Interview with Montreal brother-sister popster duo Just Costa
Today on What On What’s Good with Host Jovin Tardif, I am here with Canadian Brother/Sister Duo Just Costa. Fun fact, Just Costa’s parents are both musicians. Their dad was a professional musician. He plays multiple instruments. Their mom plays piano and flute. With so much music around the house, they soaked up a lot at a very young age. Today in our interview, we discuss their musical backgrounds and influences, their sound, their trip to Italy, making the video “Peachy” and their latest hit “Bubblegum Sky”.
1. Describe your musical backgrounds & influences growing up.
We’re lucky to be born into a musical and a creative family; our parents are both musicians, and we grew up with a revolving door of musician friends coming in and out. However, we first began in music working on separate projects (Juliana as a singer-songwriter, Jesse James fronting rock and metal bands). Finally, it was our dad who always encouraged us to play music together, more than just jamming on the deck. It was when we started writing songs together, essentially creating the world of Just Costa that we discovered that we had something special; a chemistry that neither of us could create on our own. Artistically, dynamically, it just made sense to do it together. We haven’t looked back since.
2. Could you tell us a bit about your sound?
Our sound is an eclectic mix of influences that have inspired us. It is pop-based in that our tunes are catchy, groovy and relatable. We try to stay humble, authentic, and that comes out in our music. The styles that shape are sound are very much RnB and funk, but you can hear traces of other genres we grew up listening to, like hip hop and Latin music. Our writing is inspired by sounds that are old and new— from Bruno Mars and Khalid, to Stevie Wonder and Earth Wind & Fire.
3. Can you tell us about your experience on talent show La Voix (The Voice)? What was it like? Any interesting behind-the-scenes stories?
Wow, what a blast. We were way less experienced at the time, and so we took it all as a real learning process. The experience of performing on a big stage, under all of those lights, for the first time, was just awesome and we’re grateful for it. A fun tidbit was busting out a jam session with all the singers in the green room. Those harmonies were pure fire.
4. Any highlights from your 16-date tour of Italy?
What a trip!! We had an amazing time going all around Italy, visiting towns and cities we might never have otherwise. Highlights? All of the warm, kind and generous people we met, the incredible food and wine, beautiful scenery, of course. There are literally beautiful olive trees growing on the side of the roads, beside gas stations. Lowlights? Sitting for hours on end cramped in the backseat of a Fiat Panda with a guitar over our laps. Bonus nugget : the guitar case smelled like cat pee (courtesy of our cat, many years before), and so we kept taking turns for who had to keep the smelly side (like the polite Canadians we are). All jokes aside, we had a blast, learnt so much, and it made us stronger road warriors, and we can’t wait to get back out on the road again!
5. Any fun memories from making your music video “Peachy”?
The whole process was a blast – from creating all of the scenes that would become the world of Peachy to spending the day with the crew. We got really lucky because we filmed the video just a few days before everything got shut down back in March. Had some fun adventures going all around Montreal to pick up different props we needed : palm trees, a bathtub, about 30 containers of candy to fill said bathtub… We also spent a small fortune at Ikea for props and furniture….and then returned it the next day. Shhhh!!!
6. Do you have any suggestions on writing music you can offer to new songwriters? (For example describe creating “Bubblegum Sky”)
All you need is a little nugget of inspiration to get you started : one line, a melody, a chord progression. In the case of Bubblegum Sky, it was sitting on a music producer’s porch on an August night, staring up at the sky, which was a magic mix of pink and purple. The whole chorus came to me right on the spot. If you’re just starting out, try to get out of your own way. Remain open— give the song a chance to evolve, even if the direction doesn’t suit your vibe. Take down all ideas that come to you, and really try to figure out what you are trying to say— what’s your message, and what’s the context?
Then refine, revise, recycle, and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite!
Bubblegum Sky on Spotify
New song Electric out now
Quote from Just Costa about the new song
It’s that funky, feel-good, Friday music 100,000 volts later and Electric is out to the world
Peachy – Just Costa (Official Video)
Bubblegum Sky – Just Costa (Official Visualizer)
Electric – Just Costa (Official Video)