A New Era for instereo
Launching into 2018 with their latest single, Cruel, X Factor alumni, instereo, are showcasing a reinvigorated look and sound for the former trio who shot to fame as live-show finalists on the reality TV show in 2015.
The start of the new year has seen the former three-piece boy band take the opportunity to re-invent themselves as a duo, the single marks a new interpretation of R&B in the Australian pop landscape through its blend of multiple music genres.
The track sit at #19 on the Billboard chart.
The Sydney-based duo consists of members Jakob Delgado and Chris Lanzon. The pair have experienced considerable post-reality TV success since their last release, Day In Day Out EP which peaked at #1 on the iTunes album chart in 2017 and collectively that have amassed over 300,000 followers on their social media platforms.
Now 17 years old, singer Chris Lanzon said Cruel represented the transition of the duo from post-reality teens to independently-recognised young-adult artists.
"In the past we've sometimes been pigeon-holed as a reality boy band. Now we've had an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and create music with different flavours; merging pop, R&B and electronica" said Lanzon.
"Our voices have changed quite a bit, along with our musical influences, who now include artists like Drake, Khalid, Blackbear and Post Malone."
Cruel is a song that represents being stuck in an emotionally bad place where there is no love and no escape. The track was co-written by Delgardo and Lanzon along with producer Liam Quinn and Holly Martin.
The duo recently embarked on a trip to Broken Hill in the middle of the Australian outback to film visuals for the music video in Silverton, one of Australia's most remote ghost towns, to mimic what it was like to be in a cruel and lonely environment.
"In Silverton, there was nowhere to go, nothing to do, and nobody to talk to, which is exactly what Cruel is about" said Delgado.
"At our age, we can face so many difficulties, especially in the relationships that we have, and we know that our fans will relate to our own personal experiences as they have been growing with us and going through the same things."
"We have had a steep and exciting learning curve, and realise now that, as we grow, our fans are also maturing with us and experiencing the same life lessons that we have been, which we want to show in our music."
Aside from their recent chart and TV success, instereo have also achieved credits such as a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award blimp and multiple ARIA-charting singles and EPs.
Cruel is available now on iTunes and the music video is slated for release on Friday, January 19, 2018 and can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/Gp4Dsq9P-HE
Interview with Chris Lanzon
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
Chris Lanzon: We've been working on the live version of our new song Cruel and it's by far our favourite song to play - we can't wait to perform it at a show!
Question: What are instereo's 2018 goals?
Chris Lanzon: Our goals for this year are to keep writing and working on our music. We're going to release some more singles and videos and try to be the best we can.
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Chris Lanzon: Super hard question, there's too many to name! Anyone from our favourite idols, to our closest friends and family members. We want anyone and everyone at our shows.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Chris Lanzon: Another super tough question because there are so many! It'd be awesome to work with someone who is killing it in the music industry as an artist and a songwriter, someone such as Charlie Puth, Julia Michaels or Ed Sheeran.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Chris Lanzon: We've recently been listening to a lot of Pop/RnB stuff which has been influencing our writing. Artists like Post Malone, Blackbear and Bazzi.
Question: What's next, for you guys?
Chris Lanzon: We've just finished the final touches on our next single... at the moment we're planning a video for it, which we want to make even more epic than the Cruel video - so get ready for that!
Interview with Jakob Delgado
Question: Can you tell us about the recent band shake-up?
Jakob Delgado: I wouldn't call it a shakeup; rather it was just a case that Ethan did not want to do music anymore. It was good timing because as a band, we were ready to change our direction into what you see today in the song Cruel.
Question: What inspired the song, Cruel?
Jakob Delgado: There are a lot of different inspirations for the song such as our favourite artists and our favourite songs. I think the story of being trapped with nowhere to go and nowhere to hide in a relationship situation is what really got the ideas rolling when we were writing the song.
Question: What can you share about filming the video for Cruel?
Jakob Delgado: It was the most incredible experience to film the video for Cruel. We travelled hours on end to Broken Hill, Silverton where we shot the video. The scenery was amazing and was captured perfectly on film. It really opened our eyes to see what life in the desert was like. We had many good time like discovering beautiful land sights as well as times where we were stuck in a rut with a flat tire in the middle of the desert with no reception or help in sight. Overall it was just the best time.
Question: What was the biggest challenge about reinventing your sound?
Jakob Delgado: I wouldn't say it was a challenge at all; it was actually really fun experimenting with different songs and sounds. Chris and I had a ball making Cruel as well as the other songs we have lined up ready for everyone to hear.
Question: How would you describe the new sound?
Jakob Delgado: I'd say our new sound would be future pop RnB.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Jakob Delgado: I like both as they both have their rewards. Listening to a finished song which took loads of effort and time to create is one of the most satisfying feelings but whenever I get on stage, it gives me a feeling I can't explain, it's the greatest feeling ever.
Interview by Brooke Hunter