Ra and Agor discuss Montreal duo’s new album
Blue Hawaii is about to release Tenderness, their first album in four years. Made up of Raphaelle ‘Ra’ Standell and Alexander ‘Agor’ Kerby, the duo interweave various styles of dance music along with an acoustic guitar to create their own unique sound. The new record discusses the challenges of dealing with online relationships and trying to maintain closeness over distance.
Four years ago, the duo released a breakup record, Untogether. This time around, each member looks to find happiness within themselves. There is a discussion of technology throughout, one that has been at the center of the group’s music from the beginning, which looks at how telecommunication has brought people closer yet further apart.
ARTISTdirect caught up with Ra and Agor to discuss the duo’s new project, the best advice they’ve ever received, and their favorite reaction to their music.
Hello – Please introduce yourself.
Ra & Agor
Where are you right now?
Please name your fellow band members and their roles… oh, and who has the best dance moves?
We both do production, beat making, piano playing and meal preparation. Ra does the singing though, and Agor does the mixing 🙂
Tell us about your new project: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
We worked with new people! Owen Pallet wrote and recorded strings on three tracks, Adam Kinner did the same for sax, and Jessica Moss for violin. It was mostly done in Los Angeles, a little during the summer in Whistler, BC & finished up at our studio in Montreal last winter. And it’s about creating room for tenderness to each other online, both in private and public spaces. Sometimes it’s even as simple as noticing what you have right next to you, and to tend to that — take a look at the album cover 😉
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
I think music has a way of reaching people that wouldn’t be touched by other forms of art. there might be something about a particular singer’s voice, or a part in a song, a certian groove – that changes a regular moment into one that is extra fun or sad… that’s what makes me and music click anyway.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
Don’t think too much and keep things simple (still don’t follow that though)
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all day drive from gig to gig?
We don’t ever really tour in a van. it’s just the two of us and we hardly have gear. but sit next to on a plane or a train? Cleopatra would be pretty neat.
What song best sums up your life right now?
Been listening the that one “Last Kiss” the original version
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
Children dancing off the street, crowds of people in different places genuinely having a good time
Take a moment to dream – Where do hope to be a year from now?
Fully appreciating that moment, wherever it might be
What’s your next step towards that dream?
Fully appreciating this moment