a legend. Not only a mentor but she’s gone above and beyond to ensure we’re getting as many opportunities as possible. Yeah, she’s been a massive help.”
Meeting their other mentor, Will McGillivray from radio and chart darlings Nomad was more of a chance coincidence.
“My ex-guitar teacher is actually the backing guitarist in Nomad, so we met Will a few times through him, but Sacha actually suggested he record with us. He recorded and mixed most of ‘We Can Only Laugh’, as well as Grocery Shopping,” she says.
Self-explanatory titles seem to be a thing here. Six Dollar Shirt is a song based on a second-hand shirt Nat used to wear.
“I feel like Six Dollar Shirt is our most indie song and the closest thing to what I personally listen to. I know it sounds stupid – I thought that shirt was pretty cool, but Jono told me it looked awful, and it was never seen again!”
On a more serious note, she says it’s their favourite single, both loving it because they each had a hand in writing it.
“It became a song of giving so much to people that aren’t giving you the same amount back, and stepping back from those people, which is a cool thing to actually do.”
While music seems a realistic future career option they are both committing to university education for the coming year at least.
“I’m gonna study music and communications, but music is definitely where I want to go,” Nat shrugs.
“Jono is a year older than me, so at the moment he’s in Auckland studying music and law.”
The separation hasn’t led to any alternative musical alliances, Nat saying there isn’t anyone else she is comfortable enough around or close enough to, to write music with.
“We’ve been friends since preschool and we’ve kind’a got a whole brother-sister thing!”
Following some student radio playlisting around their EP and singles, the duo have a few festivals booked for next year.
“The only one we can share at this moment is Gardens Magic in Wellington!”