Introducing: Stranger Stranger
Hello Phil and Marinda, or should I say Stranger Stranger, can you introduce yourselves.
Hi, it’s nice to meet you. We’re a duo called Stranger Stranger. We’ve released two singles so far, one called ‘Sometimes’ which came out last summer and most recently a track called ‘Nation’.
Can you tell us a bit about your backgrounds? And how you first got into music?
Phil: I’m from London, born and raised. Music was always around, it was when I was happiest and that’s the way it stayed. Once I was in its atmosphere, I knew I was staying. I started performing as a teenager. It’s the thing I feel most alive doing; listening to music, playing music.
Marinda: I’m from Toronto, but since I was 18, I haven’t really stayed in one place for long. I’ve lived in Halifax & Montreal (Canada), spent time in Dakar and also a couple of months in N’zérékore (Guinea). My first music project was with a girl in Halifax who I met at a spoken word open mic. We started a hip hop duo called Metaphonix. Thank goodness there’s no recorded evidence of it. It’s pretty embarrassing.
What drew you guys to working together?
The pieces just seemed to go together. We were both always into collaborating. It took a few years to find a sound that held both of our voices and ideas, but we liked the challenge.
And the name? Where’d you get that from?
It’s got intrigue, multiple meanings. We like the sound of it repeated.
Your new single ‘Nation’ is out now, what can you tell us about it?
“I like the groove,” as Mr. Brown [Steve Brown – producer, who has worked with the likes of Laura Mvula and Rumer] says. It was great fun to record. On a side note, there’s some great footage of Marinda and Steve dancing to it in the listening booth. Sessionists came in and had a ball with it. I think the form of it has some unexpected twists and turns, too.
How much of an indicator is it to how a full length album will sound?
It isn’t, really. But the groove runs through all the songs. The EP is all sessionists, very little programming. It’s a raw, organic sound.
Your vocals complement each other so well, how do you get that sound in the studio?
Thanks! You’ll have to ask Steve Brown, he engineered it. I think he’d agree that the Røde K2 helped! It all had to be done live & simultaneously.
What is your approach to writing songs as a duo?
It’s a private process. We both need time alone to begin. Then we come together with some ideas and edit, edit, distill it down. Maybe we’ll half bake 10 or 20 ideas before there’s something that sticks.
As you've mentioned you’ve been working with Steve Brown as producer, how important is getting the right team around you?
It’s everything. The process is about collaboration. It’s about communication.
What’s been your best experience so far this year?
There was a moment where we were sitting in the corner of the studio just watching all these sessionists reading through their charts in preparation. They were singing their parts out in concert and it was surreal.
What does the rest of 2016 hold for you?
We’re in London for the most part, doing shows and promoting the new single. About to play at Universities across the country in Bath, Essex, Newcastle, Liverpool… all over. When we get back, we’re opening for some great artists like Ed Motta, Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Sarah Walk and anticipating the release of the 'Nation' music video in November!
Phil: We’re ready to go on the road, hopefully continental Europe. We’re also looking forward to the release of our EP Sometimes.
You’ve got some live shows coming up, what can people expect from them?
The live shows are unusual, very concentrated versions of the tunes. I think it’s unexpected.
Where’s the strangest place you’ve played live?
Phil: We once played in a concrete bunker. No windows, no wood. The sound just bounced around and fed-back.
Marinda: This hipster artist studio in Munich. There was a golden bathtub in the middle of the room, and in the toilets, instead of having a mirror where you washed your hands, you just looked at the men who were washing their hands in their loo. It was a weird thing, like they were my reflection.
If you could only listen to one song this week, what would it be?
Phil: 'PYT' by Michael Jackson.
Marinda: 'The Bird' by Anderson .Paak
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
How do you take your coffee?
Finally, how do you take your coffee? (Or alcohol?)
Phil: Coffee with cream & honey & a glass of water.
Marinda: Same as Phil, although I’m more of a tea drinker myself.
Thanks so much for your time guys.
Stranger Stranger's first two singles are available to stream or buy and their EP will be out sometime soon(ish). You can find them online at: